If you have lived at all you have scars. You've had wounds. You've been wounded.
The cool thing about scars is that they are wounds that healed and are a sign that we lived to tell the tale! Or lived to keep the secret. But we lived!
So now what? How do we use those scars for the glory of God? How do our old wounds become encouragement for those who are still freshly wounded? Or are still wounding?
I don't really share so much of my story. I tried that earlier this year. It did not go well. I think for all their intentions it was too much. I get that. A lot. You are too _________! Can't you be a bit less ______________?
I have to laugh. Don't they think I've tried? And then I wonder at why God wouldn't change that. Those stripes that seem so loud in a tame garden or living room are actually perfect in the wilds of my life. They helped me survive. They still do. But in a different way.
There is one important thing about my story, about your story, that needs to never be forgotten. You ready? Really ready?
You made it through. God brought you through. You are beautiful.
Yes you. Even you. Especially you.
I don't care if you walked, crawled, snuck out in the shadows, swam down a river of tears - the scars say you didn't quit. You could have. I could have. God kept His promise.
GOD KEEPS ALL HIS PROMISES!
Sister, in your wounds be encouraged. Still feeling pain means you are alive.
Sister, in your scars be encouraged. They mean you are healing. Aching reminders of getting through.
Why do you think Jesus showed us His scars after the Resurrection? To show He made it through. He won. He bore it all for us, and conquered. Thomas doubted, and put his hands into the wounds. Others saw the scars with their own eyes. And those who never saw them believed.
Scars can have a high price. They cost us in pain, in blood and in the original wounding. Denying them, covering them up with clothes or makeup doesn't erase them. Scars show a victory that, if we choose it, can glorify our God.
Some days I look at the scars on my body - two saved my life, and were enormous blessings. The others sometimes ache in the damp or cold. They are not pretty. But they are mine.
And I can say to a hurting sister - see these? I made it through. I'll stand by you in prayer. I'll stand shoulder to shoulder in silence. I'll interceed on my knees. You are not alone.
Sometimes I think about the scars inside, the ones no one sees but me. They are the hardest because no one sees them unless I speak about them. And then how do I share the darkness in such a way as to point towards the Light?
Sisters, and brothers - we all bear the scars inside and out. My scars are here to let you know I can bear to hear your story. You are not too wounded, too bloody, too betrayed or too ANYTHING for our loving God, and not for me either.
We, as the body of Christ, can be the loving arms of the church embracing our wounded, anointing scars with love, bearing one another's burdens and showing love. Showing grace. Showing humbleness.
There is no competition here. Everyone bears their wounding, their healing and scarring, differently.
What I walked through, might have brought someone else to their knees. What you walked through I cannot imagine bearing. I can't know your pain but I know pain. I can't walk in your shoes but I can be there to walk beside you.
It's not an exclusive club, we are all scarred. It's an inclusive club that we all can be redeemed. It's an inclusive club that not one of us is unworthy of love, of forgiveness or for grace. If you seek it, God won't deny you. He seeks our hearts and souls earnestly. He wishes for reconciliation to His children.
Thank you Lord for loving this bloody mess of a sinner. This surviving, scarred up cowgirl, farm wife and imperfect mama. Thank you Lord for each eye that reads this that is drawn closer to YOU. It is all about YOU. Not me.
Are you hurting? Are you wanting to find the way through to the healing? Can I pray with you? For you? Over you?
Linking up with Jo Ann Fore and the Voice Bloggers as we work through to the healing.