On Sunday the pastor continued his sermon series titled, “The Journey”. After his surgery to remove skin cancer he was given a cream. The nurse instructed him to apply the medication daily and it would diminish the ugly scar on his leg.
“I don’t want it”, the pastor told his nurse. “I want the scar to remain so I can remember my journey.”
I have deep, deep scars on my heart and my life. They are left from the cuts, bumps, scrapes, tumbles, and run-ins I’ve experienced during my family’s journey over the past several years.
Some of my wounds were self-inflicted. Other people dumped some of the emotional trauma on me, and I was left with nasty scars. Their ugly behavior was caused by their submission to drugs, selfishness, anger, jealousy, or plain old sin. Whatever the cause, I carry the marks with me wherever I go.
Scars on our bodies are created when new skin and tissue grow where the old skin has been damaged, cut, or ripped away. An injury or incision of any kind always causes pain—sometimes a little and sometimes more than it seems possible to bear. But, healing happens naturally, and the imperfections left behind are evidence of that healing.
The brain sends out signals to the rest of the body that say, “Hey, we’ve been wounded! All hands on deck! Blood vessels, cells, muscles…you all know what to do—now get to healing!” The healthier the body - the quicker the healing.
Restoration for me took longer than it should have in some torn areas because the body failed to come to my aid (church, family, etc…). But healing has occurred and great growth has changed me for the good, and has added purpose to my life.
I love my scars. They remind me of where I’ve been and where I never want to go again. They keep me grounded and focused on what’s really important in life. They are a constant reminder that new growth fills in the empty holes left after the old is ripped away.
A family member once chastised me to “stop blaming the past for where you are.” That’s just silly. If I lost my legs in a car accident my life would be forever changed. I wonder if anyone would say, “Liz, stop blaming the car accident for losing your legs.”
I don’t blame the ugly experiences for where I am today anymore than I blame my childhood tumbles for the small scars on my bodies. They just are. The marks remind me of all we’ve survived!
I am grateful for where we are and for how far we’ve come. The fact that my children are alive is nothing short of a bona fide miracle. The scars remind me and I am happy to have them. They are evidence of survival and fabulous new growth!