There is a quote that I love that always makes me think. I have a big ugly scar on my leg. That’s what I think when I look at it. Ugly. In the past I have been really self conscious about it. Most summers I wore long pants to cover it. I hated when I noticed people notice it. I didn’t want people to see it. So I hid it.
But I realize some things…
• We all have scars; both physical and emotional
• We typically hide our scars, I know that I hide mine
• Our scars make other people uncomfortable so, we don’t show them; for fear of what others will think, fear of seeming weak, of being judged, being misunderstood, _______________________.
But our scars tell a story. Mine tells a story.
Scars originate with pain, whether it be physical or emotional. Sometimes, and in my case, the origin is both. My scar began as open wound. A literal, physical open wound. The instant I received that physical wound was the instant my heart became an open wound; both resulting in the most unexplainable pain I had ever felt.
The wound on my leg took a long time to heal. I use the word heal lightly because I wouldn’t say that it actually healed. After a long and painful period of time, it closed up. But it left a big “ugly” mark on my leg that will never go away. It has changed and improved over these last 5 years; it has faded, although it is still very visible to the eye.
The story behind that scar is one that tells the story of the open wound in my heart, the wound that is not visible to the eye. This wound is much more painful. It is a story of loss and sorrow, of suffering and grief, sadness and anger, fear and isolation…
This wound isn’t so easily “closed.”
Neither will ever fully heal. They will never go away.
You see, for whatever reason, I am supposed to be here. I’ve often wrestled with the burning question, why?? That is a question that I will never truly understand on this side of heaven. I do know that there are two young people that almost lost two parents in the same day. They needed me. I also know that my work here isn’t done. I don’t fully know what that entails but I do believe we all have a purpose. I also know that life is precious. I know that our days are numbered, tomorrow is not promised.
We can choose to let the pain behind our scars keep our wounds from closing. We can choose to hide our “ugly” scars and live in fear; fear of judgment, fear of being misunderstood, fear of being seen as weak and vulnerable. We can let the pain overtake us and keep us from fulfilling our purpose.
Whatever pain and scars you are trying to hide, may not ever fully heal. But, when you face them, when you show them, when you overcome them; there will be a story, a testimony of what you have made it through. That story just might help someone else who would otherwise be overtaken by the pain, that otherwise might choose to lay down and quit living.
I’m don’t hide my visible scar anymore. It is a constant reminder of loss and pain for sure. But, it is also a reminder of where I’ve been, what I have made it through and of what should have, could have, but did not end me.
“My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.” ~ Steve Goodier