Most would say that a scar is evidence of a wound, but I see it as evidence of being healed.
I will admit, I hadn’t always thought this way until I began opening the wounds so that healing may begin. Then, I had learned to embrace being Scarred for Life. It is my hope that in this Scarred for Life series you will too.
Each of us have scars, but we wear them differently. For some of us they are not readily seen by the naked eye, and because they’re not, they’re not as susceptible to the rejection or approval of man. You can walk into a room with your unseen scar and no one will be able to know that you’ve been hurt physically and emotionally behind that smile. Yet, for others, they can be seen and the realization of the pain, physical and emotional, is clear to the naked eye. The scar is a source of initial and continual pain as the scar bearer seeks the approval of man from society, from the world. And, ultimately, to seek the approval of themselves. It is only when they find they are Scarred for Life that they can love themselves and find their blessed purpose in life to others.
Like many of you, my scars were not readily seen to the naked eye due to the experiences I suffered in life. They were hidden sources of pain, scars that ran deeper into my soul and crushing my spirit. They were not obvious perse, but only in the anger that I expressed could one see, if they looked deep enough, that hurt had been present. For the other side of anger is hurt. And, one might see that a time in which I chose to numb pain through substance abuse only compounded the self-hatred and shame I bore inside. Or, the many ways I fell prey to the seductiveness of drivenness, perfectionism, and commitments in the name of “good works” did others not see that I was trying to control what I could in the physical to hide what I couldn’t control in the mental and emotional. I was trying to gain my identity in the “good works” so that I can feel better about myself; broken dreams of a little girl, a broken marriage, a broken spirit. Therefore, like me, many of us hide behind our smiles, jobs, titles, good works, and addictions of many kinds so as to mask the pains and hurts that have scarred us deep down inside. For a long time, I kept my emotional scars of life to myself for fear of being judged and rejected by man. The scars that I bore before and after my walk with the Lord would eventually be pulled up to the surface, not for shame, but because God wanted to heal my pain and make me whole again.
“The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves those whose spirit is crushed.” ~Psalm 34:18
I liken the healing God brought and continues to bring throughout my life to a major surgery following a traumatic life event. I will use our daughter’s traumatic accident as an example and by no means am I saying that God planned her accident to teach her some great lesson in life. This is just to demonstrate how God brought my hidden scars of emotional and physical pain to the surface, healed them, and continues to heal them in my life.
A child of God is able to overcome life’s traumas with His help and, in turn, help others in the process. This is how the Body strengthens one another and remains a light of hope and love in a hurting world. I have used “OVERCOMER” as an acronym below outlining the steps God has walked me through in the healing and recovery process.
Openly acknowledge what happened and that your excitant feelings are normal reactions to abnormal circumstances.
Voice your feelings with those you trust, encouraging and reassuring you that you will be OK.
Entreat some TLC.
Remove the dirt.
Careful to avoid infections
Oh, apply those dressings!
Make sure you PT!
Embrace life and your Little Victories!
I will share these steps as I did with AJ in more detail in a series of posts called “Scarred for Life,” in hopes to bring healing to you too.
On a final note, I understand that others may not have walked through such traumatic events emotionally or physically. Nor do I believe that in order for you to be greatly used by God that you had to have walked through some traumatic events in your life to qualify you as an effective believer and child in His kingdom. God uses all people for His glory to touch the diversity that makes up our world. Having walked through some traumatic event(s) in your life doesn’t make one any stronger or more special a believer than the next person. Our identities are not in our scars. Scars are reflections of what happened to us, and they can be a reflection of our healing if we let it. Our identity is in Him, and He is what makes all things beautiful and whole again.
Scarred for Life: First Steps to the Healing in Life’s Trauma’s.
~Laurie for the PopTribe