My body is riddled with scars.
It’s quite an ugly sight at first glance.
The toll of having 3 1/2 (that’s for another day) c-sections is only the beginning. I’ve had numerous abdominal surgeries, central lines in my neck that left vampire bites, and a couple childhood mishaps, all which left deep scars that will never go away.
Society tells men that scars are macho and they should carry them proudly, while women are encouraged to cover and fix them as if the imperfection will deem them unacceptable.
There have been so many times I have tried to rid my body of these “flaws”. My drawers are full of creams and concealers to hide the marks. Clothing helps, obviously, to cover up the dark lines that appear as trenches along my abdomen, but I still remain unsatisfied.
We all carry scars, but some are not as visible. Some are not on the skin but are deep within the heart and mind. But like the ones that are present for the eye to see, the scars of the soul are often encouraged to be hid, covered, or disguised. It may seem impossible to do that with the heart, but I assure you we all do it every day.
How many times have we been asked, “How are you?” by a person and simply responded, “Fine.” This may indeed be true, but oft times, it is far from fact.
We hide our pain and hurt, confusion and insecurity, even our anger and frustration behind smiles and pleasantries. We go about with our busyness and entertainment as to numb and dull the ache, all the while buying some time until our scar shows again.
What we all need is that someone that we can stand before, emotionally naked, and share the tough, thick lines of our spirit. One that doesn’t cringe at the sight of our ugly, painful marks that are reminders of the previous pathways that were taken. It is incredibly hard to find that kind of person, because the reality is, we don’t want to bare our scars and let them breath. It feels much safer to hide them, safely tucked away in the dark places for no one to see.
My husband doesn’t even notice my scars on my body anymore. When they were healing, he tenderly cared to them, watching for infection, offering ointment to help mend the wound. But now, he sees nothing but me. They are not new or alarming. They are intrinsic to my body. The same goes to the wounds of my heart and soul. As we have grown together throughout the years, he has accepted more and more about my past, the good, bad, and ugly. He acknowledges that though he does wish I never needed to get the scars in the first place, they have made up bits of who I am, some more than others.
My physical marks are reminders of some of the most beautiful and wonderful things that have ever happened to me. The birth of my three girls, though very difficult and physically altering, have brought about the most wonderful parts of my own life. He gets it. And he loves those scars for that.
The wounds of loss that litter my past have given me a sense of humanity and compassion that I know he cherishes about me as well.
If only we would embrace our physical and emotional scars this way.
The most famous and eternity changing scars in the history of mankind came from the greatest harrowing act of death in existence. But the nails that pressed through Christ’s hands, left a mark for all of eternity uttering the words, “I love you.”
If Christ’s scars can be valuable and stunning reminders to us, then why can our own wounds not bring about the same expression of thought? Why not begin to embrace what was so that we can become what we should? I realize this is not an easy thing to do, but when we can take the things that we have no control over and allow God to use them, then we are taking old and making new.
These marks on my heart are deep and wide
These scars were not always here
But now will I quietly abide
And perhaps shed a tear
You are my Maker, Creator, and Friend
And I see you making me new
The pain from my wounds will one day end
But for now, I will draw to You