The other night I sat across the table of a group of women. Remarkable women.
All beautiful and all with scars.
These are real everyday kind of women. The kind that smile and give you hugs when you see them. The kind that laugh at the funny stuff, shake their heads at the nonsense, sit with a friend in need, and love their people like crazy. They are also the kind that push themselves each day, run late, miss deadlines, yell at their kids, get irritated behind the wheel, and cry.
Real everyday kind of women.
Each of them have a story uniquely theirs. Each story has pain. Pain from loss and pain from gain. Pain from lack and pain from abundance. Pain from error and pain from fate.
Each has a story and each has hope.
As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me. Micah 7:7
It’s a hope for what will come. That a day will come where the pain eases. It is a hope for joy to return. It is a hope that the scars left behind will aid in writing a story greater than we could have ever dreamed.
… For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it. Habakkuk 1:5
Sharon Jaynes wrote a book titled Your Scars Are Beautiful to God. In talking about the book she described scars as the remaining mark of a healed wound. She said, “There is a big difference between a wound and a scar, because a scar says, ‘I’ve been healed, and this is my story.’”
I love that because when we are healed and willing to share the story of our scars, God is able to use us as He heals others. Think of an actual physical scar you may carry. I have a great big one on my knee from a reconstruction many years ago. People always ask me what happened to my knee. It begins a conversation. Just as those physical scars are a reminder of a healed wound, my emotional scars are a reminder to share both my story and the hope that comes from it. What Satan meant for harm, now has been transformed into good. Just as God promises! He doesn’t want to see any of us hiding our story, suffering from the secrecy while allowing the enemy to rejoice. The truth of our story is our victory and the enemy’s defeat!
It is the beauty recreated from the ashes of our pain.
To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3
Pain, challenges, struggle are all a part of who we are – all of us. No one escapes it. We each have a choice as to what we will do with it. We can crumble by the weight of it, hide it, and be defeated by our sin. Or we can choose to take the free gift of grace and forgiveness being offered by the One Who redeems. We can give it to Jesus. He’ll take the burden from you, heal it, and give it new meaning and a purpose. Choosing to share the story of your scars makes you able to share the story of your Healer.
Father, from the view we have, our pain and struggles often seem without meaning. We vacillate between anger, sadness, and depression. Lord, be our Courage and Strength as we step through it. Bring us to a place where the pain eases and the joy begins to return. To a place where we can share the story. Remind us … engrave upon our hearts your hope for a wound that heals and leaves a scar. A scar that will give us a story to bring another to You, the great Healer. You know the purpose of our wounds, so I ask that we each surrender them. Surrender our pain. Surrender our anger. Surrender it all to You so that You can take the ugly … what the enemy meant for harm and destruction, and make a good come somehow, some way from the depths of what now only appears to be ugly. I pray we give You our ashes so that You can trade them for beauty. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen
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