All of us have scars. Some of our scars were caused by accidents we’ve had or by surgeries. Some of our scars may have been self inflicted. Still other scars may not be seen by the human eye, but we have been scarred emotionally when people hurt us or let us down. Most of us are experts at hiding our scars. We are embarrassed or ashamed of them and try to cover them up. We think that they are ugly or a sign of weakness. I know that I struggle with my scars.
Several weeks ago I was in Mexico on a mission trip. I was taking an early morning walk and was praying. The mountains were beautiful and I was watching the sun rise and the Indian people were lighting their fires to start cooking their breakfasts. I had some music playing and was worshiping and I told God that I would no longer be ashamed of my scars. In fact, I told him that I would be proud of my scars. I had scars from Breast cancer, I still felt mutilated from the mastectomy. My hair had still not completely grown back and I could still see my scalp in several places. It embarrassed me and made me feel ugly. I gave God my scars that morning and told him that I would no longer allow the enemy to make me feel ashamed. I really felt like I had a breakthrough, but then something totally unexpected and totally unwanted happened to me. In the darkness of the night, I lost my footing and fell down the mountain. The fall was terrifying, but the worst part was when I busted my head on a steel rail. Blood was everywhere. The doctor who stitched me up said it looked like my forehead had exploded. When it began to heal, my friends said it looked like a Z was slashed there by Zorro’s sword. I lost a lot of hair as I slid down the mountain and now have another scar and I can’t hide this one.
I have a choice. I can allow my scars to make me want to hide from people. I can spend a bunch of money that I don’t necessarily have and try to disguise them, or I can wear them proudly and let them be a platform to share how God can turn my scars into a testimony that can help others.
I was raised in a family where we felt like we always had to put on a smile and pretend that everything was O.K…even when it wasn’t. I was unconsciously taught that I needed to always be “On top” even when I was hurting and afraid. Many of us know how to put a smile on our face and make others think that we are doing great, even when we are falling apart. But Jesus didn’t do that. When his friend Lazarus died, he cried. When he was faced with death in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his friends to pray for him. When he rose from the dead, he showed all of his disciples his scars: the nail prints in his hands and the scar in his side. He used his scars and pain as a testimony to help others and convince them that they can survive and be victorious no matter what they are going through.
What about you? Are you trying to hide your scars that life has dealt you? Are you trying to put on a mask so that everyone around you is unaware of the pain that you are suffering? I pray that you allow God to heal your scars, both physically and emotionally. I pray that the comfort and grace God gives you will then be used to bring his healing power to others and you will be able to help them. Our scars that brought us shame and pain, can now be used to bring hope and victory to others. Let’s wear our scars proudly. After all, my husband tells me that the scar on my forehead makes me look sexy. I know that’s not true, but maybe it gives me a little more character and it definitely gives me the ability to tell some pretty incredible stories. I pray you can wear your scars proudly and testify of God’s supernatural grace and healing in your life.
God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 2 Corinthians 1:4
LaNell and her husband, John Miller, have been married for over 30 years and are pastors at Church on the Rock in Texarkana. Visit her website at MoreThanJustABoob.com or visit their church at ChurchOnTheRock.org.