The appendix is a funny organ. When functioning correctly, no one realizes it is there. When that joker starts to act up, everyone knows it is there! I’ll never forget sitting in the waiting area of the emergency room screaming in pain. Seriously y’all, I’d rather have another child without drugs than ever go through that again. Kidney stones run a very close second to the pain of appendicitis. VERY close second. I have a huge scar from my encounter with a cranky appendix. By the time doctors finally realized what was wrong, and got me into surgery, the appendix burst as they were lifting it out. Infection poured into my body. I’ll spare you the gory details that followed. Let’s just say it took several weeks and a time of reopening the wound without anesthesia or deadening the wound before I was healed. I did heal, and I have a huge scar on my low abdomen to show for it. Then there was the time I feel off of my bike when I was a kid, and when I had ankle surgery. My body has many scars to show for the years I’ve been on this earth.
For most of us, scars are something that we try to hide. Something we see as ugly, and embarrassing, needing as little public attention as possible. I felt that way for so many years, and then I met Jesus, and began counseling for the scars of my life. Not those scars that could be seen. Those were not the ones causing the biggest problem in my life. It was those horrible scars that could not be seen. The ones hiding deep within my heart and soul. Those emotional scars left by years of emotional abuse. Those scars were even worse in my mind than the ones that were visible. Those were the ones I truly feared would make me unloveable, unworthy, and the assortment of other uns I shared with you in my series on bricks. I needed to do something about those scars. The questions was…how? I couldn’t use makeup, sassy socks, or long pants to cover those scars. I began to try to find ways to cover those scars, and then I counseled with a dear pastor friend.
Scars, he said were part of my life. They weren’t to be covered, they were to be embraced. What? These ugly uns were to be embraced? I was certain he was off of his rocker, but I continued to listen. Over time, what he said began to make sense. My scars were proof of a life I have lived, and proof of experiences in my life. Those scars made me who I am today. They etched places into my very soul, and guess what…those scars are beautiful. Y’all, don’t miss this…your scars are beautiful! Follow me here sister. Jesus had scars on his hands, feet, and side. When He was raised from the dead, those scars were used by many to prove to them that He was in fact the very Jesus they had watched be tortured and killed on that cross. They were the very scars on that poor broken body that were wrapped in grave-clothes and buried in that borrowed tomb. Y’all, those scars changed lives. They were, and today are a testimony to the goodness of God. Those scars changed lives as they were used to prove the faithfulness of God. Dear sister, our scars prove the faithfulness of God!
I recently began reading a book by Sharon Jaynes called, “Your Scars Are Beautiful to God”. Sharon says, “I believe that scars are not something we need to hide or be ashamed of, but rather an invitation to share the healing power of Jesus Christ with a hurting world. For a scar, by its very definition, implies healing. Y’all, that’s exactly what I had learned just a few years previous to reading this book! I believe it dear sister! Want to know why? My willingness to share my scars, rather than hide them, has led to a ministry to woman like you who can see the beauty of God through the suffering and challenges I have faced in my life. Many of you have faced the same challenges. If I had covered up my scars and hid them away, I would have kept myself from being fully available to God for His work. Y’all, I wouldn’t want to miss this journey with you for anything. This journey with God into ministry is amazing. Dear sweet sister, don’t cover up your scars, they make you who you are. They show proof of God’s promises and healing in your life. Through those very scars that we think are ugly…God sees beauty that He can use. Beauty that brings Him glory. He give us purpose because of those scars.
Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” Dear sister, won’t you stop hiding those scars…those permanent marks caused by a wound in your life. Remember this, if you have a scar, your painful wound has been healed. So now, embrace it and tell your story of how God changed you, how He healed you, and how special a scar really can be. My dear sister, if you’re not yet ready to share that scar, I understand. I’ve been there myself. It took 40 years for me to be willing to share some of my scars. They took an incredibly long time to heal, but they did just that…healed. Trust God to heal your scars. If they are still painful, ask the Great Physician to heal them, for when you ask, He will provide. Then, when they are healed…use them in a mighty way to show the story of how God provided and changed your life.