Embracing Your Beautiful Scarred Story
I’ve lived the lie. At various points in my life, I’ve determined to let others see only the best parts of me. The beautiful parts. The parts they’ll applaud and find useful.
We all know how to bolster the beautiful and hide the unsightly in an attempt to find acceptance and avoid judgment. We all, to some degree or another, conceal the scars of abuse, neglect, rejection, and failure so others don’t see them.
But what if we chose to be vulnerable? What if we didn’t hide the scars life has given us? Then what? Will others pity us? Blame us? Define us by them? Render us weak? Unusable? Maybe some will.
But what if you knew the truth?
Then none of that would matter. Because truth sets us free and I would love to share a truth I’ve come to know.
Scars can be ugly. But scars don’t make us ugly. It is possible to be beautifully scarred.
If you think I’m wrong, can you just look at Jesus as proof? Jesus walked this earth as holy and wholly God. Yet He died having suffered gross abuse and rejection, and carrying the load of everyone else’s sin. Can you relate?
But that’s not the end of the story. Jesus rose from the ashes of what looked like defeat and claimed victory over every sin and every death. He carried our sin and that of every other so that we don’t have to. And you know my favorite part?
When Jesus arose from the darkness of a dead man’s tomb into light and life, he still had scars.
And he didn’t hide his scars, but he held them out to be seen and touched so that others might believe. His scars didn’t hinder him, but validated him.
Could it be that our scars aren’t meant to be hidden either? But held out so that others might believe that life can come from death, victory can rise from defeat, and that Jesus has the power to turn ugly scars into a beautiful testimony?
My story includes the scars of abuse, failure, rejection, and fear. But my story is beautiful. It has ugly pieces I wouldn’t want to relive and much I’d like to rewrite, and yet it is an amazing story of God’s incredible love and compassion.
It took a long time for me to grasp the depth of God’s love for me because he allowed some indescribable pain. However, I’ve come to see that He loves us all enough to give us choice, and when others use their freedom of choice to wound, he holds the wounded closely to his own scarred side. I hope you can understand that. I don’t resent my past or anyone in it. I’m grateful for all of it. Because all of it is who I am. I am beautifully scarred.
I didn’t enjoy the pain that gave me these scars, but I enjoy the fruits of it. Through it, I know what the real presence of God feels like because He’s held me most when I’ve been most broken. Through it, I’ve gained a heart of compassion. I’ve learned to forgive and to be forgiven. And all of it makes me more useful, not less. The hard places have taught me to seek freedom and joy despite chains that could have held me captive and pain that could have choked out that joy. Despite battling the occasional assault that says otherwise, I am not damaged by life, but restored by the hand of God. Who could ever think that’s a bad thing!
What’s your story? What beautiful scars do you hide that you need to embrace?
I want you to know, sweet friend, that your scars don’t make you ugly. Your scars are beautifully becoming.