“So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are
So forever I am thankful for the scars”
This has recently become one of my favorite songs. The words “I am thankful for the scars ‘cause without them I wouldn’t know your heart” go through my mind several times throughout the day. In my line of work, I am often reminded of my past and there are so many times I want to tell people, “You need Jesus!” But I don’t…
Over the past several months, I have had some family ruckus, and it has brought up a lot of past emotions and memories. I have had days where I am tearful, frustrated, and angry. But then I remind myself of where I am at.
Merriam-Webster defines a scar as “a mark remaining (as on the skin) after injured tissue has healed”. The best part of that statement is after injured tissue has healed.
The difficult things with scars, is that even though they have healed on the outside, doesn’t mean they are healed on the inside. And even when they have healed, they can be tender to touch or bump. There can be a buildup of scare tissue and if you bump that scar just right, the pain can be excruciating.
Our brain is much the same as those physical scars we see. When the scars on our brain are “bumped”, it can activate painful memories and emotions that put you right back into the moment you were hurt.
I already had many scars from the bumps and bruises of childhood. And many others from my adolescence where I struggled with low self-worth, depression, and anxiety. If you look closely, I have a few scars on my wrist from cutting or passive suicide attempts. I have one big scar on my shoulder from cutting where I had to get stitches.
When I am in certain situations or around certain people, those scars the physical and emotional can make me feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. This most often happens when I am around my family and especially my extended Mormon family.
The most recent episode, was recently at my uncle’s funeral. I was speaking with an uncle and a cousin came up and interrupted our conversation. She didn’t even acknowledge that I was having a conversation, she didn’t say excuse me or apologize for interrupting, she didn’t say anything to me. She just butted into our conversation, didn’t even look my way, and spoke with my uncle as if I didn’t even exist. She finished her conversation and walked away without even conceding that I was there, that I am human, and I have feelings. At the same funeral, another cousin who I grew up spending a lot of time with and I was close to, didn’t come up and talk to me. I attempted to talk to her but she was busy and didn’t even look my way. I walked out with my head held high, but inside I felt like that teenage girl who would never be enough.
There was another situation a few months ago were I had another cousin post something about immigration he quoted Matthew 25:40 “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” This cousin has been highly judgmental of me since I left the faith of my childhood and have walked away from many of the toxic relationships that fed into my feelings of not being enough.
These situations come up more often than I like to admit. I think it is easy to feel ashamed by my scars, especially when I am in a place of struggle. My scars can weigh me down and make feel embarrassed and worthless. It is in these times I am so grateful for my God and the knowledge I have that He loves me and created me to be who I am.
One thing I have realized recently is that Jesus had scars. He was God in human form. When He was resurrected and showed himself to the apostles, he had scars. Thomas didn’t believe it was Jesus until He showed him His scars. John 20:27 “Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here see my hands. Reach out you hand and put it to my side. Stop doubting and believe’”.
Jesus had the ability to heal himself of the scars. To make it so the physical marks of his torture and anguish for our sins were gone, and He kept them. Christ’s scars are a reminder to me of His humanness. A reminder that he knows my pain. He struggled and suffered as a human. He was tempted but resisted sin in a way I can’t so He would be a Holy sacrifice for me.
As I have grown in my life and healed, from the traumas of my past, I have realized, it is my own negative self-talk that brings me down and holds me hostage the most. I am grateful for the scars, and the experiences from each one. I know it sounds sort of cliché. But I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those experiences and with those comes the scars. It is part of what makes me human and makes me, me.
If I didn’t have the experiences, I wouldn’t know Christ, I wouldn’t be where I am today and I wouldn’t have met all the people along the way who have helped me become me. So, I am thankful for the scars.
I’m Just a Small-Town Girl…Living in a world where I am thankful for the scars.