This week I have been pondering this insightful quote: “Never be ashamed of a scar, It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.” Zig Ziglar
None of us will go through this life without a few scars gained along the way. We can be scarred by people, hurtful situations, or physical harm. We can allow our scars to keep us afraid, over-cautious, and even isolated. We can allow our scars to cause us to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or just simply uncomfortable with ourselves. Whether our scars are Internal ( wounded emotions) or External ( a physical challenge) – the impact can be very similar.
A year ago I met a beautiful young woman with a sweet spirit and bright eyes. As we sat together she proceeded to take off her sweater to get comfortable. When her sweater was removed I noticed that her arms were covered with burn scars. I asked her what had caused these scars and she told me the sad story about how her boyfriend, in a fit of despair had tried to commit suicide –dousing them both with gasoline and throwing a match! I was stunned to hear such a horrific story! I had to ask~~”How had she managed to have such a sweet spirit after an experience like this? How had she gotten comfortable, socially, with all these extremely noticeable scars?”
Her answers were profound. She said that for her to walk in hurt and anger would have caused her to have the same despair she saw in her ex-boyfriend; she didn’t want that experience to ruin her. She told me that she wasnt defined by the scars on her skin; she was fully alive inside and refused to stop living large! Finally, she told me that she had gained incredible empathy and understanding for others who had experienced situations that caused deep scars externally and internally. Because of this, she was in the process of becoming a child psychologist!
As I think through that story I realize that we all have a choice in how we respond to the scars in our lives. Do we let them define us or do we look to heal and overcome the situation that caused the harm? Can we learn from our scars and become richly empathetic to others around us?
“Scars are not signs of weakness, they are signs of survival and endurance.” Rodney A Winters
“My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed. They are markings of where the structure of my character was welded.” Steve Maroboli
“There is a big difference between a wound and a scar, Because a scar says, ‘I’ve been healed, and this is my story.’” Belinda Elliott
Perhaps these thoughts can give you a fresh perspective on the scars you bear; knowing that God can and will redeem our hurts and give us victory.