By definition, a scar is a mark left on the skin after a surface injury or wound has healed; a lingering sign of damage or injury resulting from suffering or trauma.
We all have them, some more visible than others. A reminder of something we would rather forget, but have you ever wondered why after the healing has taken place those scars remain? Are they intended to be a reminder to us or to those who come in contact with us, or both? These are questions I have asked myself for years, long after the events have passed and my scars take me back to the pain all over again when something triggers it.
Each traumatic life altering event I survived God left me with a permanent mark on my skin. I have three. They appear on my face and look like moles but flesh colored instead of being darker and more visible. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that it actually occurred to me that each mark coincided with very traumatic events from my past. I personally think God gave them to me as a reminder that what someone else intended for harm, He is still using for good to grow his kingdom.
But the scars that left the most damage can’t been seen. These are the scars on my soul that steal my joy, threaten my peace, and attempt to destroy everything God has worked so hard to heal in me. Even as a sit here trying to describe the damage that was done, I can’t even put it into words. The pain goes too deep. It is as if saying it out loud will somehow give satan power to use it to hurt me all over again.
If you have been abused physically, emotionally, or spiritually, you can grasp the depth of such pain. You know all too well what it feels like to be living life long after that chapter has been closed, thinking you are healed and to be completely caught off guard by something that takes you right back to the trauma. In that moment all of those fears and insecurities rush over you like a tidal wave, knocking the breath out of you, leaving you thinking there is no hope; thinking this is my reality and I will never be able to conquer these fears.
Romans 8:36-37 states, “Just as it is written and forever remains written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE ARE REGARDED AS SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us.] Conquerors through Christ!
Romans 5:3-4 states, “And not only this, but [with joy] let us exult in our sufferings and rejoice in our hardships, knowing that hardships (distress, pressure, trouble) produce patient endurance, proven character (spiritual maturity); and proven character, hope and confident assurance [of eternal salvation].”
I recently watched a sermon on suffering that changed everything. What if our suffering is the very thing necessary to advance us to the next level of trust in God? What if that very suffering propels us into the very calling God created us for? And what if by sharing the story of our suffering, someone else finds hope in the midst of their pain?
Christ lives in you and me, calling us to be Jesus with skin on to those around us until His return. So my suffering, your suffering, every ounce of pain leads us all right back to where it all started: POINTING BACK TO HIM!