Heart with cracks copy

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

We all have them. I still wear scars from the time I tripped while running up cement steps. One step tore a piece of my shin skin away. Or the one on my right hand from where I was practicing my starts for a backstroke race and the back of my hand met the bottom of the pool. They’re small visible reminders of past pains . . . and lessons learned.

They bled, scabbed, and healed over. Skin slightly warbled, but still good for go into every day life.

Yellow spotted leaf

I also wear scars that aren’t seen. The unseen scars are the ones that have a harder time healing. The wounds inflicted on a young, sensitive girl by other kids who carried unseen scars of their own, even by the age of ten. The cruel words, the mean actions, still resurrect themselves in my heart from time to time.

The manipulative treatment by a boyfriend while in college. His words and rejection scraped my heart wide open. Cut into those childhood scars.

Old Truck 2

Old Truck

The “skin” healed over that wound, but it still gets ripped open, sometimes, when someone does or says something hurtful.

These wounds are scabbed, but not healed. Some may never completely heal this side of heaven.

Heart in tree

Here’s something I’ve learned from those unseen scars. They’ve helped mold me into the person I am today. This isn’t all good.

The insecurity that still surfaces at the most unexpected times.

The thoughts that cast internal doubt when people say they genuinely care for me.

The tendency to back out of relationships before someone can open that scar up again.

The tendency to avoid conflict.

On the flip side, I believe these scars have made me more aware of what people are feeling. Perhaps they have nurtured compassion for others. Perhaps these scars have encouraged a tenderness toward people that would not otherwise have become a part of my makeup.

Some wounds heal up with no outward evidence that they were ever there. Other wounds leave scars, grooved skin. They change appearances, and sometimes people’s perceptions.

Quiet Road

These scars may never disappear they do lead me into greater dependence on God. Leaning hard on Him when the pain sears.

The scars I wear have affected my identity, the way I view myself, and the way I suspect others view me. I am learning to cling to the truths of what God says about me. He says He cherishes me. He values me. He has loved me with an everlasting love.

When those wounds get re-opened, these are the truths I cling to. Otherwise, those ripped-wide scars will bleed all over me, and those around me. And it’s not pretty.

Pink Orchids

Some scars will never be healed this side of heaven. One thing I look forward to when I get to heaven is that we will all be made new. The scars this earth inflicted will either be erased or made beautiful.

Jesus wears scars . . . we’ll see them when we hug Him that first time. The bible tells us the scars of His crucifixion are still on His wrists, His ribcage, His feet. They will be the ugly-to-beautiful reminder of how very much He loves us.

Red tulips

Scars change us. Scars transform us into a deeper version of who God wants us to be. Do I like that I wear these scars? No!

But I will choose to lean into Him, and let Him use them to shape me into the woman He desires me to be. A woman after His own heart.

What about you? How do you deal with the scars from your past? What truths do you tell yourself when those scars are re-opened?

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