I used to be cutter. As a teenager, one of the only ways I knew how to deal with my emotions was to put a razor blade to my skin. It is not something I am necessarily proud of but the shame I used to feel has since vanished. It has been almost 3 years since my last cut and all that remains are the memories and scars. The Beautiful scars.
As a teenager, the scars represented power- and they were the definition of who I thought I was- damaged. Each scar was another reminder that I was flawed, not pretty enough, and unlovable. I loved my scars because they were the physical proof that I would never be good enough. But secretly, my scars carried more shame than I would have ever been willing to admit. I would stand in the mirror and allow the lies to pour over me until I believed every whisper.
Those days are far behind me. The rescue from my dark addiction is a story for a different day. I want to focus on the power my scars give me today- because whether physical or emotional, self inflicted or given to us by someone who is supposed to love us, we all have scars. Scars that become the definition of who we think we are and scars that hold us back from all that we are capable of accomplishing. Even a year ago, I took extra lengths to cover the thin, pale scars that still remain. I was ashamed- not of them but of what they represented to me- those lies that I continued to believe. Today my perception of those scars is much different. I no longer feel the need to cover my scars because they are a reminder of where I’ve been and what I’ve overcome.
The cool thing is that by my own attempts to find healing and recovery from my past, I turned to behavior that was destructive. I further buried myself into a deep pit of lies, wounds and self hate that became so deep that I was incapable of finding my way out. The second I released that struggle to God, the struggle lost its power.
I realized that it took so much more than my own willpower and desire to find the healing I needed. It took the beautiful scars of Jesus Christ who took my shame upon himself and replaced it with His purity and His forgiveness. His scars which were given to Him by people just like me, people who have broken the heart of our Father over and over again. So today when I look at my own scars, I am reminded of the sacrifice that rescued me.
Scars take on many shapes and forms. They may be physical, emotional, or wounds to the heart. They may be a result of poor choices or they may be the infliction of others upon us but whatever scars you have, I challenge you to change your perspective. Do not hide the pieces of your past that have played such a huge role in shaping the person you are today. Do not allow yourself to continue to harbor shame when your shame has been taken from you and is as far from you as the east is from the west. Let the scars of your Savior touch you, heal you and redeem you. I challenge you to see your scars as your beautiful path of redemption.