Lately me and messages about wounds and scars have been crossing paths from Pastor TD Jakes to Steven Furtick.
The impactful aspect for me has been the need for us to begin to shake off the shame that comes with our personal scars. A definition for the word scar (cambridge dictionary) is a mark left on the skin by a cut or burn that has healed. Scars represent the place where the accident, the incident and/or the hurt occurred. So, it is a visible reminder of what has occurred in our past. In short it is the evidence of what “has” happened. Others are able to see our scars and sometimes have empathy for what we’ve gone through.
However, when we’ve been hurt mentally or emotionally the scar is not external. A definition for this type of scar is “a sign of damage to a person’s mental state”. It is still a scar, but in this case it is an invisible reminder of what has occurred in our past. In these situations we feel the scar but it is not always clear to others that we’re dealing with the remembrance. It is only if we describe our feelings or if a manifestation of the internal scar occurs that others my learn about our situation. It may show up as anger, sadness, depression, anxiety etc.
But, I think where we sometimes get off track is that we look at or feel our scars and remember the hurt and the incident. But, let’s go back to the definition of scar which states “a mark left on the skin by a cut or burn that has healed“. A definition of “heal” is to make or become healthy or whole again.
While the healing time varies based on the size or depth of the original wound, I think if we can change our perspective of the scar from “remembrance of the hurt” to “evidence of the healing”, we can embrace our transition to wholeness from humiliation and/or distress. Just because we don’t forget does not mean we can’t move past it or through it.
The next time you look at your scar or find yourself thinking back on the wound, change your point of view and remind yourself of the healing that has, is and/or will occur. The scar or memory is an identification of what has happened, not of what we can choose to move into. Scars represent healing.