Perspective, Trusting God

Scars: When We Live with Wounds

Image of yellow flowers with some dead and some still alive

@JeanneTakenaka

I was talking with a friend recently. We both have teenaged boys who are scraping wounds across our mama’s hearts. At times the pain is so raw I still feel like I’m bleeding. 

We both like the song, “Scars” by I Am They. But neither of us feel thankful for the scars right now. As I thought about it, I believe this is okay. In the moment.

Sometimes, we’re still living in a wounded place. We’re still walking in the pain of the strikes against our hearts. 

Meme on an image with white flowers and a damaged leaf. Words say: "Scars are a present reminder of past pain healed by our Father."

Scars indicate healing has occurred. Not skin-polishing perfection, but a mending of a wound. Of a heart. Scars are a present reminder of past pain healed by our Father. 

Healing takes time. At least for my friend and me, it’s been a continual turning to the Lord with our questions, our fears, our disappointments, our brokenness over choices our sons are making. 

The pain is still very much alive, and very much stinging our hearts. 

A caterpillar eating through a milkweed leaf

When open wounds afflict our lives—those things that cause pain too deep for words, that leave burning imprints on our hearts and thoughts—we need to accept that it takes time for the healing to occur.

It’s when the wound is open that we make choices . . . 

. . . we can try to avoid or minimize the pain, to ignore it and pretend everything is fine 

. . . or we can trust our Father when the ache is the most intense. 

We can lean into Him, pouring everything into His loving hands. 

Sometimes it seems easier to ignore the pain of an open wound, to gloss over the hurt as if it’s some minor inconvenience when really, it’s festering and hollowing us out. 

A yellow leaf among brown leaves on the ground

Sooner or later, we must own the pain and what caused it. This is the first step for healing to begin. When we’re honest with our Father about the wound and its impact in our lives, that’s when that’s when a good kind of healing begins.

We can’t go from wound to scar in one snap of the finger. It takes time and trust. 

As we seek the Lord, laying ourselves bare before Him—and we do this as many times as the pain scrapes across the wound—we will begin to recognize His comfort, to know His touch on our hearts and in our lives. 

When the wound is still open and sensitive to the grazing of a word or an action—and we can’t see the work God has done—we can trust He is mending.

Brown leaves hanging on a branch with damage on them.

And though the circumstances that cause the wound may not go away, as we grow in our relationship with our Father . . . 

. . . as we trust Him with the pain and our brokenness . . . 

He begins to heal over the gash, creating a scar.

Scars are beautiful because they give us eyes to see how God has healed, how He walked with us through the pain. That imprinted, imperfect “skin” reminds us of His faithfulness. And, scars remind us of how we’ve grown because we’ve been marked by them.

We will come to the place where the wound doesn’t hurt as much, where the scar protects those tender places from future wounding. 

Red maples leaves with scratches on it

For those of us who walk with wounds, we can give ourselves grace. We don’t have to put on the “happy Christian” face,” and say everything is great, when really? It’s not.

It’s okay to acknowledge that sometimes, the wounds hurt. A lot. 

Scars take time to form. We’ll come to a place when we look back and see how God’s healing fingerprints mended us. That’s when scars fulfill their purpose.

There will come a time when we thank God for His faithfulness, for His healing in our hearts and lives. Our one-day scars will be a part of our story. And they may provide openings to help others find healing for their wounds. 

Burned trees silhouetted by the setting sun

Until then, we turn to the One who loves us most and trust Him to walk with us through the pain.

What about you? When have you seen the Lord’s healing in your life? What are your thoughts on how scars?

*****I will be taking a brief break from blogging next week as I attend a writing conference. I’ll see you back here in two weeks!

Click to Tweet: We can’t go from wound to scar in one snap of the finger. It takes time and trust. 

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

28 thoughts on “Scars: When We Live with Wounds”

  1. I used to have a lot of scars,
    from head to heart to toe.
    I once thought them as memoirs;
    and then I let them go.
    One day a dawn came swiftly,
    as sun leaping from the sea,
    and I knew scars would not lift me
    to the place I had to be.
    My scars were taken far away
    as from east to west,
    where the still small voice did say,
    “Your healing’s my bequest;
    your scars and hurts are scattered, gone;
    I made them Mine, and took them on.”

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  2. Jeanne,
    The other day I got it in my mind to count up the scars from my six year succession of surgeries. The total came to 13 (not so lucky). Each of those scars, though only physical, reminded me of painful and lengthy recoveries in which I needed to lean into the Lord. Emotional scars usually don’t heal as fast. I have more than 13 of those. It is so much easier to run from, deny, ignore the wounds than it is to approach the Lord with those open wounds. It’s only in doing so that we expose ourselves to the ultimate Healer, Restorer, Redeemer, Lord. Some wounds may take a lifetime to heal, but God is faithful to comfort us where it hurts most. Beautiful post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, there is so much in your words. It does seem the physical wounds heal more quickly than the unseen wounds. It’s when we approach the Lord with our wounds that we begin to find healing, isn’t it? I’m so thankful our Father is our all in all who can handle anything we bring to Him. I like how you talked about how your scars from surgeries were a reminder of how you had to lean on the Lord for recovery. Thank you for sharing your insights today, friend.

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  3. This >>> “Scars are beautiful because they give us eyes to see how God has healed, how He walked with us through the pain.” Amen! So grateful for scars that are a reminder but no longer are painful. Our God is so faithful to bring healing in His time and in His way. Beautiful post!

    PS – Enjoy the conference!

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  4. Awww. I’m so sorry you’re going through this wounding time. Jesus is near. He was wounded for our transgressions, and his scars represent a victory. For me, scars represent a history and journey of how God works in my life. It’s easy to see them as results of battles and victories, but that would place the one who wounds as an opponent, not a fellow traveler. Praying for you and your family as you go through this rough patch.

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    1. Anita, I know you walked your own hard path with teenagers. 🙂 Thank you for the reminders of how faithful our Father is to work in my/our lives. And I 100% agree with you…our scars do represent the journey, the history of God’s working in our lives. Thank you for your prayers. They are much appreciated!

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  5. Dear Jeanne, thank you for your candor and encouragement! Who doesn’t have wounds and scars? Only recently I have begun to see the value in the scars, even though God’s Word admonishes us to remember earlier times when He has brought us through. In Old Testament days, the Israelites would gather stones and build a memorial when they had been brought through and blessed. Perhaps, for us, it is our scars that serve as a reminder of His grace. Thanks and blessings for inviting us in as you walk this part of your life journey.

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    1. Alice, you’re right. Scars, like altars, are a reminder to us of how God showed Himself faithful in our lives. And I agree, they are reminders of God’s grace. Thank you for sharing your wisdom here!

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  6. Jeanne, it’s not easy to be thankful for the scars. Our local Christian radio station plays that song often. Yet, the way you describe the wounds of our heart, the pain they cause us, and the Father’s healing, it comes easier to really give thanks “in” the wounding. This is so powerful, “Scars are a present reminder of past pain healed by our Father.” Oh, how comforting I find those words!

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    1. Karen, giving thanks in the wounding or for the scars is a choice, isn’t it? I’m learning that, to have a thankful heart in the painful seasons, I need to humble myself before the Lord and trust that He’s working, even when I can’t see or understand what He’s doing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, friend.

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  7. Praying for you and your boys right now, Jeanne! I’m sorry you’re going through such a hard time but I love how you’re responding by bringing it to God and being honest about the pain. It’s true that scars take time to form, but eventually they can be reminders of God’s faithfulness in helping us through as well as allowing us to comfort others. Hope you have a wonderful time at the writing conference!

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    1. Lesley, I love your words. Yes, scars are definitely a reminder of God’s faithfulness and grace. And you’re right. God does use us to minister to and comfort others. How amazing is that?! I’m looking forward to the conference. 🙂

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  8. I’m so sorry for what you are going through, Jeanne. I love that song, too, but I admit it is hard sometimes to feel thankful for the scars. Thank you for encouraging us to give ourselves grace and to trust our Father with our deep pain and brokenness. This is so true and hope-filled – “When the wound is still open and sensitive to the grazing of a word or an action—and we can’t see the work God has done—we can trust He is mending.” Love and blessings of God’s strength and grace to you and your boys! Also, I hope the conference will be both enlightening and encouraging!

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  9. I love the tenderness in this post even though you are talking about scars. God takes each wounds and heals it in his own way and time. A dear friend, when diagnosed with brain cancer, proudly bright attention to her scars. To her, each one was a gift from God. It changed how I think of my own scars.

    I hope you have a wonderful time at your conference.

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    1. You’re right, Mary. God does take each wound and heal it in His perfect way. Your friend’s perspective must have been amazing to see. Seeing how others respond to scars can definitely alter our own perceptions. Thank you for your words and wisdom!

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  10. Just having a chance to read this post (I’m a bit behind, I think!) But said a prayer for you – and your boys. Praying that this has been a good week and that even in some small way, you have seen God’s hand working. Also, hope that you are having a wonderful time at the conference. I used to love conferences but have not been to one in several years….that now I wonder if I’m too old for such things?!?!:) God bless –

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  11. You may like too, this song from Mandisa–That’s What Scars are For

    “They remind me of Your faithfulness
    And all You brought me through
    They teach me that my brokenness
    Is something You can use
    They show me where I’ve been
    And that I’m not there any more
    That’s what scars, that’s what scars are for”

    Have a wonderful conference!

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