Wounds, Scars, and Renewal

Ten days from now will mark the twentieth year of my mother’s passing. Now, I am thirty-four with four children, then I was fourteen and the oldest of three children. There are a million things I desire to write in this post, as I know many of you read and follow my jagged grief journey, but the words which may follow are quite unplanned, and a culmination of many burdens within my own heart. 

There are many things for all of our past which can wound and scar a person. Wounded-ness, the evidence of unhealed hurts. Scarring, the evidence of the healing of those wounds.

I have a terrible and jagged, c-section scar. This scar from my first Caesarean surgery was reopened three other times. Each painful reopening of this scar brought forth both a new season and new life.

However, with each reopening, the scar which was life-giving was also the reopening of many stories of pain, but in a weird scientific way, healing.

Wounds heal. The most delicate and intimate wounds are made to heal and the healing of wounds leads to scarring. The scarring makes us who we are. The scarring a permanent marking of  life given and shared, even in the wounded-ness, we are made to heal.

When I think of scars, my immediate reaction is to think of knobbly, unsightly things. Today I went to the doctor with a raised mole, and it was immediately frozen away. Today, in our culture it is quite uncommon to bear knobbly, unsightly things above the social media filters of who we desire to be.

In our current culture, it is quite knobbly to say, I am bumpy, unfiltered, and broken. I have been wounded, and I have been scarred. The wounded wonder, am I loved even when my flesh is knobbly?

As a knobbly person, I have chosen to hide my knobbly places underneath the false mask of “I am okay” for far too long. A culture of anti-embracing scarred-ness has suffocated me.

Twenty-years after my mother’s passing, I am learning the simple truth that it is our scars that prove we have lived life. Our scars are beautiful because our scars are life giving. Scars are knobbly and imperfect, but so is life.

Scars are the evidence of renewal. You cannot change your wounds, but you can embrace the journey, see the scars as proof of healing, and embrace the knobbliness as evidence of healing.

I have spent two decades feeling deeply wounded around this time of year. Looking back to the open wound inflicted twenty years ago when my mother passed away, instead of recognizing my knobbly places as proof of healing.

Our wounds are not scientifically meant to stay open, our wounds are meant to heal. The unsightly scars are the things which make all of us less filtered, and more human.

This year, for me, renewal has meant thinking of my mother at her happiest, and finding that place. Wondering, if she were here, what would I be doing. This year, my family and I are going to the beach in memory of my mom and her smile. My mom was a happy person, she fought with a smile, and was happiest with her family and at the beach. Renewal for me entails embracing scars and creating happier, more emotionally-whole patterns.

I will be sad at the beach, remembering my happy mother. But in some full circle way, this will help me feel whole.

My kindergartener prayed tonight, “God thank you for giving us emotions and allowing us to be happy and sad.” Such a sweet reminder that life is happy, but it is also sad. Life gives wounds, and creates scars of healing. We are all a knobbly mixture of happiness and sadness.

In the bumps and bruises, wounds and scars, God is making all things new. God makes all things new through the wounds, bruises, and scars of Jesus. This week as I look towards the Resurrection and the Easter weekend, I am thankful that the God of the Bible is the One who can identify with those who are wounded and scarred.

By His wounds we are healed. Jesus identifies with the broken.

In my own scarred, knobbly renewal I’d dare to think my mom would rejoice in my knobbly sad and happy scarred-ness. Twenty years feels like a crazy amount of time, but each day I am more hopeful. Each day I believe more and more, that God is making all things new, through wounds and scars.

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