I was meeting with a client a while ago, and the conversation went to things that hurt. I looked at my hand and told a story: When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I was fighting in the alley behind our town home. The girl I was fighting went to our house to open the door and tell my mom. Mom was taking a nap and if someone woke her up, I would have to come inside, so I put my hand on the glass screen door and pushed it closed. My hand went through the door, glass cut me across the wrist and vein, and suddenly blood was everywhere. I had stitches and pain for a while and five decades later I can still see the faint outline of that scar. The scar doesn’t hurt, though. It is merely a reminder of what happened.
Do you have a scar, a limp or occasional pain from an old bone break or fracture? Sometimes we spend so much time concentrating on the scar that we forget the message behind it: there was a battle and you survived to behold the scar. I served with a woman in ministry twenty years ago who found a lump in her breast. She was a woman of great faith and laid hands on and spoke to the lump every day. When she went to the doctor there was no lump and he told her there probably never was. She insisted and asked for a mammogram. The doctor relented and to his surprise, the mammogram showed the presence of scar tissue where my friend had discovered the lump. She believed the scar tissue was evidence of the lump being there, and the healing God accomplished in her body.
Consider this scripture:
"But Jacob stayed behind by himself, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he couldn’t get the best of Jacob as they wrestled, he deliberately threw Jacob’s hip out of joint. The sun came up as he left Peniel, limping because of his hip.
Genesis 32:24-25, 31"
Regardless of your faith or beliefs, we all have been scarred at some time in our lives. The example here is of Jacob who limped away from a battle, but he prevailed. Do you know someone who is ashamed of a scar? I was. Some of us even define ourselves by the scars we have. I want to challenge you to re-define how you view your scars. Some of us bear scars that came from having children, mastectomies, life-saving surgeries, burns or maybe even suicide attempts. Others bear the scars that can’t be seen: you survived rape, incest, domestic abuse, rejection addiction or some other internal injury. Stop and look at your scars. They are evidence of a battle that was fought and that YOU lived to tell about.
And just like Jacob limped away from his battle to take care of his family obligations, you also have purpose to fulfill. Don’t quit. I won’t either.
You are loved,
Michele Aikens is a transitional life coach who also works with leadership teams. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.