Tag Archives: scars

Finding Healing


Several years ago, I went through some very dark times in my life that I wasn’t sure I’d make it through. They left some very deep scars that I thought would never heal. Instead of going through a true healing process, I decided that it was best to treat that portion of my life as if it were a dream. I covered the wounds and vowed to never speak of them again. I thought that if I pretended it never happened, then I wouldn’t feel the pain of it. That seemed to work for a while until Dave Roever spoke at our church one Sunday. 

Dave is a Vietnam veteran who had a phosphorus grenade blow up in his hand near his head as he was throwing it. He survived the explosion, but as a result of the explosion, he has a very disfigured face and hand. He told his story of his recovery and how God has used that terrible event to help him reach so many vets for Christ. Then he wrapped up his sermon by saying, “Don’t hide your scars. For in them, others will find their healing.”

I knew at that point it was time to unwrap my wounds to let them heal. I had to dig down inside, bring up all that hurt again to deal with it properly so God could use my story to help others find their healing. That’s how this site began actually. It was a way for me to process the hurt, but also a way for others to find their healing too. II Corinthians 1:4 says, “He (God) comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us” (MSG).

I don’t know the pain you’ve been through or are going through, but I do know that God has never left your side. He wants to help you heal your wounds so that He can bring others along side you who are going through something similar. He wants to use your scars to bring healing to others if you’re willing to let Him. Their situation may not be identical to yours, but the pain is the same and so is the healing process. Don’t hide your scars. Let God use them to help someone else who desperately needs your story.

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Shoveling Through a Mountain

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I haven’t been able to get this image out of my head. What you see is the same picture, but one is a close up. That is a man shoveling through that mountain one spade full at a time. We encountered him on the road from Port au Prince to Gonaives on our second day. Ever since then I have thought about him and the work he is doing. At first I felt sorry for him. Tackling a mountain with a shovel is a huge task. He may never get through it, but that isn’t stopping him from shoveling.

Each of us face mountains in our lives. Few of us have the faith it takes to say to that mountain, “Move and be thrown into the sea.” So we sit in the valley and wait. We lack the strength or courage to go over it. So we don’t accomplish what God has for us to do. We make our home in the darkness of the valley. We forget what life in the light is. We forget what joy is. We loosen our grip on our faith and wonder where God is.

Not this man. He looked at that mountain and said, “I may not have the strength or ability to go over you, so I will go through you!” He picked up a shovel and started digging. I imagine it has taken years to get this far. For him, the first few shovels, the first week, first month and year may not have seemed like he was making progress. I’m sure all he could see was that mountain and not what he’d moved.

Recovery doesn’t come quickly. Healing is a process that can take years. There will always be scars from our past. We can choose to embrace them or we can keep them hidden. Jesus didn’t choose to hide His scars, so why do we? In fact, He encourage others like Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound on my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” Others find hope in your scars. They find faith in your wounds.

If God has brought you through a mountain of pain, share your story to help others believe they can make it. If you’re shoveling through your mountain right now, don’t give up. You are making progress that you may not be able to see from your perspective right now. If you are camped in the darkness, looking at your mountain thinking, “I’ll never get through this,” there is hope. God’s Word is your light in that dark place. Speak scriptures out loud. Look in Psalms and read there. David went through some dark times too.

Your life is precious to God and others. Don’t let that mountain block your vision of what God has for you. He is greater than that mountain and if He is with you, what can stand against you? Certainly not that mountain! Let hope arise in your soul today. You are a child of God made for victory. You’re going to have to pick up that shovel though and start digging. It takes time and effort. You can do this. You can shovel through this mountain.

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Forgiveness

How do you forgive the unforgivable? How do you come to the place where you can forgive someone for the ultimate betrayal? When you’ve trusted someone with everything and they stab you in the back as they take it all away, it’s hard to come to that place. It’s even more difficult when you have daily reminders. It’s like someone is just twisting the knife in you. The pain becomes unbearable. Not understanding why just makes it more difficult.

For me, I’ve had to let go of that last question to come to a place of forgiveness. The question of why will eat you up like a cancer. It causes you to hold on to the pain, the depression and it keeps the wounds open. I tried to drown my pain. I tried to run from it too. I did anything and everything I could to find a way to get rid of the constant reminders. I eventually covered up the wound and just pretended that it didn’t exist.

If I could forget it happened, I could numb the pain. If I could pretend it was a bad dream, somehow it would make me forget. Over time, that seemed to work. It sat there though dormant waiting in the dark. I would never be able to forget or make the scars go away though. It wasn’t until I confronted the pain, the hurt and the scars that I found forgiveness.

I heard Dave Roever speak about a year ago. His body is riddled with physical scars from having a phosphorous grenade blow up by his head as he was throwing it. His words pierced me. He said, “Don’t hide your scars. In them lies healing for you and for others.” Could it be that by hiding the scars and withholding forgiveness I was preventing myself and others from healing? I now know he was right. By looking at what happened and uncovering the layers of things I used to cover up the pain, I was able to find forgiveness.

Jesus gave the best example of forgiveness as He was on the cross. He was able to look the men in the eye who beat Him, mocked Him and betrayed Him. He was able to find forgiveness while the nails were still in His hands. He was able to find peace while the blood was pouring out of His body and say, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” He was able to see the whole plan of what was happening. You and I aren’t afforded that luxury.

It took years to see the plan and the reasons why. The betrayal in my life knocked me completely off the path I was on and put me on another one. It changed my outlook, the way I think and ultimately who I am. If it hadn’t been for that one act, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Being able to have that perspective this far away is what helped me find forgiveness. I know that what happened, while it hurt deeply and still does, was a course correction that God used to get me where He wanted me.

If they were the tool that God used to get me here, how can I withhold forgiveness? When I withhold forgiveness, I can’t be who I am supposed to be. It will keep me in a prison of pain and bitterness and I will miss what God has for me. I knew the day would come when I would have to forgive because Jesus also said, “If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Were the sins committed against me any worse than my sins against God? No. He found a way to forgive me, I have to find a way to forgive others.

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Trials, Tests and Scars

Each of us will have difficult times in our lives. Some of us experience short bursts of hard times while others, it seems, are destined to live a life of hardships. I’m not sure why it happens this way, but I do know that in either case, it doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other. Matthew 5:45 says that it rains on the just and the unjust alike.

Whether you’ve experienced minimal hardships in life or you have so many deep wounds that you are covered by scars, there is reason and purpose behind your pain. For years I hid my pain and scars. I closed that chapter in my life so that it became like a dream rather than the reality it was. I never wanted to revisit it again until Dave Roever came and spoke at our church. After he told his story, he said, “Don’t hide your scars for in them are life and healing for others.”

Here are a few examples of why you may be going through things that create scars.

1. To test us

Testing is way to show what we are made of. It also cements deep within us what we already know. God can use difficult times in our lives to solidify our faith. It’s not until we are tested and tried that we know how strong our faith is. Difficult times not only build our character, they also reveal it. Times of testing are necessary for us to know how deep our faith is. If it is shallow, we will cast it aside. If it is deep, hard times will strengthen our faith and trust in God.

Job experienced this in his life. He lost everything he had in one day. His kids, his animals, his possessions and his health all were taken from him. He was going through a huge test because God knew he could endure it. God knows how much you can take too and allows what you can handle to happen at times. Passing these times of testing prove, solidify and grow our faith.

2. To correct us

Every one of us has been corrected in this life because someone thought enough of us to put us back on the right track. When we wander from our faith or neglect to do what God asks of us, He cares enough about you that He will do what it takes to get us back on track. Even though it hurts, we should be thankful for our times of correction. They prove that God still deems you worthy to use even when you mess up.

When Jonah disobeyed, God sent a windy storm, a whale and a worm to get his attention. It takes some us longer to accept the correction and to get where God wants us. Hebrews 12:6 tells us that God corrects and disciplines everyone He loves. Your trial may be God showing you that He loves you enough to get you back to where you belong.

3. To prove His love

Romans 8:35 asks if suffering, affliction, tribulation or distress can separate us from God’s love. The answer given is no, but Paul said it in an interested way. He said, “For I am persuaded beyond doubt that… nothing can separate us from God’s love.”. How was he persuaded? God had to prove that to him to the point that it was beyond all doubt. The only way it was proven was that he endured all of those things.

When we go through storms in our lives we see that God is right there with us. He has not and will not forsake us. In our times of trouble, when it seems we are all alone, He is there with you. You are not in this storm alone. The storm you’re in may be what it takes to persuade you beyond all doubt that nothing you go through will separate you from His love.

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