Jul 08

Scars

Dan, my husband, wears one of his favorite t-shirts often that says on the back, “scars are tattoos with better stories.” He loves this shirt, because he has some large scars on his left leg from a boating accident that happened almost 9 years ago. These scars tell a story, remind him of some events that majorly changed his life, and he often says that he is thankful for them and the accident.

The scars are from a boat propeller that literally cut his leg in 5 places, one scar from each prop. We have this propeller on our coffee table as a reminder of the graciousness of the Lord for sparing D and his leg, but also as a sign of all the good that came out of that accident.

There’s so much more to the story, but the point is that now I bear a scar. A large scar on my lower abdomen that is a daily reminder of my baby girl. A scar that I wear proudly, and I will never regret.

D and I talk often about what these visual signs on our bodies mean.

Our Mary Anna early on showed signs of what we thought was going to be a severe clubbed foot. We met with a few doctors to prepare for what this would mean, and we anticipated some surgeries, bracing, and possibly some visible scars on our sweet girl.

There were times that these possible scars caused us to cry and fear, but then again, we knew what was to come, so we anticipated them being a sign of how far she would come. We planned to use them to teach her about life and perseverance and how to overcome obstacles that even her daddy and I could not relate to.

I remember right after she was born, before I had even seen my scar, my dad prepping me on what the visual of her little leg/foot looked like, because he did not want it to upset me. He was tender and gracious, and I did not care. I loved her so much.

So often people will say things to us like, “she is healed now” or “she has no scars” or “she is perfect”, and I have thought so much that I wonder if Mary Anna does bear scars of her battles her on earth. As much as we picture heaven as completion and perfection, why do these scars that we receive on earth have to leave us?

I wonder if our scars would be evident in heaven.

Battle scars as a sign of victory.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
John 20:27
After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to Thomas, and he was proving to him that he indeed was Jesus Christ, the Son of God by pointing to his scars. Thomas obviously needed some proof, because he had just visibly seen Jesus die, be buried, and now apparently he was standing in front of him? Really? Yeah, not possible.
As soon as Jesus showed Thomas his nail scarred hands and side where he had been pierced by a sword, Thomas knew exactly who Jesus was.
This is a prediction that Jesus’ scars stayed on him after death.
So as a proud mom, I have had this odd hope that Mary Anna’s scars are still with her. To me, it is not who she is, but it is a huge part of her. It’s what she endured, it shows her strength, and I am so proud of each thing that she conquered during her short days on earth.
Just as Dan proudly wears all 5 scars down his left leg, and I now proudly wear my scar of my baby girl too, my hope has been that these scars won’t ever leave us.
… for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
Galatians 6:17
So often, we try to hide our scars to prove that we are strong, but I offer a new suggestion, what if we wore them proudly as a mark of who we are. Not they they define us, but that they are more a part of us. They are a hope of what is to come. A sign of redemption.
I don’t know what scars or wounds following Jesus will leave on your body, on your emotions, or on your soul. But the glory to come will be worth the wounds. Your scars will be a cause for celebration. We’ll be glad we followed the way of the Cross. One day we’ll experience in reality what we now embrace by faith- that suffering is the pathway to glory.
-Nancy Guthrie