May 15, 2009

God Gave Me Scars - pt. 3

Here are Part 1 and Part 2. You really have to read them first.

The Bible says that God knits us together in our mother’s wombs. That means that God made my heart with holes in it.

It also means that God chose for me to be born in a time when medical technology had developed and in a place where it was available to fix my heart. He decided I would be born to parents who would fix me, not (as happens to children in other countries) abandon me to die from my condition.

The thing is, in order to be fixed, it required I have scars. Not subtle little scars, either. And not scars that are only visual. I still have a loud heart murmur which is the result of scar tissue bundling inside my heart. And my scar tissue can hurt something awful when this unpredictable Oklahoma weather changes.

It’s hard growing up as a teenage girl with scars that show unless you wear a turtleneck. Scars that show no matter what kind of swimsuit you have on.

Scars that no one else has.

It wasn’t until I got older and went through some issues related to my heart that I learned what Jesus had said so simply and explicitly. You were born this way to show God’s glory.

It’s because of God that I was born how I was, when I was, where I was. And I have scars to remind me, daily, of how much God loves me. He loved me enough to let me be born in a time and place where I could be treated. And He loved me enough to leave me with physical reminders – scars.

If only this were taught more often, or at all.

I encountered a teenage girl at my church a few months ago. She had a scar that was different than mine but also quite visible. I made the mistake of trying to ask her about it. It took her about 30 seconds to fall into tears of embarrassment and hurry away. I felt horrible for putting her in that position, but then my heart hurt for her, because I remembered being where she was.

I wish someone had shared this with me when I was 14. Teenage girls have enough body image issues going on even when they don’t have scars like mine or that girl’s. If only youth pastors and Sunday School teachers taught our girls that God gave them scars to point them to Him, not to punish them or humiliate them or make life harder. Don’t just assume they know. They don’t

Attributing illness, injury or defect automatically to any action on the part of the individual takes our focus away from God. I know many Christians who have suffered and succumbed to diseases like cancer. Were they lesser Christians? The cults say they were. The Pharisees said they were. The Enemy of truth wants us to believe they were.

But that’s not what God says. That’s not what we should believe.

I wasn’t born with a holey heart because God was punishing me or my parents or anyone.

I was born with a heart He designed so that I would one day come to praise Him for it.

My heart wouldn’t beat unless God told it to. Have you ever thought about that? That wonderful sound we so often take for granted, each “thump” (or in my case, “slosh”) happens only by the grace of God each and every time.

God is big on reminders. What was Passover? A reminder from God, not to remember slavery, but to remember the Exodus, and to point them towards the Messiah, Jesus.

Do you have scars? Were you born with a condition you had no control over? Were you in an accident that left you marked? Do you have emotional or psychological scars because of a situation you were born into or because of something someone did to you? Praise God, because He’s given you a means to show the world how He takes care of us and heals us through any means He chooses.

Do you or does someone you love have the mark of a decision you’ve made? Some scars are the result of sinful choices we’ve made. But remember, when God forgives sin, he forgives it all. And the scars that remain are not to remind us of our failures, but of God’s victory over sin, of His grace and mercy toward us, and of His provision in our lives, even in something as transient and temporary as our health.

God doesn’t give us scars to remind us that we have been hurt.

God gives us scars to remind us that we have been healed.

God gave me scars. Praise His name!

4 comments:

  1. amen sister ... my precious adopted angel has a huge scar on her head from being burned through no fault of her own ... it is a reminder to us daily on how we should love one another and how God can heal all wounds !!!

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  2. Wow. Just wow. This was very well written. I wish I could have read this 5 years ago.

    I broke my neck and I was VERY angry with god about it. Why me? What did I do? I was a good person?

    Now that it has been 5 years, I thank god every day for that accident.

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  3. What a lovely group of posts. I am new to your blog. Your scars are beautiful. I have large scars on my shoulder...and for my proms I wore strapless dresses. This was about 20 years ago. I remember being a little nervous about that. I felt wonderful afterwards.

    Lovely...thanks again for sharing. Again...your scars are beautiful.

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  4. Wow, what an amazing set of posts! You are so right that God designed you beautifully and for a perfect purpose. It's sad to hear that some people attribute a birth defect to sin and punishment. Honestly, U have never heard anything like that. How frustrating! Not that it's the same, but my cat's heart defect was due to sin? Can a cat sin? Dumb!

    Love the new look. So patriotic and mil-spouse like :)

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