I take a problem and chew on it until all the flavor’s gone… and then I stick it in my hair.Divine Secrets of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
I was thumbing through my first published Bible Study Unbroken* the other day and I came across Day 13 titled “Accepting the Scars.” As I read my words from 2016 I had to chuckle. I had no clue what was coming, or how the message of Unbroken would play out in my life when I filed for divorce one year later. Truth be told when I wrote the book I was in one of the rare happy seasons of my first marriage. But, three months after we published, I would give my wedding ring back and ask for a separation.
This is one of the pitfalls of being a writer.
You get to read past works and words you wrote with the 20/20 vision of hindsight. And that can be a good thing… but sometimes its bad, ugly, and cringe worthy. I had no idea what embracing the cracks that are making me whole (Unbroken’s tag line) would mean to me five years later.
I still believe that message. Maybe even more now than I did in 2016. I’ve embraced my broken pieces, re-built from the ashes, and let the cracks of my life become sources of beauty and strength. What I thought was going to be a marriage restoration story took a sharp turn and became a ME restoration story. It wasn’t going to play out like Eat, Pray, Love. More like Midwest mediocre. But, I found myself in the rubble. I found my purpose and passion in that mess. Discovering strength I didn’t know I had; and, teaching my kids that our choices matter even when they are hard.
New wounds came. Old scars were revealed. And beauty grew in the most unlikely places.
Here’s what I wrote back in 2016…
After a storm rages through our lives, we are left with broken pieces. When we choose to accept the process of restoration those wounds start to heal. Sometimes after a wound heals a scar remains. Scars are reminders. Sometimes scars are on the outside; but, more often than not, your scars will not be visible to the naked eye. Your deepest wounds are rarely on the surface.
I can’t tell you how many times I have people tell me, “I had no idea you were even struggling,” or “I didn’t realize your marriage was that broken,” when they hear my story. When I look back at pictures during the worst seasons of my life I can see the light is gone from my eyes. On the outside things looked OK. I didn’t look sick. The truth is, when you look at someone who has overcome the odds, you will not always see the scars on her body. They are on her mind and heart.
Scars are reminders.
They remind us of why we are the way we are. Scars tell us of who we’ve been. They remind us of the lessons we have learned on life’s journey. The wounds they cover remind us of the things and people we’ve lost. They remind us of our courage and God’s faithfulness. Scars are a reminder that even the deepest wounds will eventually heal.
We have to get really good at accepting every chapter of our story, even the dark ones, because this is how we comfort our sisters, mothers, daughters, and best friends. When we can share the truth about the scars in our lives we give another woman courage. When we bravely share our weaknesses, another woman find the strength to take one step forward into the light. We comfort others with the same comfort we have been given.
It’s time to appreciate and celebrate those hard earned wounds. Those battle scars are important. Your scars are proof that we can all do hard things. Don’t hide them. Don’t pretend they aren’t there. Embrace the scars. Embrace the broken places and the healed areas of your life. Your vulnerability inspires others.
with Grace & Grit,
*The Unbroken Bible study has been retired, However you can still find it in our Faith Coaching Bundle from RAYMA Team, LLC. Click here to find out more!
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