The Problem I’m Chewing On: Healing, Scars, and Restoration

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.

scars blog green sprout

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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An Interview with Joshua Perman

I’m getting married in on January 26, 2019. And I thought it was time for you to finally officially meet the man I’m going to marry. What better way to do that than with an interview. So hello world… meet Joshua Perman, my fiancé. 

What’s your birthday? December 31st.

The best part of a New Years Eve birthday? When you go out for your birthday everyone is having your party. 

What’s your favorite color? If I had to pick a trio it would be black, green, and blue.

White, Milk or Dark Chocolate? Milk Chocolate. 

Tea or Coffee? Tea preferably. Earl gray or black. 

What do you for a living? Currently I’m a registered Central Service Technician at the hospital. If it wasn’t for me everyone would die when they went to a hospital. We clean sterilize and package the surgical instruments. 

Do you have any siblings? 1 younger sister.

What did you think of your first BBCC event? I helped Nate run sound for Beautiful Wholeness in February 2018. I thought it was very powerful and incredibly inspiring. It was the first time I saw Raychel up on the stage doing what she does and I was incredibly proud of her presence on the stage and the gift she has to give to these women.

Favorite food? Meat. Specifically, a bison steak. 

Dogs or cats? Dogs. 

Where did you grow up? Bismarck, ND.

What was your first job? I rented paddle boats out at a McDowel Dam. Possibly the best job ever. 

Did you and Raychel date in high school? No we didn’t. But we were good friends and hung out all the time. 

How did you meet Raychel? The first time would be on 15th street in Bismarck when we had mutual friends Laura and Ashley Krenelka. We were 5 and 6. The second time would be in 1998 when Raychel transferred to my high school. We were 15 and 16. 

If you could have a super power what would it be? Flying or time manipulation. 

Favorite book? Wheel of Time series.

What is one movie you can watch over and over again? Lord of the Rings or Star Wars 4-6.

What’s your favorite thing about Raychel? Her kind heart and unconditional love for me and the kids. 

When did bonus Fatherhood start to feel real? It didn’t happen overnight. When I started taking them to school and putting them to bed. I wasn’t just there hanging out anymore. 

Most surprising thing about Raychel? That she loves playing video games and going on random adventures… especially stuff I never thought she would do. She always surprises me. 

Proudest moment? 1st when the kids all said yes that I could marry their mom. And 2nd when Raychel said yes.

What’s the first thing you bought Raychel? Our chocolate lab Bela for safety and for emotional support. (Side note: Bela has totally switched sides and is now Josh’s dog. traitor.) 

Spring, Winter, Summer, or Fall? Spring. 

Do you have a nickname? Jed (by my mom) Joshua the Warrior Prophet (my supervisor at work.) 

Do you have a hidden talent? Patience. And I can flip my eyelids inside out. 

All our love, 

Raychel & Joshua 

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