If you were to ask me what scars I have, I would show you the one on my right knee. I received 5 stitches from falling on the gravel while racing to the car on the way to church. Dad took my sisters to church while mom took me to the hospital.
That same scar was later used as an entry point when I had orthoscopic surgery twenty years later to fix a meniscus tear.
There is also a scar on my left knee from cutting it on a sharp stone while crawling around in the garden with my sister sitting on my back. I remember sitting on the counter with my leg in the sink while mom cleaned and bandaged it.
I would also show you the scar on my chin where I received 7 stitches after falling off the top bunk. I was wearing my favourite Smurf pajamas and they were ruined because of all the blood dripping from my chin. I remember being at the hospital to get the stitches and when they pulled them out. I also remember the wound being reopened at school after being hit by a door.
There is a scar on my arm that can only been seen by an x-ray from having a broken bone.
Then there are the scars you can’t see. They are from the wounds of being bullied and made fun of throughout my childhood.
There are the invisible scars from a broken heart as a result of broken friendships and a broken marriage.
Recently, I was told that I will have a new scar. This will be very visible (I am presuming) and it will be on my face. This has me very worried as I have no idea what it will look like and, obviously, I will not be able to hide it.
I was told that I have skin cancer and it is right on my mouth/lip. I have many questions to which I will not get any answers until the day of surgery. The biggest one being how much of my lip will be removed?
In my brain, skin cancer is the least concerning of all cancers. I know people have died from it but I am actually not worried about that at this point. I am not overly concerned about my long-term health as a result of this diagnosis, but I will be more conscious of my time in the sun and taking care of my skin going forward.
Because of being mocked for what I looked like my whole life (well, until I got braces at the age of 29), I feel this new scar will be yet another reason for people to mock me. I already don’t like looking in the mirror. This will give me one more reason to not do that.
When I first got the results of the biopsy, I thought about doing something drastic with my hair, like a really wild colour, to draw attention away from my face. I also thought about getting new tattoos or something to distract people. (Okay, I am getting a new tattoo but it was already planned.)
I have talked about my struggles with depression in the past. My husband is concerned that this new visible scar will make me more of a recluse than I already am.
It is another week until surgery and I am trying not to think about any part of it. I have no control over any part of it. I have to trust that God will watch over me and the doctor while he is doing the procedure.
I have to trust that God will heal me, free of infection. As for the scar itself, that is up to God as well. I know it is part of His purpose for me. I only pray that I will be made stronger because of it.
When I told one of my friends about my concerns, she reminded me that God loves me no matter what I look like. He sees me as His beautiful creation. I am His.
If you listen to Christian music on the radio, or are fans of Casting Crowns, then you have likely heard their newest single – Scars in Heaven.
It is about someone who has recently passed away but it does give comfort to us now. Once we are in heaven, our scars will disappear – both the visible and invisible ones. Even though God sees both while we are here on earth, He will wipe them away clean once we get into His arms.
That is comforting to me as I prepare for this upcoming procedure. I pray it provides you with the same comfort. God loves us for who we are, scars and all. We are beautiful to Him.
As the song and Peter says, by His wounds, we are healed. Jesus will still bear the scars of the cross when we meet Him but we will not. We were healed before we were ever broken.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”I Peter 2:24
If you struggle with scars, visible or not, I pray you will be healed by our Saviour and Redeemer when you get to heaven and until then you are provided with hope, trust and faith to get you through to that day.