I was a clumsy child. I would regularly fall, trip or walk into things. I have the scars to prove it. My knees and forehead sport more scars than I care to admit. They have faded over time and I’m thankful for the stitches that minimized their appearance. I also have scars from surgeries, for instance, my appendix almost ruptured when I was 12. Thankfully, they caught it in time, but I had four new scars that are with me to this day.
In my late 20’s on a routine visit, my doctor was concerned about suspicious looking moles. I’ve got a lot of moles just like my Memaw. A few years before, she had a cancerous mole removed and told me I should always have mine checked. The dermatologist checked me over and found several to remove. He said they were probably nothing but it was best to send them to a lab.
About two weeks later I got a call from the dermatologist’s office that they needed to see me again. One of the moles had come back atypical and the word pre-cancer was used. They needed to remove extra tissue from the area and run tests to make sure there weren’t any cancerous cells.
This left a scar on my arm for a long time. It’s angry red color caught attention everywhere I went. Now, almost 10 years later it isn’t noticeable and rarely catches attention with the exception of my kids.
I’m So Sorry You Hurt
My kids have noticed the scar countless times. They always have questions. Recently, my 5 year old said, “I’m so sorry that you hurt.” as he rubbed my scar. I had to explain, once again, that it doesn’t hurt. It hurt a long time ago, and it hurt for a long time, but it doesn’t hurt now. The scar is a reminder that what once hurt is now healed.
My scars, physical and otherwise, have shaped my life, but it’s not just the scars, it’s the wounds. I still walk into walls, cabinets, and counters, I’m still clumsy, but I’m a careful person, I avoid pain and keep an eye out for dangers around every corner.
Most of us have scars that no one can see. Scars from wounds too deep to share. Scars from childhood trauma, painful choices, and unspeakable situations. These scars can go unnoticed by others but can last a lifetime and affect every part of you.
I’ve been reading Jenny Simmons new book Made Well. She writes about finding healing and wholeness in everyday moments. I love Jenny Simmons music and storytelling and I just know we would be best friends… if she knew I existed.
Jenny talks about holy moments, not just spontaneous, unbelievable miracles but moments of healing that happen on your front porch or with a friend over coffee.
“When Jesus asks the paralyzed man at Bethesda if he wants to be made well, He is offering a timeless invitation for all believers. Do we want to be whole?” Jenny Simmons, Made Well
When we think of healing we often think of our physical brokenness but most of us are far more broken in other ways. Jesus offers us wholeness. Wholeness in our relationships, from past hurts, from the pain of loss, the unrealistic and unmet expectations and the weariness of every day.
Healing and Wholeness
One of the things I most love about Jenny Simmons is her willingness to open up and be real. In Made Well she talks about depression and anxiety, being tormented by grief after experiencing loss, and losing almost everything they had in a years time. She also talks about the healing and wholeness she has found in Jesus and uses her stories to let you know it’s ok, whatever you are experiencing and however you are broken, you can find healing too.
While it may seem like a half-baked miracle—the one that comes without the physical cure we so often hope and pray for—the miracle of healing is that we can be made well and whole regardless of what happens to our bodies or the outcome of our life situations. If cancer comes and conquers, my ability to be made whole is not diminished. If my marriage dissolves, my daughter dies, or my career crumbles—there is healing to be found. If my lingering mental illness is never miraculously cured, I can still be made well.
I have so many favorite parts in Made Well; I laughed, I cried, I grabbed my husband so I could read to him. I found healing moments. You can find healing too. Not in more stuff, not different circumstance but in Christ alone.
Bravery and Vulnerability
If you had a broken leg you would go to a hospital, but when the broken parts aren’t physical it can be hard to admit you need help. Sometimes it is easier to stay hurt because healing can be hard work. Whether you see a counselor or get help another way, healing can be a hard path and it takes bravery and vulnerability. (Remember Sherri’s story!)
I’ve experienced deep healing. While I wish I never had to experience the pain and consequences from my choices, the intimacy and dependence that come after pain and sorrow are the fruit of a hard fought battle. Like our scars, they remind us of the wound we once had, the wound that is now healed.
Lord, I’m broken but you are the Healer. I’ve heard there is wholeness, healing, peace and rest in You. Help me to experience You as my healer and friend. Teach me to trust You, and in the deep healing only you can provide. I need the Great Physician! Help me to forgive others who have hurt me and forgive myself. And Lord, if I’m never healed until I see You, face to face, help me trust you even in my pain. Amen.
Holly loves spending time with her husband and kids who range in age from 5-22.