Friday, December 9, 2011

Learning From Scars

What do you think of when you hear the word "scar"?  
Maybe you think of this:
I think of something different (although, clearly, The Lion King's scary villain will never be forgotten).   
I was in second grade. My two friends, Bethany and Daniel, and I were bored out of our MINDS waiting for our parents after church. We decided to play tag in the nursery room with various things being “base”. We had probably played at least ten rounds (seriously, our parents were talking FOREVER) when one of them suggested that we use the window as base. At one point, Daniel was guarding Bethany for what seemed like forever (apparently I wasn’t good at assessing time at that age…or just really impatient) and I was getting bored. I decided to bust it from where I was and to head towards the window. Daniel was close and if I didn’t run fast then I’d for sure be caught. The problem with getting caught? Hellooo, I’d get cooties ALL OVER ME. We couldn’t have that. So, fists clenched, I ran as fast as I could. I reached the window, flung my right hand towards it for safety and instead of releasing my fist, I kept it going…through the window.   
I was in shock from that moment on.  
I remember walking out of the room and standing in the doorway watching the blood drip. I remember the pastor’s 4 year old son asking me if I had a “boo boo” and if he could kiss it. Still in shock, my lack of response had him scampering off. It felt like forever that I was standing there (seriously, what were those two doing in there besides NOT coming to my rescue?)…until it all kicked in and I screamed bloody murder. An ambulance had to be called as I was losing quite a bit of blood. I remember riding in the back of the ambulance. I remember everything going fuzzy as I went into surgery. I remember the dryness of my throat as I woke up. I remember those few days in the hospital. I ESPECIALLY remember the utter and ridiculous pain of them taking out my stitches a few weeks later (still bitter about that).     
Growing up, I learned a lot through that experience. I learned my left and right by looking at my wrists (scar = right. No scar = left. Confession: I still do that to this day). I learned that playing with glass is a big no-no, especially when the game involves running full force towards glass (how was I not a child prodigy?).    
Every day, I see those scars and remember. It’s a reminder of a traumatic experience. It’s a reminder of pain.  
I have more than physical scars from my life. We all do.  And we can all choose what those scars mean. They can be something we learn from (ie. don’t run towards glass) or we can keep repeating them. We can choose to heal from them or we can keep ripping off the scabs.
As cheesy as it sounds, when I walked to the ambulance that night, I remember this feeling of peace and calm come over me. I knew at that moment that God was in control and that everything would be ok.  And that truth hasn’t changed. In all of my scarring moments throughout my life, He’s been there.
He’s there in the hurt.  He’s there in the pain.  He doesn’t leave.

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