The young husband hung his head in defeat as he recounted the hopelessness of their troubled marriage. Later as I spoke on the phone with his wife, her choked sobs relayed a broken and bruised spirit. I listened to the young man explain why he thought his marriage “just wouldn’t work”, then looked him straight in the eyes and said, “Do you really think your marriage is the first one to experiences challenges?” I went on to tell him I doubted there were many marriages where one or both parties hadn’t at some point felt it easier to walk than to stay.
I then shared with him a period of time in our marriage when we seemed to be at an impasse. I couldn’t see things his way and he couldn’t see them mine. So we sought out help from an outside party, a competent counselor who could help us muddle through the confusion and emotional quicksand that seemed to be sucking us down.
His surprised expression told me he hadn’t pictured our stable, forty plus year marriage as one that had ever experienced a pothole on the journey. Somehow, knowing that it had and that we had not only survived but thrived afterwards, seemed to revive his hope that had gone dead. Within weeks the gap of a separation that was headed toward divorce was closed and this young couple was back together ready to build on their future.
I was struck once again with the power of sharing our stories. Our pain. Our healing. Our testimony that there can be life after loss. Last week, my writer friend, Vickie Henderson, posted a powerful encouragement for us to do just that in her post entitled, “Show Me Your Scar”. Because I think she says it so well, I asked her if I could share her post with you, my readers. If you haven’t signed up to receive Vickie’s blog, I suggest you do so. Her struggles are real and so are her words. You will be inspired, I promise. Enjoy the read and may you be encouraged to “share your scar”.
The power of sharing by vickie petz henderson
Three days from now, they are going to slit my throat. Don’t worry, it’s not the first time, but it’s been a while and there are a couple of things I’d like to know. How long is recovery? What’s my scar going to look like? Of course I’ll feel pain and I know healing takes time. Nothing helps more than a personal encounter with someone who experienced bright lights and cold steel and now has a well-healed scar. If you are brave enough to show your scar, I need the power of sharing your hurt and your healing.
2 Corinthians 1:4, “He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” MSG
My new choker neck shirt will cover my wound nicely. Oh how we carefully hide our physical scars and emotional ones too. According to “Human Skin Wounds” (NCBI*), Americans spend $25 billion dollars annually on scar reduction. If we fork out that much on skin wounds, what is the price tag of covering up human heart wounds?
Psalm 109:22, “For I am afflicted and needy; my heart is wounded within me.” HCSB
When we hide our scars we deny the power of, “Me too.” I get it, pretending I’ve got it all together is way more appealing than mustering up the courage to risk exposure. Some days I don’t feel so brave, but my pretense of smooth sailing will never encourage you when you’re battered by waves. My advice is far more credible when you know I’ve been there, and lately I’ve been here, there and everywhere and I’ve got the scars to prove it. What would happen if we quit concealing? Wonder how many would be surprised to know YOU struggle with:
Anybody brave enough to raise their hand? Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see your wounds, I’m licking my own. But when healing is complete your scar gives us hope. If you healed, maybe we can too. No one will know if you cover it up and never let anyone see your scars. Those of us hobbling along this broken road need the healing power of seeing hope. When you’re on this side of the knife or heartbreak you’re looking for survivors. Anyone willing to admit they’ve been broken?
Imagine what would happen if we were honest and real.
Galatians 6:2, “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” NIV