The Message Behind Scars

They may not be attractive, but they can represent signs of healing.

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Posted in , Jun 24, 2016

How to embrace scars as a sign of healing.

Do you ever find yourself staring in the mirror some mornings, thinking, “Oh no, I can’t possibly work with this!”

That’s how I felt this past Tuesday as I got ready for work. The culprit, as usual, was my hair. I can’t really blame it for rebelling since it was beyond humid. Then again, my hairdo and I  have a bit of a stormy past, so we’re not on good terms to begin with.

Many years ago, when I was 14, I had surgery to remove a benign cyst in my brain. Unfortunately, my hair never really recovered. I lost a lot of it up front. Now I have to be creative in how I part my hair, plus rely on some ingenious hair products to cover up the sparse spots.

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I’m sure nobody can notice it. But, still, it vexes me to no end, even all these years later. Last Tuesday, I actually questioned God about it. Why my hair, God? Do you know how much easier my life would be if I just had a normal head of hair?! I wouldn’t have to spend time fixing it so nobody noticed my battle scars. I wouldn’t have to wear hats. If I had great hair, I’d keep a fan with me at all times, just so my luxurious mane could blow in the wind 24/7.

I tried everything that morning to get my hair to cooperate. It wasn’t having it. Eventually I gave up. Maybe something will happen today that puts this in perspective, I thought, grumpy. It wasn’t just a wish. It was a challenge to God. Show me why you’ve done this to me!

An hour later, I arrived at work and called up Kathy Kino, who I’m working with on an upcoming story for Guideposts. Kathy is a true renaissance woman and warrior. She’s a single mom, chaplain, nursing professor and breast-cancer survivor who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. (In fact, she’s undergoing surgery today. Please put in a prayer for her!)

Kathy was telling me about her mastectomy and how it was so hard seeing her scar in the mirror for the first time post-surgery. Eventually, though, she came to embrace it.

“The scar I carry, I’m so proud of it,” Kathy told me. “It’s a reminder of what God has done to save me. And that beauty comes from the inside.”

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Kathy couldn’t see me over the phone. But I was completely stunned. God certainly responded to my challenge!

My bad hairdo, my scars–they’re annoying, no doubt about it. And, yet, they’re also marks of God’s love for me. He saved me, and I’ve got the proof right on top of my head!

What about you? Has God ever answered one of your questions–or challenges!–loud and clear?

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