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Welcome to Belovedgems, a blog about building a bridge between faith and mental health. The author rooted in her faith , her old-soul leads her into adventures to seek spreading hope into the world through a couple of written words.

S C A R S


(The following is a brief script from a message given to a youth group, it was written as I had spoken.)

I’m going to tell you a story of the first scar I ever received, well at least the very first one I remember. I was 3 years of age, I think. We were visiting family in San Isidro, California. A very small town up in Northern California. Here is something new about me, if you ever wonder why I ask so many questions when I converse, it is because my whole life I have been a curious being, and this story proves it.  I went to my aunt’s restroom all by myself and decided to look into her medicine cabinet. There, I found a razor. I had always been curious about what razors where for. I had seen them at home and wondered what my parents used them for. So I decided to try it out. I ended up attempting to shave by chin and you can only imagine all the blood there was over the sink. None of you knew I had a visible scar right underneath my mole on my chin.
  
Very few of us have relational scars that run as deep as the one on my chin. Gossip, slander, abuse, betrayal, lies or whatever you would prefer to call it. They leave these types of scars. Scars that are only visible to the one who got offended. But, thanks to the Lord, there is always GRACE. Very few of us have had to look across the table at someone who has killed a family member or someone very close to us. But, we all have relational scars and sometimes forgiveness, healing, and hope isn’t even tied to how bad the scar is. The fact is, the scar is there.  So today, I want to talk about relational scars and how we find hope in our healing. Which is why I have titled this message SCARS.

I found it interesting that Christianity is the only faith that offers forgiveness. The Bible clearly states for us to bless our enemies, something that by nature for us as humans is very difficult to do. Other faiths or beliefs, like karma, encourages others that “if someone has done you wrong that they deserve to be treated the same way”. The Islam says “don’t be the first one to throw the first hit, but if they hit you first, then you are in your right to fight back”. Jews still believe in the concept of “eye for an eye” to seek vengeance. But, the Bible says things that are extremely the opposite than these faiths, we are called to love those who have done us wrongs, to forgive those who have caused some of these scars we carry.  And I think we can agree that Jesus was a clear example when he said “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24)

Here’s My first encouragement to you today.  If you have been on the receiving end of scars, if you have been wounded, it is okay to be honest with God about how you really feel about that.  It is okay to express exactly what you’re feeling.  Healing never, ever comes from suppression, it always begins with that acknowledgement that you have been hurt.

I am a therapist trainee, that basically means I am currently doing therapy for free while I am in school. One of the techniques I feel is most effective when I am working on healing and forgiveness with a client is writing a letter. I will have the client go home and write whatever they want to that person who hurt them, holding nothing back…then they come in session and we process the letter together. I think sometimes we just need to write some letters to God about how we really feel about stuff.  You might think that doesn’t sound very Christian, where is your Biblical basis for that?  Well, let’s flip over to some of the letters we find to God in the book of Psalms. In Psalm 3:7, this is what David says:  Arise oh Lord, rescue me my God, slap all my enemies in the face, shatter the teeth of the wicked.  I don’t think I’ve ever asked God to shatter anybody’s teeth! You didn’t learn that memory verse in Sunday School did you?  Psalm 22:1: My God, my God, why have You forsaken me, why do You remain so distant, why do You ignore my cries for help?  Psalm 35:1: Oh Lord, oppose those who oppose me, declare war on those who are attacking me.  I think sometimes we know the right things that a Christian should say and the right things a Christian should pray, but what happens is we suppress what we are really feeling in the presence of God and the healing never comes. It’s ok to be honest in the presence of God. I have been learning that feelings are meant to be felt and then surrendered to God.

Then the second thing you have to do when we’ve been wounded is to trust that God sees more than we see. There is no formula to overcoming scars. There are no formulas for defining hope and healing. But there are some attitudes and actions here that we might find helpful when we are in these situations. You’ve got to trust that God sees things that we don’t.

Here’s the painful agony and irony, is that when we are wounded relationally, the defense mechanism is to pull away from all relationships, it’s what we do, it comes naturally from instinct. But healing in relational scars can only come through relationship. I would encourage you today, if there is a that step you need to take.

My prayer is that when you finish reading this, you will have a phone call we need to make, or a letter you need to write, have an email to send, have a lunch or coffee we need to set up. We need to take a gutsy step toward someone who has hurt us or has the potential to hurt us, and move slowly to take the first step toward reconciliation.  Here’s the last thing I want to encourage you with. You cannot find reconciliation outside of Christ being at the center of it. Both of these men saw Jesus before encountering one another.  We’ve got to see Jesus, we have got to have a relationship with Him first. Here’s the deal, no one, no one, understands relational scars like Jesus Christ does.  Jesus, as He was receiving physical scars in his body as He hung on the cross, crucified by the very people He came to love. Simultaneously his father turning his back on him, Jesus gets relational scars, and if we want to have any hope of finding healing in our lives from the relational scars that we have received and inflicted, we have got to find a relationship with Jesus.  

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