I was scrolling through Twitter the other day, and I saw some of the trending topics from around the world. One of the top was #AndthatshowIgotthisscar. For me, this topic hit really close to home. When I clicked on it, a lot of people were joking about it, making fun of other people. This got me to thinking. Why should we hide our scars? Why be embarrassed, or scared, to share our story?
Those of you who know me, know that I am very open about sharing my story with people…..sometimes maybe over sharing….. However, it didn’t come easy. I used to be embarrassed, like maybe I was weak and that was why I was so sick. Becoming stronger in my Christian faith made me realize that my story could help someone. I believe every scar has stories, and here are mine.
I have had eight surgeries since about the age of twelve: five on the front of my neck, one on each of my legs, and one exploratory surgery. Now imagine entering your teenage years with a scar on your neck. I thought everyone was staring at me and talking about me. A lot of people were, but my mom told me that they were just curious. There were times that I would feel so exposed. People just stared at my neck instead of looking me in my eyes. It took awhile for this to become a normal feeling. It seemed like every time a scar would begin to fade, I would have another surgery, and a bright pinkish red line would dominate my neck again. I remember standing in my hospital room the day after one of my earlier surgeries, looking in the mirror, and sobbing because all I could think is how could someone love someone who looked like their throat was slit? To make matters worse, I have a scarring condition called Keloids that causes the tissue to pile, causing a raised scar.
It took me a long time to realize that my scars were signs that I was a survivor. I wasn’t weak, I was strong. I shouldn’t hide my story, I should yell it from the mountain tops, because I am not alone. If I can help one little girl who is in the same position, and has the same self-hate that I did, then all this would have been worth it.
If I could talk to 12 year old me, I would tell her that someone WILL love you one day. (You’ll actually meet someone and get married quicker than a lot of people without scars!) He will love you and be there for you through your future surgeries too, and he won’t leave….. no matter how hard things get. I would tell myself that your family is always going to be there, that you aren’t a burden to them, and no matter how many surgeries and hospital stays you have, they will never give up. I would tell myself to just brush off the whispers and stares. Your scars are actually a conversation starter! Also, love yourself. You may not feel like it, but you are treasured by so many people. Lastly, but most importantly, God will move in your life in incredible ways. It may not seem like he loves you right now, but he is working in ways that not even I can fathom today. So stay strong, and you will be healed one day. Even though they tell you that you won’t, even when the doctors give up, DO NOT give up faith. God knows what he is doing.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Do you have a scar that tells a story? Let me know in the comments below! I love hearing everyone’s stories!