As many of you know we have been coming to Darlington Baptist Church for a while now, and we just want to say thank you for the big welcoming arms you all have. We can feel Gods tangible love and adoration in this place, and we are so glad to be a part of it with you.
In April we finished the love section of our pray, love, serve teachings and I felt God give me a word, I hope it encourages you as it encouraged me.
It’s about scars and stiches.
I was speaking to a close family member when I noticed they had a small scar on their knee I had never noticed was even there. I was told it was from a fall over the garden fence, 60 years ago. It is a completely forgotten scar, and the pain of the event is no longer a trauma, but a faint memory.
I have a small scar on my left arm from a minor operation 10 years ago. Again, I forget it’s there, and apart from when people notice and ask, I’m not consciously aware of it. It’s just a mark on my body, a part of me now and the worry of the event has long gone. (The truth is I had a mole removed to check for cancer, but a pirate attack makes me sound much more adventurous!)
Last year someone close to me had a very serious health scare. As a result he has a scar on his back from lifesaving surgery and a scar from a drain in his chest wall. Both are vivid and haven’t had time to begin to fade yet. We see the scars and talk about the operation regularly. We know God saved his life at that time; he was days away from saying goodbye to us without it. When we see the scar, it brings up so many emotions, we are hugely grateful for the success, we remember the trauma and if we are honest, we are still a little angry he was ever so poorly. That event is still something we talk about and are working forward from.
The chest drain was held in place by stitches, thankfully he was able to go home from the hospital with it in in place, but if those stitches came loose it was a crisis, if they came out altogether it was an emergency. There were many times they did come out and they had to make trips to A&E in a panicked state for them to be replaced before the drain eventually came out 10 weeks later.
The stitches then were replaced, and they needed to be covered and checked for infection and to make sure they were healing properly. We praise God that he is now free from all infections in his lung and his story is a testimony of God’s faithfulness and hand of protection.
I felt God had reminded me of all of these events to remind us we all have trauma, and we all have a unique story. Even if you have had similar experiences to someone, how that experience has affected you will be different and the scars you have might be a different stage of the healing process compared to others. All of our life experiences scar us, and nobody has lived your exact path.
It’s often really helpful to empathise with someone who has been in a similar situation but ultimately its only God who knows your emotions and knows your whole life story. There will be times we will need to run to the emergency room of Gods presence and shout HELP, God is always listening in those dark places for your voice.
Some experiences that have caused our hearts to be scared may have happened many years ago, you may have sought forgiveness from the trauma, and it doesn’t affect your day-to-day life anymore. Some of the scars may be at a different stage in the healing process, you can forget it’s there normally, but something might trigger a memory and the hurt. (Like my pirate scar!)
Some of your scars might be raw, and still bring emotions and need that daily care and attention. The wonderful thing is we believe in a God who knows us all uniquely, knows our life story, from our first cry to final breath and wants to walk alongside us. We can come to him at any stage of any life event, and talk, like a close friend, he knows us and cares deeply for each of us. He doesn’t set a timeframe for our healing, he just welcomes us as we are, and provides the care we need to begin to heal.