It can happen to all of us. Battle scars from a worn-out life. Tear-stained pillows that mark your sleepless nights. Hands lined and gnarled from a life of hard work. A crown of gray, thinning hair where thick, brown hair used to encircle your head. Wounds from countless losses or an aching that carves out bits of your heart from a love that no longer lingers.
Wounds are wounds no matter what we call them or how we suffer through them. And this is where we begin to know ourselves in a way that reveals who we are becoming. This is how God pulls us out of the mire of life to teach us that by His wounds, we are healed.
The Wounds that Define You
I would venture to guess that if I asked you what pivotal moments changed your life, you would name them easily. If I changed the question slightly to ask you to name the wounds that define you, introspection and shame might follow. Both scenarios changed your life, but one feels easy and the other feels hard.
I posted a quote on Instagram about wounds written by Ann Voskamp a little over a week ago. It said:
Wounds are what break open the soul to plant the seeds of our growth.
And I wrote, “We are wrapped in heartache, stumbling over the hurts that cut deep and laying it all out there in a world that cares more for itself than others.”
Many of us suffer from deep wounds and the thought of even sharing them with a close loved one leaves us shaking. Maybe we experienced unkindness when trying to be vulnerable. Now we would rather hold our suffering close to our chest. Maybe someone took our shared secret and believed it was okay to “put it out there.” Whatever the reason, we all experience deep wounds that are part of our story. A good percentage of us never name our wounds to allow them to bloom into healing and growth.
Wounds can overwhelm but what if wounds produce an outpouring of growth? What happens when we let our wounds not only define us but refine us for life?
The Wounds that Heal You
Last week I challenged all of you to consider Psalm 23 as a guide for your life and not just a comfort in death. I shared some personal stories that have left deep scars in my own life. Each scenario cut deep and revolved around loss and life. My wounds are part of my story. They have refined me and healed me on my road to becoming.
Jesus did the same for us. One selfless act, in which Jesus took on the weight of the sins of the world, has led us on the path of healing. Isaiah 53:5 says it like this:
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
What if our story is only just beginning. What if the wounds that weigh us down become the wounds that heal us from the inside out. God sees us and knows the deep ache we carry deep inside us.
When we see hurt and shame, God takes the ugliness and turns it into healing and restoration.
When we feel that one more step is impossible, God provides the strength we need.
God carries the burden of our wounds. He restores the shame that says we are not worthy and plants the seed of redemption. God not only sacrificed His son, Jesus, but He believes that our wounds are not the end of our stories. God knows that by His wounds and ours, we are healed.
The Road to Becoming
The road to becoming is the road to healing. It is where we make the choice to surrender our past and look toward the future. The road is challenging in good ways when we embrace a new perspective.
When we allow God to plant His seed of redemption in the place where our wounds cut us deeply, we find hope, peace, and a second chance. God doesn’t call us to be the walking wounded. He calls us to freedom and redemption because He is the God of second, third, and fourth chances.
God promises to take your hand and gently pull you in the right direction when you veer off course. He says that you will find a peace that surpasses all understanding, and He will choose the pace that suits you and your journey of healing.
God’s patience and grace accompany every step we take. There is nothing that says we must learn the ins and outs of life in one easy step. Instead, God provides a safety net to catch us when a wrong turn plunges us off–course. Our fall is always cushioned with God’s grace, love, and strength to get back up and try again.Wounds are wounds no matter what we call them or how we suffer through them. This is where we begin to know ourselves in a way that reveals who we are becoming. #newpost #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Let’s surrender our wounds to God this week. He will plant a seed of healing in their place. And, let’s pray that each seed bursts forth into a new life of empathy, compassion, acceptance, and hope.
Let’s recognize that the wounds we carry are the hope for tomorrow, the next step in our journey, and the road to loving others.
Are you willing to let go of your wounds to make room for the One you need and if so, what will this look like?
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“What if our story is only just beginning?” What a great question, Mary … one that we can ask at any age, right? I love how God often takes the very wounds we’d rather hide forever and uses them to equip us to encourage other hurting people. As you and Linda said in earlier comments, “Only God!” Hugs, friend.
“God carries the burden of our wounds. He restores the shame that says we are not worthy and plants the seed of redemption. God not only sacrificed His son, Jesus, but He believes that our wounds are not the end of our stories. God knows that by His wounds and ours, we are healed.” This. Just sitting in this and breathing in the comfort it brings me knowing God is still writing my story. 💙 Thank you for your words, My Sweet Friend.
If I could tell you that God has an amazing story for you every day I would. God loves who you are, wounds, and all. He always will. Thanks for dropping by with this sweet comment.
“When we allow God to plant His seed of redemption in the place where our wounds cut us deeply, we find hope, peace, and a second chance.” Oh, amen, dear Mary! I love this thought that HE is at work planting His seeds of redemption in the very places that feel too scarred-over for any good to happen. Our Lord is so full of mercy! I’ve been pausing for so much of this summer, but it was a joy to drop back in here this week for this good word. Blessings to you.
You are a living and beautiful example of God’s redemption replacing your scars. I am glad you have been resting and pausing from blogging. It’s important to take care of yourself. I always love when you drop in. Your words are a blessing.
I have a few!
I imagine we all do. Hope you are doing well, Susan!
Love the thought of wounds not defining but refining us for life! Thanks, Mary!
Amen! Isn’t it wonderful to know that God makes something good out of everything? Thanks for joining in the conversation.
Oops, I put my other comment in the wrong place Mary. Sorry.
“When we feel that one more step is impossible, God provides the strength we need.” Amen!
Lovely post, one we can all relate to!
No problem! I can relate to knowing how hard it can be to take the next step, too. God knows this but He patiently stays with us as we figure it out. Thank you for being here.
This is lovely, Mary. Such truth here. We want to hide our wounds. We think they make us less worthy. And yet God is redeeming our wounds, turning them to blessings and growth, and giving us newness and freedom. We just need to be able to share our wounds with him and place them in his hands.
You said it so beautifully, Theresa! God wants nothing more than for each of us to let go of the raw places we hold onto to begin the healing process. Growth is on the other side of our letting go.
Wonderful post, Mary. I found myself picturing times in my life when I have been wounded and how those wounds cracked me open and left me feeling raw. We need those cracks, however, because that is where the LIght enters.
Thank you for the reminder of God’s patience and grace.
Wounds have a way of cutting us to the quick before we begin to heal. I have only grown stronger and closer to God as a result of my wounds. I pray you feel God’s patience and grace this week.
Such beautiful words expressing so well those defining moments of our lives where, if we will allow Him, God redeems, restores and moves us on to another level of being, and becoming, who He intends us to be. Resonated with my heart, thank you Mary.
I can’t help but believe that I am a better person because I have gone through the refining process more than once. God is with us through the process and on the other side when we make it through. Thank you for being here, Sharon.
I appreciate the wisdom here that we are not defined, but instead REFINED by the wounds God has allowed into our story. He is such a purposeful Shepherd.
God is not only purposeful but He protects us as we try to heal. That’s what shepherds do. May we let go of our wounds to make room for the seed of healing.
I have lots of physical scars from surgery, but even more scars from emotional wounds. I can look back and see how God is continually redeeming them and bringing beauty from the ashes – planting new seeds that grow where old ways have died. So thankful God is always in the business of renewing and redeeming.
God has certainly taken your story and made it into something beautiful. Physical scars are one thing because they are visible. But emotional scars are the ones that run deep for me. I am agreeing with you at how wonderful our God is. Blessings, my friend!
I am not a great gardener. But I have noticed that when I cut back my roses, often new growth occurs right where the cut was made. May God bring new growth from our wounds as well.
I love the image of cutting back the roses. It also reminds me of how Beth Moore described the vine keepers as they care for their vines in her book, Chasing Vines. Until there is a way for new growth to begin, it remains stunted. Thank you for your thoughts.
Mary, this post spoke to me. I so appreciate the truth you share about how God can use wounds to lead us to wholeness. I loved this: “When we allow God to plant His seed of redemption in the place where our wounds cut us deeply, we find hope, peace, and a second chance.”
Thanks for the reminder that allowing God to plant those seed of redemption leads to many beautiful things. Our role is to choose to let go so He can work. 🙂
I remember a friend telling me how blessed she was to have a crown of scars. She had a brain tumor and her outlook changed forever how I view any kind of wounds. God is in the business of healing but we have to allow Him in to do the work. I pray we let God in to do the work that we need in our lives.
Only God could do the miracle of birthing a ‘new life of empathy, compassion, acceptance, and hope’ out of our pain.
I am so grateful!
What a wonderful Savior!
Only God! He takes the hurt, the sadness, and the pain and turns it into something beautiful. We are so blessed and loved.