The funny thing about scars is, they are an equal reminder of both suffering and healing. Wounds cause them, but it is the healing that creates them. Sweet and painful reminders intermingling one with another.
I have four scars, caused by the four best days of my life. The four days that brought the morning sickness, misery of muscles strained and pinched nerves to a beautiful end. The days THEY entered my world. I looked at them in wonder, and cried because I couldn’t believe they were mine. They were brought into this world in a way that would cause me pain, but nothing was regretted. Love is a costly thing.
That sweltering day in July, when she entered the world, I promised myself that I would remember every single detail, since this would be my last time. My last time entering the surgical doors of this ward, my last time feeling her move within me, my last time giving life. Yes, I would remember each moment. I remember feeling her shaking my belly with her movements as if she was jumping with excitement to come into the world. I remember the feeling of cold iv fluids pumping through my veins, the warmth and numbing anesethia, the smell of the hospital, Justin stroking my head, and then she came. I will never forget that moment, the dr. lifting her up, and I gasped because she was so beautiful. Just like the three before her, I stared at her in wonder, and cried because I couldn’t believe she was mine.
I was given a scar that day. A scar that would marr my body, but remind me of her birth. There is a beauty in this intertwining relationship of pain and healing, a beauty she would soon teach me.
At her 3 month check up, the pediatrician noticed her pupil was not centered in her right eye. I had spent literal hours a day staring at this child, memorizing every last portion of her perfect body, and I had never noticed this. How could this be? Over the next few days, I stared and stared, and the truth was undeniable, something was amiss. A week later, a pediatric opthamologist confirmed she had congenital glaucoma. Surgery was needed very soon. And so she suffered the first of her many scars. As her surgery numbers mounted, her scars did as well. With each surgery, my mommy’s heart suffered deep wounds. Nursing her the night before, and staring at her in agony as she slept, denying her food as she tried to lean close to suckle, handing her to the nurses and walking away, and waiting sometimes hours as they operated, all of these caused heartache in the deepest sense, leaving deep, gaping wounds.
As I cried to the One I knew could heal us both, He reminded me of some other scars. Scars that spoke of deep wounds, but of an even deeper love. “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands:” Is. 49:16 As I press into these hands, I see them, the scars. Scars that bear my name, caused by my sin, healed by His love. Oh, how I love these Hands! Like Thomas as these scars are revealed to me, I cry, “My Lord, and my God!” I ache for His pain, but I would be lost without those scars!
Scars have a way of changing people. Poignant moments and sometimes painful ones remind us of them. Gazing upon a new baby reminds me of my physical scars. Looking at Lydia in her glasses or watching her in therapy remind me of the scars that reside within my heart. And sometimes the painful reminders are accompanied by moments that fill my heart with so much, moments I hope I never forget. A moment like tonight, when a chubby hand grabbed mine to run it along her Braille so I could feel what she feels when I read to her. And I gaze at her in wonder, and cry because I can’t believe she is mine.