“ I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
I have always found it curious that Jesus told the man to take with him the evidence of his past infirmity, his bed, instead of telling him; “Get up out of that bed and leave it behind!” For you, just as Jesus says to this man, rise from your infirmity and take your testimony with you, it would be the scars of life you’re taking with you. Start moving forward in the same direction that you are praying by taking the steps of one who has learned to Dance with the Scars even though you may not have mastered them yet and what you will eventually see is that your trial has become your testimony. People may not necessarily know or even need to know the details but the transition from wounded to scarred will be noticed by all. When mourning turns into dancing people will inevitably ask what set you free, or as the Pharisees would later ask the lame man, “Who told you to take up your bed and walk” or, who healed you? This is how your healing becomes your testimony and you can simply say the very powerful words that the same forgiveness you have received, you have extended to another. You don’t have to say “I was abused and I forgave them” you can let your countenance and freedom from forgiveness do the preaching and remember, “Who told you to rise up from your circumstances” is more important than who caused your circumstance.
For those of you who have suffered greatly at the hands of an abuser or were abandoned or never felt you mattered enough to your parent(s) to stop the drugs or drinking my heart goes out to you and I pray that God comfort and strengthens you! I also want you to remember what we talked about in chapters 1 & 2 that the why questions are unanswerable. Many become angry at God for not stopping what was happening to them. I remember a time where Teri and I were watching a horrific scenario unfold on the news that went on for days and weeks. A young boy who was described by friends and media as a devout Christian was abducted and later found beheaded by his brutal captors. It rocked us both and I cannot imagine the pain endured by his parents. The “Why” question was big in our minds, it didn’t make sense, he was an innocent child just as some of you were and someone killed him, and someone killed something inside many of you. I have to say as I write this my eyes are filled with tears and I so wish I could write something to heal you, something to lessen your pain, something to answer your ”whys.” But I must say, what I can do is point you to the one who may not answer your why’s, but who can comfort and heal you. As we started in the beginning of this dance lesson, we noted Life Happens. It is hard but God is good, it is unjust but God is just, life breaks our hearts and God is near to the broken hearted. All I can do is to the best of my understanding try to put tools into your minds and hearts to lift you up out of the moment and tell what I have found to be true. God is good and He loves you, He could stop everything that hurts and wounds us in the here and now, but he hasn’t but someday He will.
My heartbroken and wounded friend there is a freedom that comes from forgiveness but it’s not easy and requires spiritual power. You can’t do it on your own yet without it your are destined to live as the walking wounded all your life but, do what God says to do and He’ll turn the wound to into a scar and you will experience the freedom from forgiveness that justice and apologies can never bring. For those wishing to just forget and move on, for those wishing the pain would just go away, for those wishing God would just wipe away memories without having to do anything, it doesn’t work that way I wish it did, but it just doesn’t. Healing is a lot like patience, it is taught and not caught. You have to take the steps in order to experience the blessings that restore peace, joy and happiness but here’s the good news; anyone can! No matter how deep the wound, no matter how painful the past, God can turn the wound into a scar.
Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.