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7.11.2013

scabs

I was going through some of my old journals from middle school and I came across something I had forgotten: a scab.

One of the highlights of my youth group's winter retreat in the mountains of upstate New York was tubing down the icy hill towards the frozen lake. The thrill of flying over the ice was fun, but it was the boys lining the hill to jump on our inner tubes -- that was the highlight.

As I was headed downhill, Mark Roemke jumped onto my inner tube. I didn't even care he jumped right onto my head, pressing my forehead against the ice all the way down the hill. When we got to the bottom, I joined my friends and was all "You guys! Mark!! Was on my head!!!"

Only then did I realize that my head actually hurt. A lot, in fact. I had a nice big scrape over my right eyebrow thanks to Mark. I may have tried to milk his sympathy the rest of the retreat. I don't remember if it worked or not, but I do remember that one time he told me, very seriously, that I had a perfect nose. At the time I was flattered, but now sometimes I look at my nose in profile and wonder what exactly he meant. Perfectly pointy? Maybe.

In any case, that scrape turned into a scab, then healed into a scar that you can still see today, just barely. When the scab fell off, I carefully taped it into my journal. I don't know why I did that except that I was a middle school girl and the scab was a reminder of a time when the boy I liked chose me. Well, he chose my inner tube to jump onto, but in my heart I knew it was me that he chose.

It grosses me out a little bit to think that I saved my scab and put it in my journal.

As I was thinking about that, it occurred to me that sometimes we save our scabs. Not literal scabs, but figurative reminders that are, well, not meant to be saved. I'm talking about hurt feelings and unforgiveness, more specifically.

Scabs are not bad, they're part of how our skin heals. Hurt feelings are not bad either, they help us to know what is going on inside of us. Once we recognize our feelings are hurt, we can address the wound and healing can take place.

When the wound heals, there's no reason to hold on to the hurt. It's a little bit gross to see a scab taped carefully into a prominent place. Like a blog post, for instance. Or a Facebook status line.

"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." Colossians 3:13

As the Lord forgave you. He forgave me as he was dying on the cross. He forgave me all my sins, even though I didn't deserve it. That's how I need to forgive others.

There will probably still be scars. We don't need to forget the pain, we can learn from hurts. But we do need to forgive and throw away the scabs. They're not meant to be saved.

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Linking up with Amanda's Desire to Inspire and Casey Leigh's On My Heart.

12 comments:

  1. What a helpful picture. Thank you. Appreciate this story so much. Recently an extended family member shared a negative time about me from when I was a teenager. Usually I'd want to defend myself or plea to move forward, but God gave me the grace to hear the story. Just listen. Kind of take myself out of it, and hear what the loved one had experienced. Later I prayed the person could love me since that would take care of the record of wrongs. I also prayed I could love them and myself. What freedom from the scab. Don't know if this ties in completely, but your story connected me to the freedom I felt.

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    1. I'm so glad that this story connected you with the freedom you felt then. That blesses me. It's so important to be able to sit with people in their pain - even (especially?) if we are the ones who caused it. I'm learning how to do that. xoxo!

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  2. That was really beautiful. Well said, and you know what you're right. I think that maybe I needed to read this today. Thank you.

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    1. I'm so glad that you read it today, then. Thank you for stopping by. (hugs)

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  3. So very well said. Thank you dear Anne.I can really relate to this.

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  4. Oh yeah, this is SO true. I think I definitely hold on to old scars, saving the scab instead of reveling in the soul-healing that has taken place. Beautifully spoken, Anne.

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    1. Thanks, Amanda. I appreciate your feedback.

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  5. Beautifully written piece and so full of truth. I see scabs posted on facebook all the time and they are often hard to look at. I agree that scars can be a reminder but the ugly scabs need to go and Jesus can help us so beautifully do that.

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  6. Ew. I had to. Ew.

    But also, you are SO right. Love this metaphor. Even though, uhhh ew. :)

    xoxo,
    gayle | grace for gayle
    I'm a #Previvor

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    1. I know, right?! That's what I said when I saw it taped into my journal. "Ew!"

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