Through the (extensive and well done!) application/interview process, I’ve been spending a lot of time talking about myself, thinking about myself, my past, my journey to this point, etc. On the one hand, it’s been good to see the way God has been leading me along, using the good stuff and bad stuff to mold me into who I am right now. On the other, it means I’ve had to spend more time looking at the icky parts.
Looking at the scars and wounds, even the things God has so graciously been redeeming, is not for the faint of heart. I had a ‘mini-meltdown’ last night as the enormity of my decision is starting to settle into reality. Along with the grieving I know is coming for all that I’m leaving, my insecurity is seeping in again. How in the world can I think God can use me? I know me. I am a mess. I carry scars that won’t be healed this side of Heaven. How can God use this broken girl?
Then the Holy Spirit gently reminded me that Jesus was scarred. In fact, He carried His scars to Heaven. That means there was worth in them because they symbolized what God accomplished through His sacrifice. Jesus glorified God in the gore of the cross. An instrument of shame and defeat was our way to redemption. When He was resurrected, it was those scars which helped show the disciples that Jesus was, in fact, Jesus.
A dear friend who has known me since I was eight years old, sent me beautiful words of Henri Nouwen (written below). In all my focus on myself, I had forgotten their truth. As I read them again, I am praying for the courage to see my scars as a way to point others to Jesus. To embrace my own weaknesses so that God can be glorified through the cracks and breaks in my life. I’m not there yet, but I’m going to keep pressing forward!
“Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not "How can we hide our wounds?" so we don’t have to be embarrassed but "How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?" When our wounds cease to be a source of shame and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.
Jesus is God’s wounded healer. Through his wounds we are healed. Jesus' suffering and death brought joy and life. His humiliation brought glory; his rejection brought a community of love. As followers of Jesus we can also allow our wounds to bring healing to others.” Henri Nouwen