This question popped into my head as I sat eating lunch after having a few conversations with people who had been scarred. Who are we behind the scars?

We all have scars. We all have wounds. How those scars got there varies, but regardless of how we all have scars.

Some scars may have come from the hands of another. Others we may have obtained from our own choices. While others may have been obtained from what some may call a “freak accident.” Not one of us has been left unwounded or unscarred.

My scars may not look like yours, but we both experienced pain. Our wounds and eventual scars forever change us, but they don’t have to define us.

We get through the wounds, but we never get over them. Just like a hot pan on tender skin, that scar may fade, but it never completely disappears.

From time to time, we may hear the question, “what happened there?” Telling your story often causes you to relive the pain, but what’s under those scars keeps us grounded.

So who am I behind my scars? Who are you behind your scars? I want to take a moment to remind you. Because sometimes life gets the best of us, and we can’t see past the scars.

You are priceless. You are loved without conditions. You are a joy. You are a delight. You are a child who has a loving Father who never lets you out of His sight or affection (Jeremiah 23:23). You are a treasure. You are redeemed. You are rescued. You are set free. You are beautiful. You are made in the image of God. You have purpose.

A scar is defined as “a mark left (as in the skin) by the healing of injured tissue,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

A mark left by the healing of an injured tissue, I sometimes wish that we could see the unseen scars on our hearts. I believe it would radically change the way we see each other.

“If we treated others like they were hurting, we would be correct 80% of the time.”  — Anonymous

As I was thinking about this, I remembered that when Jesus showed Himself to the disciples, He still had His scars after He rose again. Those scars were the proof Thomas needed to believe. Those scars meant Jesus overcame rejection, separation, grief, loss, and even death.

What if our scars are proof for someone else to know, despite the most horrific of times, that God’s unfailing love sustains us? And evidence that where sin abounds, grace abounds more.

Underneath our scars and our wounds is a God who lives within His child whom He has given worth. He is within us like a mighty warrior. His truth sets the captives free. His mercy conquers judgment. And He is the one who enables us to overcome.

When we peak behind the curtain, when we look past the scars on another, we see the image of God. You see God’s creation in every tear-stained face and every scarred soul.

It is in the brokenness we find our redeemer. It’s in the times of great wounding that we find sweet fellowship with Jesus, who, for the JOY set before Him, He endured the cross.

So do not be scared of your scars. They may prove to someone else who needs to know that our God knows what it means to suffer. It may prove to another that He is who He says He is. It may prove to another that God is a loving, compassionate, gracious God who loves us enough to allow hard things to shape us. And who loves us enough to allow us to be wounded to draw us closer to His heart for the suffering and the broken.

“If the church is not for the broken and suffering, the Church is not for Christ” –Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way.

Be brave with your scars, for your scars are proof that you’re alive, and what was meant for harm, God can turn into good!