A little over a year ago (at the time I am writing this post), I got some news that rocked my world: the doctor told me they had found cancer in my recently-removed appendix. This post isn’t about that. I had another, longer surgery and recovery time ahead of me. This post isn’t about that either. This post is about the aftereffects. That second surgery was invasive, and although I had an incredible surgeon — and an even better group of nurses — it was still a lot. Now, a year later, I find that moving in certain ways bothers me. I have areas that are tight, places that pull when I’m sitting still, and muscles that don’t move the way they did a year ago. It’s not the muscles themselves; it’s the scar tissue.
After trauma, the body creates new fibers to mend the damage caused by the wound. This creates a scar and, ultimately, the scarring is a good thing. It not only helps heal the wound, but it makes that area tougher as well. Here’s the problem with scar tissue though: It’s stronger, but it’s less flexible. It may be protecting the site of injury, but it’s also restricting my mobility. It’s not letting my body do all it’s capable of doing. So nearly every morning and night, you’ll find me on my living room floor putting my body through a series of stretches to increase my range of motion. Guess what? It stinks! It hurts. It’s not fun, and it makes me tired. I’d rather be in my recliner with a cup of coffee and a donut. It stinks…but it helps.
I was fighting the bendability battle this morning as I sat down to tie my shoe, when Papa gave me a little nudge, “You know, that’s not the only place you’ve got scar tissue.” I wish I could get my point across the way YHWH does. With a two-second thought, he showed me fifteen places where I have “scar tissue” in need of addressing. Not physical scar tissue. Papa was talking about something else. Our emotional wounds do the same thing as our physical ones. We heal. We’re functional, but we’ve lost a lot of flexibility.
That young man who watched his mother walk out on him time and time again is not afraid of commitment – it’s just scar tissue. The old man who never has a kind word to say, who feels like he’s lost or been abandoned by everyone he ever loved, isn’t mean or hateful – it’s just scar tissue. The young lady whose traumatic past won’t let her get close, the loner who won’t make friends because he’s afraid of betrayal, the Christian who struggles with believing YHWH is a good Father because of the experiences he’s had with his own: they’re not broken, or strange, or unfaithful. They were wounded, they healed, and now they’re dealing with the scar tissue.
Maybe that’s you. I know it’s me! If so, it’s time for a little physical therapy. It’s time to do some stretching. The good news is you’ve got access to a great physical therapist! The regimen is tough, and the exercises are a little strange. It may be 30 reps of “bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:28). It may be 3 sets of “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you” (Matthew 5:42). It may be a 20-mile trek of pure forgiveness, but YHWH is going to break up that scar tissue. Why? Because He loves you and wants you to be able to love both Him and His creation with a whole heart.
Those inflexible muscles can’t love like Yeshua loves. That heart of stone has got to go! It’s time to stretch, and the first stretch I do every night is stand up tall and reach my arms toward the One who consistently picks me up as I stumble through my day. And so, for yet another reason, I am thankful for the scars!
“So I’m thankful for the scars
Cause’ without them I wouldn’t know Your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are
So forever I am thankful for the scars”
Thanks for reading! And even though I shared a link to the song, please remember, TEST EVERYTHING, hold tight to what is good!
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