I got this scar when I was 16 years old.  You can barely see it in this picture, but it’s there. Trust me.

I wish it was a scar from a bullet I got moonlighting as a spy (cuz I do have those skills you know), but no, not this time.

I was working on a car wash in a church parking lot to raise money for a high school athletic club I was part of.  There was a metal piece of trim sticking out on the side of the car, and as I swiped, it sliced my finger open leaving a deep cut that required stitches.

This is a scar that (almost) everyone can see. But I have “invisible” ones too.  I know you do too.

That teacher who shamed you. That boyfriend who dumped you. That parent who let you down. The friend who said “You’re too…” or “You’re not enough…” That time you were fired or betrayed or overlooked or compared and found lacking.

They may not be physically visible, but these wounds are deep and long-lasting.

What’s an invisible wound or painful memory you carry with you?

Usually we think of the negative effects of those invisible scars. “Hurting people hurt people” and all that jazz.

My hidden scar can make me very wary and distrustful.  I can be overly sensitive.

Every once in awhile, it’s like suddenly, that old, healed over scar that doesn’t hurt to touch becomes an open wound or a fresh bruise again.

And in those moments when we feel a ding in our spirit maybe we need to say “WHOA!  Hold on a minute!” and ask a few questions:

1. Exactly why am I feeling what I’m feeling?

2. What is the truth that God says about me? (Isaiah 43:1)

3. How can God use this pain positivelyconstructively in this moment? “Lord, what do You have to teach me about myself and Yourself?”

Constructively, my particular scars have the potential to make me aware of the pain of others, the importance of including, valuing and validating but I still wish I did this better.  Most importantly the truth of Psalm 62 has been grafted into my life:

“My  soul finds rest in God alone; my hope comes from Him. Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress.  I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:5-8

What circumstances are most likely to bring the pain of your wound back to the surface?

What are the positive ways you see God using the pain of the past in your life?