This Scarred Vessel

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I’m taking off my watch.

I’ve worn a watch everyday of my life for the past 15 years. I don’t wear it to tell the time. It’s certainly not a fashion statement: I buy the cheapest watches I can find. I wear this watch to hide my scars.

When I was 18 years old I tried to commit suicide. I was in such a dark place, so hurt, so angry, so lost – I just didn’t want to live anymore.

But I lived through it – and I’ve worn a large plastic watch on my wrist to camouflage the scars and keep any questions to a minimum. I want to present this happy, well-put-together, smiley image to the world. All is good with me! I’m okay! I’ve got the joy-joy-joy-joy down in my heart…

Because surely God wants me to represent perfection, right?

No.

God doesn’t need me sweeping things under the rug. He doesn’t want me to make sure I present this perfect picture of happiness all the time to the world around me. He hasn’t called me to be fake. He’s calling me to be open, honest, transparent. He wants me to be a vessel. Empty and ready to be filled with His Spirit, to be poured out on the lives around me.

But this vessel has scars. Is that a glitch? Some imperfection? Shouldn’t I sand that down, apply a layer of paint? Maybe I can turn that part towards the back – hide it – and let the good side represent my life. Surely that’s a better way to share my testimony.

Wrong.

For so many years it was too painful to admit what I did. So I wore the watch and hid the scars. Then one Sunday I heard a voice whisper in my heart, “You can take that off now.”

“Oh, no Lord!” I protested, “The scars are ugly and I have the world’s most obvious tan line. People will notice and I’ll have to explain. It will be awkward, Lord.”

“Just tell them the truth: I saved you.”

semicolon

Semicolon Project 4/16 – On April 16th anyone who struggles with self harm, is suicidal, is depressed, has anxiety, is unhappy, going through a broken heart, lost a loved one, etc. draw a semicolon on your wrist. A semicolon represents a sentence the author could’ve ended, but chose not to.

And just like that, I was relieved. No lengthy, tear-filled explanation needed. I don’t need to reassure people that I’m totally fine now. I don’t need to retell that evening in gory detail. If someone notices, I’ll smile and say, “Yes, I hurt myself. But God saved me. I’m not that person anymore.”

God didn’t just save me that night. I didn’t know at the time – but I was pregnant with my first child. God saved me and He saved Rowena. He saved Daniel, he saved Vivian. He saved Abigail, Harmony and David. He saved generations when He rescued a broken-hearted, confused, distraught 18-year-old girl.

I’m ready to smile and be honest. I was hurting, but God rescued me. He healed my broken heart. These scars are just a footnote in the story of how much God loves me.

And He loves you too.

1 John 4:9-11

9 “This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him. 10 True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God. He sent his Son as the way to take away our sins.

11 That is how much God loved us, dear friends…”

Days will come when you don’t have the strength

And all you hear is you’re not worth anything

Wondering if you ever could be loved

And if they truly saw your heart they’d see too much… You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.

You are made for so much more than all of this

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.

You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His

You’re beautiful
Praying that you’d have the heart to fight

‘Cause you are more than what is hurting you tonight

For all the lies you’ve held inside so long

They are nothing in the shadow of the cross

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.

You are made for so much more than all of this

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.

You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His

You’re beautiful

Before you ever took a breath – Long before the world began

Of all the wonders He possessed – There was one more precious

Of all the earth and skies above – You’re the one He madly loves … Enough to die
You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.

You are made for so much more than all of this

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.

You are treasured, You are sacred, You are His

You’re beautiful

6 thoughts on “This Scarred Vessel

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