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fading scars

I have scars all over my body.

I have one scar on my left knee from a needle. I was crawling under a quilt my mother was working on and found the needle she had lost. It broke off. Years later, when my knee was x-rayed after a slide into home plate at a softball game, you could still see the eye of that needle floating somewhere behind my knee cap.

I have a scar on my left foot from a rusty nail I stepped on as a child. I remember crawling home from the creek with a board nailed to my foot. I remember the ER doctor had to irrigate the wound because the nail was so scaly with rusty. I remember I didn’t like that. Not one bit. I remember the shot I had to get because of it. That was almost worse!

I have one on my left index finger from a nasty cut I got on the slicer at work my junior year in high school. I worked as the head meat slicer in a sandwich deli. It was a particularly busy day because there was a festival at the park, as well as the demands of the store to meet. I had just finished for the day and had taken the guard off the blade to wash it all down, when I slipped on the water my co-worker left on the floor. I still remember the thud my finger made as it hit the blade. I still remember my co-0worker passing out. I still remember thinking “what would my dad do right now?” I remember grabbing the cleanest towel in the kitchen, wrapping it around my hand, stuffing my hand into a Big Gulp cup full of ice, chasing the lunch crowd out of the store, and driving myself to the ER with my co-work passed out on the seat next to me. I remember the doctor’s face when I checked in… and I remember loosing it when he pulled back the skin to look at the damage.

I have a scar on my belly from two c-sections, and I can feel it every time I lean over the bathroom counter to look closely in the mirror at something. For some reason when I feel that scar I remember a nurse who looked at my incision in the hospital and told me how lucky I was that the doctor had done such a good job closing me up, because it was going to heal really nicely and I’d still be able to wear a bikini. As if!

I have a set of scares from my gall bladder surgery. My #3 child was only 10 months old. The recovery seemed more difficult than other injuries resulting in scars. I had a hard time waking from the anesthetic. My husband said they nearly had to fillet me because the knick something and couldn’t find it to stop the bleeding. Thankfully, they found it before I had even longer scars.

I have the scars of nicks and cuts and splatters all over my body from kitchen mishaps, bike accidents, tripping, knocks, and bumps. Seriously, I am a klutz and I have the scars to prove it.

It’s funny, the way all those little marks hold such memories. Things that would have been forgotten long ago had they not stayed on my skin. Some of my scars hold no memories. I can’t even remember how I got hurt in the first place. At first, it seemed that it would take forever for bruises, scratches, burns, or cuts to heal.

Scars are reminders of where we’ve been.

I think my “inside” scars are my greatest reminders… and the hardest ones to heal; scars for disappointment, betrayal, and hurt feelings.

I guess some people might call these “inside” scars a grudge. I don’t. To me, a grudge is lack of peace, something immovable or unchanging. Scars evolve. Wounds bleed, then itch, then dry up, and then turn to marks that may fade with time.

Maybe it’s like this: inside scars are the lessons we’ve learned after the healing power of the Savior has helped the bleeding end, and the wound seal over, nearly as good as new.

Most days these scars don’t make a difference in my daily activity. Sometimes they ache. This week they ached a bit as I listened to others who ache. I don’t know exactly how to make things better… but I want to.

Although it might sound odd, but I know time heals everything and scars fade.

And I’m okay with that.

Scars are a reminder of where we've been; good thing they don't have to lead us where we are going!


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