I’ve heard it said that scars are tattoos with better stories. Growing up I didn’t feel that way. I hated this scar I had from birth. It was on my stomach. I never felt comfortable wearing a bikini. I was constantly afraid someone would see it.

Fast forward as an adult. That scar is a reminder: I lived.

I was born with a birth defect. If you ask my mom, she will actually say she grieved for me because she wasn’t sure I would live. Even once I was out of the woods, they didn’t know if my quality of life was going to be good. Thankfully, other than a scar I haven’t found too boast-worthy, I have otherwise been fairly healthy. I look at my scar, and I am reminded, God chose to let me live.

I remember the wound when my husband died. It seemed massive. It felt at times like it would never heal.

Sometimes I would run straight into a memory, and it would rip the scab open and suddenly I had a fresh wound. I would bandage it back up and start the process of healing all over.

RELATED: My Husband’s Heart Stopped And Mine Nearly Broke

I’m not going to lie there are days that wound still bleeds, but the biggest part of it has become a scar. This scar I wear proudly because it is a reminder: he lived.

Currently, my heart is bleeding over the loss of my dear friend. I know her loss will also leave a scar. It will lie on my heart next to the other ones that represent loved ones I have lost. These scars will forever commemorate: they lived.

God chose them to live. He chose them for me to love.

The fact that God chose to take them away does not take away from the fact that He chose them to have an irreplaceable part in my life. He chose them to leave a mark on me. He chose me to carry them and their memories in my heart . . . and that is an amazing honor.

RELATED: Death Leaves A Heartache No One Can Heal, Love Leaves A Memory No One Can Steal

Sitting here thinking about this reminds me that Jesus kept his scars. If God is capable of raising Him from the dead, then He could have brought Him back with a new body. But He chose to keep the scars because they showed the world one thing: He lived.

God chose Jesus to live for us. God chose Jesus to die for us. God chose Jesus to defeat death for us.

In this moment where I again have a new wound from such a great loss, I am reminded that His scars heal ours. His scars are the hope we have that one day our wounds will not even be memories. His scars enable us to be made new, unblemished. His scars will one day take away the pain of ours.

RELATED: God Actually Does Give Us More Than We Can Handle

Until that day, I will wear my scars proudly because they represent that I lived. Beyond that, they represent and memorialize people who allow me to say not only did I live, but I was loved and as a result, I lived well.

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Valeria Tipton

I am Valeria Tipton but my favorite name by far is mommy. I am a 35-year-old widow with a 5-year-old son. Together we are navigating the unexpected loss of my husband, but we are determined to find the hallelujah during this heartbreaking moment. I decided to write about this journey as transparently as possible so when God moves in our lives it would be evident that He is faithful in His promises. 

I Was Raised by an Easter-Only Mom and I Want More for My Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and daughter read Bible

Motherhood is not for the faint-hearted, and women tend to look to their upbringing for guidance. We may not even realize we’re doing it! But being a godly mother is even more difficult when you weren’t raised by one. The questions are endless: How do I model forgiveness? How do I set the right priorities for my household? How do I explain baptism to my 6-year-old? Is it okay to have undiscipled friends around my children? Do we have to pray over every meal? Is the occasional swear word acceptable?  These questions may be less intimidating if you were fortunate enough...

Keep Reading

Even When it Feels Like I Can’t, I Keep Going

In: Faith, Motherhood
Tired mom holding toddler

When I feel like I can’t do one more thing. When I am overwhelmed and touched out and lost in the logistics of it all. When my physical and mental energy are depleted. When the length of my to-do list needs more hours than I have. When I am so bone tired that I’m sure I just can’t go on. And there is still more to do. And the only choice is to keep going– I keep going. I dig a little deeper and find strength I didn’t know I had. RELATED: Check on Your “Strong” Friend, She’s Faking it...

Keep Reading

What Happens When She Wants Another Baby and He Does Not?

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Husband and wife, pregnancy photo, color photo

I am on my knees, folded over, with my head resting on the carpet. I am in my closet, which doesn’t see much of the vacuum, and it is the only place I can find to sob out of sight. I feel hollowed out and defeated as if I have run a marathon and was cut short at the finish line. I cry out in prayer, pleading with God to soften the heart of my husband. I desperately want another child, and he desperately does not. I take a deep breath and dry my eyes because my 4-year-old outside the...

Keep Reading

Is Your Marriage on Cruise Control?

In: Faith, Marriage
Couple holding hands in car, above view

Cruising down the road, the highway curled before us like a ribbon into the horizon. Cozy road trips are a staple for my husband and me, and we look forward to the time together. Having been married for 37 years the adventure continues! We have loved each other through the ups and downs, and we have learned a lot about relationships. We also made a point of carefully watching successful relationships and surrounding ourselves with those whose marriages flourished. Nowadays, we have many young couples ask us what it takes to keep a marriage vibrant. One of the key ingredients...

Keep Reading

Ordinary Mornings, Extraordinary Grace

In: Faith
Emily Ley holding Sure as the Sunrise book by water's edge

“From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Today, take note of what brings you gladness. That which gives you pause or causes you to take a deep breath. These are glimpses of God’s goodness in our lives, brought to life through moments and things, memories and sounds. Realizations and hope. In its biggest forms: a moment you wish you could freeze in time, and in its smallest: a sliver of grace, otherwise overlooked. I wake up to the smell of fresh laundry, sheets cool against my skin. One eye open, I peek down at the...

Keep Reading

She Just Needed to be Held

In: Faith, Motherhood
A little girl held by mom, color photo

“She just needed to be held,” I texted my husband after a two-hour battle to get my 3-year-old to bed. She’s been sick. Daddy’s been gone. And she needed to be seen. Held. Loved. And in that split second, I felt God say, “Just like you.” When things are chaotic. When we feel alone. When we feel weary. RELATED: God Sees You, Weary Mama When our spirit feels sick. When it all feels like too much to carry. We need Him. To breathe life into us. To remind us of our worth. To remind us of the hope He offers....

Keep Reading

Church Should Be a Sanctuary for Neurodivergent Kids

In: Faith, Motherhood
Child praying in church pew black and white photo

We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to the acceptance of loud, energetic, and spirited children inside the church. It’s easy to preach (pun intended) acceptance of every individual as God made them, but when a 9-year-old is shouting out, repeatedly during a sermon, or a 6-year-old is jumping from one pew to the next during the prelude, that’s when reality sets in. You hear the elderly man behind you whisper to his wife, “Back in my day, children were seen and not heard, what’s wrong with kids these days?” Then the single, 30-something across...

Keep Reading

Do You Ever Feel Like a Fraud?

In: Faith, Motherhood
Stressed woman side view

Hey, Momma. Do you ever feel like a fraud? Maybe it’s just me. Here I am . . . trying to build a life and career writing about motherhood. Yet, I don’t feel very good at it at all.  When my oldest was born 13 years ago, I decided on my own that we weren’t going to spank or yell.  Then, life changed.  One child turned into six over the course of a decade. And over the years, I’ve failed to keep the commitment I made all those years ago.  RELATED: I’m Not The Mom I Thought I Would Be...

Keep Reading

The Prayer Heard Round the World: ESPN Anchor Prays On-Air For Damar Hamlin

In: Faith, Living
Dan Orlovsky prays on ESPN for Damar Hamlin

No doubt you’ve heard it said (or even said it yourself): “I’m praying for you.”  In the wake of Damar Hamlin’s terrifying collapse midway through the first quarter of Monday night’s NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals, it seems the entire nation has been praying for his recovery. We saw both teams kneel to pray as the ambulance carrying Hamlin left the field. There have been moments of silence offered across stadiums in Hamlin’s honor. Hamlin’s family issued a statement thanking the public for the outpouring of support and prayer: “We are deeply moved by the...

Keep Reading

The Weight I Carry Is Heavy, but Jesus Is Strong

In: Faith, Living, Motherhood
Tired woman holding forehead by light of computer in a dark room

Some days are heavy. Some weeks, months, and years are heavy.  This year has been a hard year for my family, and it took some time for me to describe the feeling that hits me randomly every day. Today, I was sitting on my couch, putting in another grocery order, removing things yet again to fit our ever-dwindling budget and the word heavy came to mind, and it fits so well to describe this year. My heart is heavy. The weight I am carrying is heavy. The always-increasing grocery costs are heavy. The medical conditions, medical debt, and doctor appointments...

Keep Reading