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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.