Time has a way of healing things. No matter what hardships we’ve endured, in time we tend to forget what some of the pain was like. Nothing will ever take these scars away. They’re here for good. And yet we still forget.
My back surgery was by far the most physically painful thing I’ve been through. Occasionally, I will wake up after a nightmare about having another back surgery. And then it’s as if all the memories and feelings flood back to my mind. I begin remembering the pain I felt, the emotions, the surroundings, the smells of the hospital, and the people there with me. Sometimes I’ll push myself too hard playing volleyball or trying to pick something up, and the smallest amount of pain sends me back to those moments of what it felt like almost 9 years ago. It all comes back.
And yet I live most of everyday not giving a thought to any of that. Because I’m in denial? No. Because my back is fixed and perfect now? Mostly definitely no. Because life moves on, whether you’re ready or not.
I’ve been reminded of this as I’ve seen my family and friends go through heartache this year. I was reminded last night when talking with a high school girl who was sobbing over a very difficult situation she was experiencing. And then later I heard her joyful laughter. Was everything ok then? No, but life moves on. And so we have to.
Scars are fascinating to me. Not only do they look cool, but they typically have awesome (or sometimes hilarious) stories behind them. A lot of people ask me if I try to hide my scar or make it less noticeable with medicine. My response? No way! I worked hard for this. I’m very proud of my 18-inch scar.
Scars are not a reminder of what you’ve been through (although it certainly is that) as much as it is a reminder of who you are now because of what you’ve been through. Every problem God gives us in life makes us a different person. It changes our perspective a little bit at a time. Our character grows through hardships if we allow God to work.
As of last August, my friends and I have raised almost $6,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Before my surgery, I didn’t even know what that organization was, much less cared to help it. I became passionate about it. But after a while, I wondered if all the stress of putting on these benefit concerts was worth it. I was forgetting what I had been through and how I had been changed.
Even scars fade. That permanent proof of victory becomes less visible, and therefore less memorable. We shouldn’t live in the past, stuck where we used to be, enduring those trials all over again. Let’s remember how far we’ve come and how we can keep growing and shining as our scars disappear.