Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Part II: My Body the Battleground

My body is the battleground of my war with health and I have the scars to show for it.

My health has been a battle for me most of my life.  Not a war with anything life-threatening, but a chronic, nagging, ongoing battle against chronic disease.

My body is riddled with scars on my head, chest, arms, legs, back and stomach.  I have been asked if I was burned, abused, obese, or hurt myself.  They are a combination of red and white and pink and purplish slashes across my skin.  Sometimes they ache.  They are stretchmarks, and surgery scars from the effects of high dose steroids and chemotherapy drugs I took as a child to try and prevent my hearing loss.
They often make me hate my body.  Most days, I am a warrior. I am more than the skin I wear.  Other days, I get angry, and I wish and want for something else, something more, something smooth and pretty and not ugly.  I get angry sometimes about the battle between what I want to be able to do with my body and what my body is able to do.  I secretly wish for a different body just like everyone else.

My children have reached out to my scars and asked me what happened and I have told them.  Their reply, "Ooh, texture!"

I have told my husband that sometimes my scars make me feel ugly.  His reply: "You are beautiful, they are battle scars."

I have told God, that I sometimes wish for a different body.  God's reply: "You don't need one."

I am who I am, scars in all.  So, if I wear a bikini, or a short skirt or a tank top.  It's not to be immodest, or sexy (well, maybe for my husband) or provocative;  it's to thumb my nose at my body and define myself as more than the scars that make me, me. Sure, you'll see me hanging out with lumps, bumps, scars and all, but it's my way of overcoming this shell I have and showing my kids that the outside doesn't matter.

Your shell doesn't matter either.  It's what you do with it. I'd really like it if we all stopped beating ourselves up over the scars we carry.  People love us, scars and all.  They are the texture of our life.  The road map of what we have accomplished and what we will continue to accomplish. My scars are my testament that God has lifted me up far higher than I could have done on my own through what has happened to me.

Will I continue to have days where I wish for smooth, unblemished skin? Probably.  I am human.  I slip back and want for something I don't have, nor will ever have, but each day I have worn my scars, I am reminded that I have overcome something that for a moment of my life defined me like nothing else.  I was marked, and I am different because of it. 

You have been marked too.  You will be different as well.  These life changes mark us as Christ's own forever.