When I began my journey to healing, it started with forgiveness. Not only of those who hurt me but for myself as well and the part I played in allowing others to use and abuse me, even if I didn’t know another way at the time. I needed to forgive myself for the way I allowed others to treat my body. I know now that my body is a temple, and how I treat it matters (I Cor. 6:19). I know when we forgive others it gives us freedom. Harboring unforgiveness in our hearts only hurts us. I also believe we can forgive ourselves. Even though, as someone pointed out to me, it is not in the Bible. I do read in the Bible that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:39). To me, this implies that we need to love ourselves to love others well. Doesn’t that include forgiveness? How can we forgive unless we love? Likewise, how can we love unless we forgive? Both ourselves and others. It was a big part of my healing; learning how to love, forgive, and trust myself. And because we are made in the image of God and we are to follow Jesus’ example on how to live, I think since He loves us, forgives us, and shows us grace, that we can do the same; not only for others but for ourselves.

Like I have said before, forgiveness does not mean we forget. Remembering is an important part of moving forward while not repeating the same mistakes. Our scars are a part of how we once were, but they also serve as a beautiful reminder of who we are now, through Christ. A friend recently gave me a broken heart, mended with gold. She said it is representative of our brokenness and how the honest parts of our past should be celebrated, not hidden. It is a Japanese art form called Kintsugi and is used to mend broken pottery with gold to stand for all the beautiful things that have unique imperfections. Just like our scars, wounds, and imperfections are our beauty. The little card with it says, “You’re more beautiful for having been broken.”

This reminded me of a message I received from the Holy Spirit a few years ago after my accident.

Scars are another symbol of remembrance. My hands tell a love story. Your scars mark the day I saved you and brought you back to Myself and the Father. We won the battle together. You are a victor in Christ. Let your scars tell your story. Our stories collide. The scars of your past mistakes and sins run deep but My scars cover all of yours in love for complete healing.”

God has restored even the most broken parts of my past and redeemed them in ways I could have never imagined. If my pain and brokenness can be used to help others – it is worth it. That is what makes it even more beautiful. I believe God chose me for such a time as this (Esther 4:14). I had a professor that said all our past painful experiences are keys on a keychain. God uses them to unlock the hearts of others. I love that.

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