Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Wounds and Scars

My fingers trailed along the blunted edge of the first staple before they tiptoed down the entire length of the incision. Twenty one. Twenty one staples holding together a myriad of other internal and external stitches stretching from below my ribcage to and inch below my belly button. I let my hand drift to the protruding lump adjacent to the wound, feeling my pulse surge throughout my 'borrowed organ.
The staples were coming out in a few weeks, but for now they were a tactile reminder of the gift I'd received; a new pancreas. After 34 years of Diabetes, I had a working pancreas.
I often found myself unconsciously fingering the staples and then the scars. Even now, 8 months later, I obsess over the healed wound that splits my stomach from tip to stern. I have quite a few scars on my stomach. One from a C-section 10 years ago. Another from the kidney my brother gave me in 2009 as well as the big one that has been opened and closed three times since 2012 when my first pancreatic transplant failed and I had it removed.
For a diabetic to live with a new pancreas is truly life changing. I went from: needles in my arms, poking my fingers 4-6 times a day, Being consistently dehydrated, sick to my stomach, in pain, and in danger of losing consciousness.  To only having my blood drawn every week and seeing doctors every month or so. Its mind blowing to know your body is no longer disintegrating around you while you fight to do things like, cook and clean and care for the kids.
If you've never lost your freedom, your stomach contents, or your sanity from a temporary or long term illness, you may not understand. If you have...you know what a blessing it is to have your body working with you.
Although I enjoy marvelous benefits from these surgeries...I still obsess at times over "the wound"
Its ugly. More than that it marks me in unforgettable ways. My husband says he loves my scars. They remind him of how far we've come and how hard we fight for our life together. I struggle to see them like he does. When I don't feel well because my complex digestive tract hates the medication. When my stomach hurts from all the viruses, fungi and bacteria it must fight off. When I worry about my stomach never being flat again. The scars bother me.
Spending too much time focused on the "wound" instead of the "cure" only steals the miraculous part from the scar. Every one of us has been wounded by life, by friends, family, heartbreak and disease. Time, distance, healing and forgiveness leave their scars and remind us of the miraculous healing power The Savior offers. It is only when we take our focus off of his love and grace that we focus on the wounds. It is only when we focus on the scars and how we got them that the miraculous nature of Christ's healing seems to be distant and powerless.
If your wounded and still healing, or if you haven't begun to heal from your wounds yet. Stop focusing on the reason you are hurting, keep your eyes on the One Who Heals. His power is sufficient and time with Him will close the wound. All you need to be whole again is to look to Jesus Christ and be healed. First, you'll have to take your focus off the wound.
I, too, have begged my Savior for my struggles to end. I've wondered how long and how much my body and mind would go through before I'd find relief. It is much easier to let pain, both physical and mental be the focus of your life so you can survive it. Survival doesn't bring healing though. It simply keeps your heart beating until the healing comes. If you mentally tear open your wounds to remind yourself they're still there you can not heal. Your faults, mistakes, sins and weaknesses are worse. Constantly picking at the scars of your all too human life opens old wounds and makes them new. Forget your pain, your self, and your past. Don't ever forget how you got here, but stop wasting energy on the scar. Soak in the healing power of Christ's love. Perhaps the pain will remind you, like the scar reminds me. The part of you that works, thrives and loves will take over and the scars will fade if you allow them to heal. 

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