I have been studying what makes women confident. Throughout asking women from all ages and stages of life what makes them feel confident, I keep bumping into a powerful concept. A confident woman lets her scars change her for the better. Life will deal us situations that scar us, break us and threaten to destroy us. But, there is a beautiful aroma that surrounds the woman who participates in brokenness and arrives stronger on the other side. She allows God to heal her. She trusts Him to show her how to respond to the brokenness instead of how the world shouts to react. As she works with God, possibly a therapist and definitely a few Godly girlfriends, she finds the wound that happened begins to heal.
I remember when we had to decide to deliver our daughter by C-Section. Immediately after the surgery, my scar was tender and I was, understandably, protective of it. I would avoid sneezing and even laughing because it hurt. Over time, my body learned to heal by creating a scar that is a callous. The world in which we live hears the word callous and thinks of something bad. We see a calloused person as cold and unfeeling. However, the Latin of the word callous means “hard-skinned”. That is how my C-Section wound healed. The skin became hard and calloused leaving me to return to normal activities which even included sneezing and belly laughing. All because my skin thickened.
What an important learning for our lives, my friends. We cannot control the wounds of betrayal, disappointment, loss or devastation that enter our lives. But we can participate in the healing that leaves us thick-skinned instead of hard-hearted.
Being hard-hearted in response to life’s woundings causes me to become cynical, bitter and isolated. I’ve so often been tempted to rope off my heart with a huge wall so that it simply can never be hurt again. But, when I work through the wounding with God and then others, my skin thickens over the wound, but my heart remains soft.
What are you being tempted to harden in your heart to avoid future pain? I understand. I really do. But, join me in prayer that instead of hardening, your skin over the wounding will thicken. This happens by being honest about the pain. By being a forgiver and asking forgiveness and by owning your part, yet releasing the actions of others to be their responsibility.
This Easter, let’s leave our disappointments, cynicism, betrayal and pain at the foot of the cross and receive the soft heart that Jesus’ shed blood allows.
I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands. You’ll once again live in the land I gave your ancestors. You’ll be my people! I’ll be your God! Ezekiel 36:26-28 (MSG)
Let’s work together….