Today is September 9.
Mean anything to you? Probably not. But to me, September 9 is the anniversary of the day my life changed forever. September 9, 2008, is the day my husband was caught in an affair. Seven full years ago. September 9, 2009, is the day of our first court proceedings in the divorce process. Six full years ago.
You know what’s funny? It took me until 3:00 this afternoon to realize that it was the anniversary. Then, I really had to stop and think about how many years it had been. I went back and forth with myself, trying to remember if the anniversary was today or yesterday. I really could not remember.
It hasn’t always been that way. I used to call “her” husband every year on the anniversary. We used to check in with one another, see how things were going. I used to be moody around this time of the year. I used to remember every detail of that day, reviewing every memory so deeply etched into my mind.
I’m not exactly sure when the date could come and go without me realizing it. Probably just in the last couple of years. But this year? I had no clue. It hadn’t crossed my mind. I was oblivious to the time of the year.
This morning I met a couple of ladies who are walking this difficult path. We sat and talked about the hurt, the pain. I tried to encourage with all of the wonderful blessings I have received. I spent my morning using my pain to help others. Answered prayer.
It was as we talked that I realized it was “that time of the year,” but I mistakenly told the ladies yesterday was the anniversary. It wasn’t until hours later, when I saw the date written out, that it hit me.
- Simply. Laughed.
Laughed that God has brought me full circle. Laughed that God has used my pain to give me a ministry. Laughed in Satan’s face that what he meant for evil, God has used for good! It’s so good to laugh!
As I was thinking about the irony this evening, I began to think about a scar that I have.
(WARNING: I AM A NURSE! NOTHING IS OFF-LIMITS FOR ME!)
I have three beautiful, amazing, talented, wonderful, intelligent, witty, respectful, ornery, fun-loving kids. I simply can’t say enough good things about them (most days).
However, I might be one of the few mothers that has carried three babies and never had a labor pain. Yep. That’s my story.
You might be wondering how that is possible. Well, I’m not a very good pregnant lady. As a matter of fact, my doctor looked me in the face after my youngest was born, and said, “If you want to see the three you have grow up, you better not try to have any more.”
Point well understood.
Yes, pregnancy could have killed me. I had a rare and very dangerous condition known as HELLP syndrome with all three kids. And, because of the dangers to both me and the babies, all three of my children were born by c-section.
After my first two were born, I remember having these occasional pains in the area of my scar. My scar was bright red, and often painful. When my youngest was born, my doctor went in and cleaned out all of the scar tissue that had built up after my first two surgeries.
The result? I never have pain in my scar. I never notice it is there. As a matter of fact, I was trying to find my scar a few days ago. It’s faded, completely flesh colored. You cannot even see it.
Why? Because my doctor took the time to go in and clean up the mess from the previous injuries.
Isn’t that a lot like the pains we experience in life? Isn’t that where I am in relation to the wrongs done to me? Isn’t that what God does for us?
We experience these hurts, pains, devastation. They begin to heal, but sometimes they are still there—red, painful, irritated. They are very obvious, very clear to see.
But, when we let our Great Physician step in, he cleans up the mess. He may have to open that scar, clean out all of the hurt and pain that has grown up under it. The process of cleaning it up can be painful in and of itself.
But, if we let him use his expertise… If we let him have full reign…. If we sign the surgical consent form giving him permission to operate…
The results will be worth it. The scar will be barely visible. The pain and irritation will be gone. We will have to look long and hard to even see the mark left on our bodies. We will still have the beautiful work he did in our lives during the process (just as I have my children), but the tangible reminders of the damage will be gone.
Maybe you are not six or seven years into your journey. Maybe the hurt and pain are still fresh, the visible reminders still there. Maybe you can’t enjoy the blessings because you are mired too deep in the devastation.
Morning is coming, and joy comes in the morning.
Let the Great Physician cut you open, do surgery on you. Let him clean out all of the reminders of the hurt and the pain that have built up inside of you. Let him have his way.
It may not be tomorrow or the next day. It may not be next month or next year. But, if you surrender and let him do his work, I promise that one day you will barely even find the scar. You will look back and only remember the blessings he has poured out on you along the journey.