Isaiah 43:19, "For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
The verse above has brought me comfort on many different occasions in my life. The idea of God making things new is something that brings hope to me in seasons where I need a fresh start.
This verse is one that I began thinking about again the other day when I had a friend tell me about someone who used to be in my life. The news I found out that evening would've devastated me at one point. I would've been so sad and broken inside to hear what my friend shared with me, but instead, I had found that a once open wound had turned into a scar. It no longer hurt.
What would've been crushing to my soul at the beginning of the year was now something that no longer affected me. The response I heard in my heart was, "That's not my life anymore."
As I thought about some of the most difficult seasons I've gone though in life, I remembered when I was in junior high. In my early teen years, I struggled with anorexia. At the time, it was a really big deal. My family was extremely concerned. My mom had talked to me about possibly going to the hospital or getting counseling. It was a real issue in my life when I was younger.
Eventually, God delivered me from that life-threatening eating disorder, and now, about six years later, although I remember going through that struggle, it isn't something that I think about often. I remember parts of it, but it's not something I'm living in memory of day after day. What once was an open wound in my junior high years is now a scar that I can look at and remember, but it no longer pains me.
The same was true in the more recent struggle I went through about a year ago that took many months to heal. What my friend shared with me pertained to that struggle, and at one point it would've opened that wound. However, once wounds turn into scars, they are no longer broken open again when they're bumped. They've been healed, and all that's left is a memory of the pain that was, not pain that is.
There's a song by Jonny Diaz called "Scars" that I've been thinking about concerning this. One of the lines in this song says, "They remind us of where we have been, but not who we are." That line perfectly describes what it was like to remember that painful season in my life from last year. I can still remember it. I know it was there, but now it's healed. I have a scar there that reminds me of where I was, but not where I am or even who I am.
God is up to something new!
Have you ever found yourself in a place where it was time to let go of old things and move into all that God has for you? I've come to find that the devil loves to try to get people to stay in the prison of their past. He loves to keep them in bondage. However, if we allow God to heal us, no devil can stop us from entering all God has for us.
I don't pray for God to remove my scars. Some of the memories from those difficult seasons in my life actually are the very things that have changed me and made me into a more compassionate, less judgmental person. However, I don't want those memories to consume my thoughts for life and keep me in bondage.
If you're in a season of pain, my encouragement is to remember that God is up to something new. This season won't last forever. Allow God to walk you through the desert, and invite Him in to heal those wounds that hurt you. If you will allow God in, you will eventually discover that your wounds are no longer painful. They've turned to scars. Don't look back at what was. When the devil tries to remind you of where you were, all you have to say is, "That's not my life anymore."
Recently I discovered that a once gaping wound had now been healed and was a simple scar. Lord, I have memories of the pain, but that's not my life anymore. Thank You for not leaving me with open wounds that are easily broken open and infected. Thank You that when I invite You in, You begin to heal my broken places and eventually all I'm left with is the scar. I have the memory of the pain, but I no longer feel the pain. Thank You for being my Healer. For anyone who is struggling, please bring the same healing to their wounds. Bandage them. Stitch them up. Put Your ointment on them. Make them well again, and when they look at those scars, don't let those scars define them. Rather, let them be something You use to help them reach other broken and wounded people. In Jesus' Name.