Hidden Scars

Hidden scars.

These are the scars no one sees because they’re hidden deep beneath the surface. On the outside, we look fine, but on the inside, there is a wound so deep and memories so painful that few are even given the knowledge that these scars exist. People try to understand, but they fall short. They act like they care or truly understand what we’ve been through, but they’ll never truly know because they’ve never been through it.

Whether someone has lost a parent, spouse, or child, the pain of losing someone that close will never be truly understood by someone who hasn’t experienced that same kind of loss.

Our first foster story is very much like that. While many of you have read along over the years and watched our journey, there are parts of it that I have never shared on this blog. They are just too painful and personal to share with anyone willing to read. Only those closest to me, who cared enough to listen and be there in those dark moments, know the scars that exist. These are the people that have cried with me, prayed with me, and been there through it all.

In our darkest moments, some people tried to understand what we were going through. Others ran when it got uncomfortable, leaving us to pick up the broken pieces alone. And worse than being left alone, were the people that stayed but didn’t try to understand. They were the ones who pretended to be a friend, but told us to just “get over it” or emotionally slapped us in the face with their harsh words.

Few people understood the loss we experienced when those two girls left our home.

It’s been three years since Little and Littlest (as I affectionately nicknamed them on this blog) arrived at our home. And it’s been almost a full year since I last saw them. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks tonight as I sat in my room, remembering my numerous conversations with Little as I helped her get ready for school in the morning. I remembered where her bunk bed was and how I’d scoop her up in the biggest hug each morning when she’d first wake up. I’d tell her how much I loved her and give her a kiss on the cheek. Little did I know just how precious those moments would become in my mind and in my heart.

It has been a very rough road back from saying goodbye to those precious little ones. What should have been a beautiful journey with them turned into a nightmare of hellish proportions. Not because of our two precious girls, but because of their biological family that refused to believe the truth that we wanted to help and that we truly loved these girls. But they weren’t just any biological family – their biological mother was a friend of mine who I had grown up with. I poured years of my life into her, trying to be a good friend and help where I could, inclusive of babysitting her daughter full-time for a number of years and loving her little girl like my own. And years later, this was the thanks we got – two girls we loved being ripped from our hands because the biological family was too selfish to see the truth.

Going through something like that makes it easy to become skeptical of every other person who comes into your life. It makes it easy to spot similarities between the people who hurt you and the new faces in your life. The problem is that when we spot those similarities, we automatically lump them into the same category as the people who hurt us, simply because we don’t want to be hurt again.

We think we’re protecting ourselves, but in reality, we’re only wounding ourselves even more. The scars go a little deeper and become a little wider. Instead of opening our heart and letting love win, we cocoon into what we think is our safety net. The problem is, the more we cocoon, the more Satan wins. The more we let what the enemy meant for evil keep us from loving and reaching out, the more we give him power over us.

Instead, we should see beauty in the scars, because it meant that we loved like Christ enough to be wounded. If only we’d change our perspective to see that the wounds mean we loved and we loved well. We loved so much it hurt, but isn’t that what life is all about? Christ loved us enough, even to death on a cross – how can we call ourselves Christians and yet withhold from others the love He sacrificed Himself for?

My heart may not always be protected. I can guarantee I will be disappointed many more times in this life and my heart will not be protected from pain. People will hurt me and there will be wounds buried deep down that few will see.

But the scars that no one else will see or be able to understand – Jesus will. He sees and He knows. He was betrayed, He was mocked, and He was sentenced to death, all by the same people He came to save.

So no matter how many times I’m wounded, hurt, and bruised because of love, I want to keep choosing love because that’s what Jesus did for me. I won’t wear rose-colored glasses and hope to never be hurt, but I also won’t let Satan keep me from loving the world around me because of those hidden scars.

And someday when I enter the gates of Heaven and bow before my Savior’s feet, I’ll be able to kiss the scars on his hands and feet that set me free. For those are the most beautiful scars I’ll ever see. Those scars are the proof and the reminder that His love conquered all. Those scars are the evidence that He loved me enough to be broken for me.

His scars prove that even in the darkest, most painful moments in our life, we can still rise victorious.

So instead of looking at our scars as wounds from a seemingly failed battle, may we see them through the eyes of God. When those scars happen because we loved the world around us, those scars don’t mean you’ve failed.

On the contrary.

Hidden scars means you’ve loved like Christ.

7 Responses
  • Blessing Divine Boamah
    August 26, 2017

    So beautifully put “Instead, we should see beauty in the scars, because it meant that we loved like Christ enough to be wounded. ” I can only imagine what it is like to have someone you love so deeply ripped away from you. Those seeds of love you planted in their hearts, won’t be forgotten.

    • Manda Joy
      August 26, 2017

      Thank you for your encouragement dear! Amen. I hope this post encourages all those who have been wounded when trying to love and do the right thing. People may not see the value in what we’re doing, but God does and that’s Who matters.

  • Joy
    August 26, 2017

    Beautiful. Just beautiful

  • Kyla Matton Osborne
    August 26, 2017

    It sounds as if you went through a very harrowing experience. When children are involved, things are always that much harder.

  • Megan
    August 26, 2017

    I am so sorry you went through that. It must have been traumatic for everyone especially the kids. It’s great that your faith is motivating your healing process.

  • Dia All The Things I Do
    August 27, 2017

    I always admire people who foster children. I know two families who have done it and it’s always heartbreaking when a parent comes back or refuses to give up custody. One of the families I know where fostering in hopes of adoption and it was tragic to watch it fall apart.

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