Saturday, January 16, 2010

Scars on my Heart

2 Corinthians 12:9  But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I've been away a while with the holidays and new routine of the new year but I experienced a wonderfully redemptive lesson this week that has breathed life into my blogging ambitions once again.

When I was 10 years old, I almost died.  I had a very serious viral infection of my pericardium (the lining around my heart).  Surgery was performed to alleviate the fluid constricting my heart and I was sent home to recover - missing most of my fifth grade school year.  The resulting scar tissue damaged the surface of my heart - leaving it rough and prone to irritation and pain.

When I was an even younger girl, my heart was damaged in a different way.  Early childhood sexual abuse left me scared, alone and ashamed.  The resulting scars left their mark on my heart.  I was prone to irritation and great pain when those emotional scars were seen.

I was given the opportunity to share the story of my past today at a workshop for our church.  I had been thinking about and preparing for it for weeks - excited for the opportunity to share what God has redeemed in my life.

And then, earlier this week, the pain began.  The old familiar heaviness in my chest, the dull throb up my arm and neck, shortness of breath that left me weak and fatigued. 

Lord, why now?
After 15 surgeries and countless bouts of pain and bedrest, I'm tired of this. 
Can't I just go share with these ladies the healing of my invisible wounds without the added burden of physical pain also - is that too much to ask?

I sincerely prayed for relief yet began prepping myself for the inevitable cancel of my talk.  Sickness has always had a way of wielding much power in my life and I've often not put up much of a fight against my opponent.  But this time, I wanted it to be different.  And so did Jesus.

I believe He wanted to teach me that while both my muscular heart that pumps my blood and my unseen heart that is the wellspring of my life have sustained scars - He is the Great Healer.  He has healed my physical body and He has healed my soul.  His power is perfected in my weakness - physical and emotional.  The scar tissue remains but it simply serves as reminders of His sustaining love and powerful redemption in my life.