Snow in Texas is a rare treat. A few snowflakes shut down roads, schools, and life in general. The possibility of nighttime flurries and frozen roads made sleeping difficult. Before the sun came up I was out of bed to check the TV for school closings.
On one of these magic mornings, my brother and I found a tiny snow bump below the corner of our neighbor’s roof. The wind had blown the flakes perfectly, gathering them between the bricks of the wall and the backyard fence.
Our tiny bodies took turns “sledding.” I loved it. And then a rusty nail in the fence caught my temple, and ruined my snow day. I grabbed my temple and felt the pulse of blood. Red drops stained the snow as I panicked.
My parents loaded me in the car and took me to an urgent care clinic. I laid on a towel on my mom’s lap and begged her to protect me from the possibility of stitches. Band-aid me, glue me, duct tape me, just don’t stitch me shut.
I needed stitches. No butterfly bandage or face glue would do the trick. It was too deep and too wide. They held me down as they measured the depth of the wound, cleaned it and closed it.
On the way home from the clinic, mom rewarded my “bravery” with a Happy Meal from McDonald’s and she let me eat in in the living room while watching TV. Life was good again. A week later the doctor painlessly removed the stitches.
The fear of getting stitches and getting them removed was terrifying. The reality was painful, but in the end I was left with only a small scar on my temple. Today, I forget it is a part of me; out of sight, out of mind.
Not all wounds get stitched shut this quickly.
I was born with a small tear in my heart, caused by a genetic defect, sin.
Unfortunately, everyone else in my life had the same problem. As I grew, so did my sinful desires, and my wound deepened, leaving a gaping, bleeding, painful mess.
My heart pulsed with insecurity and stained the words and actions of those I loved the most. I responded in anger and bitterness to life in general. As the discomfort grew, so did my pride, my dissatisfaction, and my sadness.
I tried repairing myself with knowledge, people pleasing, diets, medication, marriage, children, and friendships. I idolized people and things and expected to find peace and joy.
They satisfied me for a little bit, but eventually became new sources of bitterness. Friends failed to provide the right words, my husband failed to meet my every need, and my kids failed to live up to my unattainable standards. The harder I tried, the more exasperated I became.
They were never meant to hold me together.
Each time I feel the pulse of my defective heart, I have the choice to seek peace in my relationship with Christ. His spirit dwells in the midst of my brokenness. He has all the answers, all the fulfillment, all the comfort, every fix.
I am in the midst of a common procedure - sanctification. The Holy Spirit is making the old into the new. He is measuring the depth of my pain and interceding on my behalf with words I don’t even know how to pray. He is cleaning the remnants of my sinful flesh, convicting me in a fresh way each day. He is working all of my pain and brokenness together for my good.
With each new stitch I see new evidences of grace. Friends words are sweeter, my family is more beautiful, and life is more calm.
The scars that form on my heart will not always ache, but I will always be aware of their presence. They are catalysts of compassion.
Like the falling snowflakes of my childhood, God’s grace and healing is a continual source of joy. I’m so thankful it’s not rare like Texas snow.
Where is your heart pulsing with hurt or insecurity? Make sure to comment with how the Lord is asking you to lay aside burdens. If you can’t think of any, ask him to reveal the broken places in your life that He desires to mend.