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A few months ago I was hurriedly staining trim boards for my son’s bedroom and I began to notice how just a tiny bit of stain started to change the whole look of the wood. Every knot, line, and bruise- they all became visible, and although they are the imperfections of the wood, they really are the best part. They give it character, life, and tell a story.

I want to be like that piece of wood. I don’t want my scars to be something that I’m afraid to show the world.

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Scars can be beautiful.

They tell a story of healing, of coming out of trials and tragedies, overcoming weaknesses, and living to tell the tale.

They are our testimony to the world. We can do this life.

I love reading about Thomas in the bible. Most call him “doubting Thomas” because Jesus had to show him His scars for Thomas to believe. I’m like that too. I need to see the scars of the people who have come before me in order to overcome some things myself. I want to know that others dealt with hurts, unfairness, obstacles and tribulations and still made it.

I need to know.

The problem is we live in a world where we cover our scars. We don’t want people to see our weaknesses or look at the mistakes we’ve made. Instead, we paint a picture of perfection on our social media sites. We smile for the camera and we hide the very scars that could set another free.

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I think it’s time we showed our scars. It’s time we talk about them, not in fear of judgment, but in hope of helping another struggling soul. There is someone out there just like Thomas, someone who is waiting to see your scars so that theirs can heal.

Today, the wood I was staining is all done. My husband has hung it on the walls of my son’s bedroom and it is truly beautiful. Each piece placed next to the other forms such a pretty finish to the room.

That’s how we should be.  We should be a great finish for each other. We should be open, honest, raw and real. We should carry each other’s burdens and lift each other up.

I now look at scars differently. They are a badge of honor in my life because they prove that I am an overcomer. They are a list of trials that didn’t stop me, hurts I didn’t give into, and signs of hope that when the next battle occurs, I will make it through that too.

Today, I pray that you will look at your scars the way that I do. No longer will you look at them as a list of life’s struggles, instead they will be your testimony of hope that you gift to the world around you.

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Just like Thomas, we will touch each other’s scars and not only will we find answers there, we will find hope, help, support and love, and we will grow. The scars will no longer define us; instead they will set us free.

You are free today.  It’s time to uncover your scars so that others may be free as well.