Scarred for Life, Strengthened by Jesus

This morning, as I got ready to take a shower, I took a long look at myself in the mirror. Invisible to much of the world, with no noticeable difference between my right and left chest area when I am dressed, I glanced at the space, left behind after the mastectomy. At the time, I knew it was the right, the only decision. At the time, I believed cutting a breast off was not going to change who I was. At the time, I felt it was the only way to ensure, although not 100%, a guarantee that I would survive the rest of my days cancer-free. At the time...

The day after surgery, as I got ready to take a shower, I slowly took off the 'bra' provided by the hospital. I wanted to see the one still there and the one that had been sacrificed. Yet, I did not want to see the visible scar, the evidence of cancer once living within. Gradually, I worked the straps down, slowly over my right shoulder, then over my left. I gulped in a gasp of breathe as I unzipped then unhooked the front closure. Gently I pulled the front away to reveal...

This morning, as I stepped into the shower, I felt the sudden rush of warmth slip over my body. I inhaled the orange scented body soap. I used my left arm, which is not so stiff, to help my right arm wash my hair. Then I silently stood, with my eyes closed, feeling the gentle massage of the shower tendrils as the soapiness glided off my body. Gradually, the warm shower sauna began to cool. I turned to switch it off. As I did, I glanced downwards to see the last vestiges of bubbles trailing down the drain. And in the corner of my eye, I saw...

I pulled, gently, the two parts of the 'bra'. The sight brought tears to my eyes. A scar starting, where my nipple used to be, ending almost under my left armpit. Oh GOD!!! What had I done? Oh GOD!!! I look like Frankenstein! One moment of pity party, poor me, sorrowful heart...one moment only is all I allowed. When I got in the shower, a voice reminded me, my strong voice, 'I have no regrets. I did the right thing', reinforcing what I knew all along.

This morning, as the shower drained, I glanced at the space, the spot where once a breast was intact. No regrets. No sorrows. Just a smile...yes, to some I would look freakish. To some, I would not be normal. And to some, I would look deformed. I admit, I am scarred for life. But so were others...

John the Baptist...wild man, eater of locusts and things growing in the forest...least likely to be nominated to be the one who would eventually baptize Jesus...yet Jesus saw beyond the scars.

Peter...common fisherman, doubt almost causing him to drown, three times denied his best friend...least likely to be nominated head of the disciples...yet Jesus saw beyond the scars.

Mary Magdalene...some believe a prostitute, others believe possessed by demons...least likely to to be nominated to witness an empty tomb then see her friend anew...yet Jesus saw beyond the scars.

Thomas...follower who ran when Christ was arrested, admitted doubter...least likely to be nominated as a believer after he insisted on seeing evidence...yet Jesus saw beyond the scars.

This morning, as I dried off I looked in the mirror. Long ago, John, Peter, Mary and Thomas had to look at themselves. All of us, born imperfect. All of us, least likely to be nominated. All of us, scarred. Yet, Jesus saw and continues to see beyond what is in front of human eyes. A wild man turned one who prepared the way. A betrayer turned into one who eventually became the rock of the church. A woman scorned who became the first to witness. And a doubter, who ended up believing.

Scarred for life...yep all of us...you, me...everyone...some are more visible, some are invisible, some are deep, some skim the surface.
Human sight sees the scars...sees the ugliness...turns to avoid.

Scarred for life...Jesus' hands, Jesus' feet, Jesus' head, Jesus' body...one scar after another...for you, for me, for all.

Scarred for life...yes I am. But if it weren't for Jesus, I would not be rejoicing. If it weren't for Jesus, I would not be able to look, each and every day at the space left behind, knowing without a doubt, I did the right thing. If it weren't for Jesus, I would not be able to accept the consequences, no breast, still long road to reconstruction, but cancer-free. If it weren't for Jesus, I would not be able to see the beauty that still remains, in my smile, in my laugh, in my faith and yes, even in my scar. If it weren't for Jesus...I would not be strong. If it weren't for Jesus...I would be avoiding instead of accepting, all of it, His will in His time. And if it weren't for Jesus...well there really are no sufficient words to express the deep gratitude I have, for without Him, my life would not be the same.

Blessings and here's to scars...without which none of us would really know how truly strong we are and none of us would really know the power of Him,
Annie

About the Author: 
My writing journey began as child when I wrote poetry. It continued in college but stopped soon after when I began a career as a teacher. At forty, I changed careers and at 46 I began blogging. Today my writing reflects how my faith in Jesus attributes greatly to my daily life. It is one of hope, optimism and fun. I love to laugh out loud, have lived in Michigan all of my life, been happily married for 26 years and have two grown-a 24 year old and an almost 18 year old-sons. In November, 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer so my writing has reflected that journey, which is what this submission reflects. My faith journey also began as a child and continues to grow stronger each day. You can find me on the web at http://trstingod.wordpress.com