Easter made its way into my heart this year. I’m someone who loves holidays and celebrating for any reason possible, so I have always enjoyed the egg hunts, the candy, and the annual festive dinner. This year, however, Easter meant something more to me because it promises the most beautiful thing we could ever receive – life after death and resurrection. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice and because he defeated death, we will, too. This means I’ll see my dad again and we’ll all be together.
Before my father died, I had other relatives move on from this life, but most of them were timely so the pain wasn’t so harsh. Easters came and went and although I thought of what it meant each year, it never sunk deep inside me. Sometimes your heart has to be ripped open in order to receive the most wisdom and joy.
When Jesus was nailed to the cross, he died with holes in his hands and three days later, he was able to show his scars so that believers would know it was him. The scars proved he lived, and they also proved he was healed.
Everyone will have wounds that will leave physical or emotional scars, but what’s amazing is those scars prove we live and survive. A friend who has almost too many scars to count due to multiple bouts of cancer and several surgeries talked to me about this recently and reminded me that scar tissue doesn’t grow on the dying – it grows on the living – and if we are ever left with a scar on our body or heart, it means we won a battle.
This friend knows what she’s talking about. She has scars on her neck, chest, back, abdomen and more. What amazes me is her positive outlook. She told me, “People think of scars as this horrible thing when really, the definition of a scar is the healing of a wound. So the scar is after the injury and it means you’re whole again. It’s a good thing. The scar is showing that whatever it was, whatever thing you went through, you made it. You survived. And I love that.”
I don’t have many physical scars, but one has been growing on my heart since my dad’s life ended unexpectedly one day. I can feel it, and I know that scar will be there forever. At some point, though, that will mean that I’m healed and even though I will never be the same, the scar on my heart will mean that I made it. I’m sure there is some way God knows all our scars both inside and out and he is proud of them because he knows we fought something hard.
There are people who fight and survive more difficult and tragic things than me. There are so many things I’ve read about that seem unimaginable to go through. I was taught to believe that Jesus knows every one of those struggles, that he died for those pains and he’s there to help ease the suffering. His scars are proof of what he went through, and he’ll be there as we get scars, too.
Today we spent the morning at the Botanic Garden where hearts seemed to be everywhere. Right after I told Travis and his dad to look for them, we found them in some bright red flowers, and then we found some more. Then as I was talking about my dad, two geese flew up from behind a tree, and later two more (or maybe they were the same pair) landed on the water in front of us in the Japanese Garden. My dad loved geese. It felt like he was with us today. And in that moment, maybe a little bit more scar tissue grew on my heart.
I hope you had a wonderful Easter. I hope you never feel alone. I hope whatever battle you’re going through leaves a scar that reminds you that you survived, too.