Sunday, September 27, 2015

Scar Tissue

If you’ve ever been cut before, you may have a scar on your body. I have a few on mine. One from when I was a child and my sister convinced me to spin around in a circle with my eyes closed and then I walked right into our fireplace! (Thanks Meg J) I have a few from my dog scratching my arms when she was a puppy and a few from different surgeries I’ve had throughout cancer. (port, infusion lines, picc lines etc.)
Scar tissue is an interesting thing. It’s a part of our body’s natural process to heal itself. When tissue is damaged, scar tissue forms and even though the cut or scratch is healed, a mark remains. The tissue has a different color or texture and just doesn’t look the same anymore.
Scar tissue not only forms on our skin, but can also form on internal tissue. For people who have fought cancer, this means that wherever their cancer was, scar tissue can form. It can show up on scans, cause the patient to feel tightness, press on nerves, and very often cause pain where tumors once were.
I was thinking about this a week or two ago in regard to my body. There are days when I feel a tightness in my chest or a moment of pain or a tingling in my arm and my stomach drops. My mind immediately goes down the very familiar road of worry and doubt and concern about whether or not I’m still in remission. My hope is that the familiar feelings and pain are simply scar tissue or some unrelated twinge, but I can’t help but worry for a moment….or more than a moment.
As many of you know, I head to New York this week for my 3 month scan. I am beyond thrilled and a little dumbfounded that it has been 3 months since I was declared in remission. Where does the time go? I have no logical reason to believe that this scan would be bad. I don’t have any symptoms. I feel great and my energy is up and I believe that this remission will be a lasting one…but my anxiety has still been present. Much more present than I would like.
You see, I definitely have some scar tissue inside my body, but I also have some scar tissue in my mind and my heart.  Up to this point we’ve had many more bad scans than good ones. I’ve been in remission before and then 6 weeks later was not. I’ve declared to the world that my cancer was gone only to be proven wrong by a scan a few weeks later. I have believed for good news when bad news came. I have been wounded by life and there is quite a bit of scar tissue there.
I was wondering why the Lord would choose to make scar tissue a thing. Why do we have to be reminded either in appearance or by feeling that a wound once occurred? If the body is going to heal itself, why can’t everything be as good as new?
And then I thought about Jesus. He had scars too you know. He was wounded. He was healed. He died and then came back to life and bore the scars on his hands and feet and side from everything He went through.
Why? If He was made perfect again and came back in a glorious body, why did His scars remain?
I don’t have all the answers, but one way he proved to his disciples that He had actually risen from the dead was to show them the scars on his hands and feet. Those marks caused the faith of His best friends to increase.  They were not used to shame them or cast them into despair over what had happened, but to remind them of the glorious thing that Jesus did for them…for all of us. The Scars on Jesus are our reminder that we get to go to Heaven, that the miraculous has happened and that we have been redeemed! Praise God!
I want my scars to be like that. I want my physical and emotional scars to not serve as negative reminders of the hard things David and I have walked through over the last three years, but as reminders of all God has done for us! The way He has carried us and how He provided a way out when we thought death was the only way. Praise God for what He has done!
Whatever this scan shows this week, pray that I will choose to trust in the God who saved me and remember how far He was brought me instead of dwelling on the hurt of the past. Please pray that this scan shows continued healing and remission and that God would use me in whatever way He sees fit to bring Him glory…scars and all.