Hiding Scars

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Bailey reminded me yesterday that today would mark the one year anniversary of her blender accident. It isn’t really a day I ever want to think about again, but the lessons I learned through that experience have stayed with me. I hope I never forget that conversation in our laundry room and the powerful message I was taught by my little girl.

About six months ago I started noticing that she would hide her hands whenever I took her picture. At first it bothered me and I began thinking I needed to tell her all the reasons she needed to just “be normal” and not try to hide her scars. The more I thought about it, the more I realized what a hypocrite I would be if I tried to make her become ok with her scars—on my time table. 

I pictured all the moments when I was trying hard to conceal the scars of my pain. Everyone around me wanted me to become ok with my scars, but I was still stuck on how much pain it had taken to get them there. 

Sometimes we need time to allow the wounds to heal, before we are ready to reveal the scars to anyone else . . . and that’s ok. 

Shawn and I have had many long conversations about the vulnerability that comes with parenting and how hard it is to let go of our power, especially when something happens that is completely out of our control. We felt helpless after the accident. We hated that we couldn’t protect her from that blender.  We both struggle with the fact that sometimes our children are going to hurt. We constantly wish we could shield them from feeling the bumps and bruises that will inevitably come their way. 

We can’t put them in a glass bubble and shield them from the world (trust me, I have looked into it) but one thing we can give them is knowledge of the truth. We can teach them about eternal life and the importance of family. We can show them the hard work that marriage needs, but the rewards that come when you do it right. We can give them love, we can teach them light, and we can strive every day to be the examples they are looking for, examples of how to heal our wounds and become ok with the scars they leave. 

My little girl has scars all over her hands . . . and she is beautiful. She is perfect just the way she is. She is smart, she is kind, and she has learned that she has a Savior who has always been right beside her through everything life has thrown her way. 

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The only way to heal our wounds completely is with Jesus Christ’s grace. Healing doesn’t usually happen overnight, but a little bit every day as we use the atonement over and over again. There will not be a day when we don’t need it in one way or another.

If you are tired of hiding your scars, or waiting for your wounds to heal . . . you aren’t alone. We have all been there. We must not give up. We all have scars. Some are seen by the world, and others we carry around silently. 

Our scars are evidence of the powerful gift Christ has given to all of us . . . to heal. 

Bailey’s wounds are healed, but she is left with deep scars on both of her hands. There isn’t a time when I see those scars or feel them when holding her hand, when I don’t think about my Savior and the scars He took upon Himself for me.  

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(Sometimes we joke that Bailey is the only girl in the world who could battle a ninja . . . and win. One of the first things she did— after getting some use back in her hands—was cooking in the kitchen. She has not let this accident hold her back, or allowed fear to win.)

Questions to Ponder:

1. How can you look at your scars differently?

 

Ashlee Birk is the Author of the blog and book series entitled The Moments We Stand.  In them she tells of her personal journey of healing and seeking peace after the murder of her husband Emmett.  Through her trials she has learned the importance of a personal relationship with her Father in Heaven. She has found light in the darkest of moments—and she has found hope when she thought it was lost.  She has come to find that the grace of Christ is powerful—not only in sin—but also in forgiveness and carrying you through some of your darkest moments.

Ashlee is remarried and resides in Idaho with her husband Shawn and their blended family of six children. They work hard every day to continue their journey of peace and finding the joy in life. Ashlee believes that every day is a gift—and in each one, she has learned to stand.

The Moments We Stand

spouse murdered 11/2011

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