***Note: If you are not able to look at anything graphic, you may not want to read further. The following post contains graphics of scars that may be upsetting or visual to some. These are not pictures of my body but pictures of the similarities of the scars that I carry.
This has taken a lot for me to post this. In fact, it's truly stepping out of a comfort zone yet, it's needed. Why? Because in our world, we determine beauty based on flawlessness. Very seldom do we look at people with flaws or scars and say, "Oh how beautiful she or he is!"
But, do you ever think about the scars on Jesus hands and feet? Can you imagine them as beautiful? Probably not.
Scars are wounds that have healed but marks are left where the wound once was. (My own definition and not Webster's).
I have scars unfortunately, on the outside. Ones that are very difficult to hide. They are hideous and I can literally tell you that I have cried out to God and asked, "Why me?" so many times that He is probably totally sick of hearing me ask, "Why?"
My external scars are not scars that I can explain. They weren't there one day and then suddenly, they appeared. Maybe they started as something so very small that I didn't think too hard about them. But, slowly, they grew and in return, they became road blocks in my way of being happy and confident.
Living in a community that is so beauty based has been the biggest challenge for me to not feel inferior by my scars. You see, I KNOW that the scars don't define who I am. If anyone looked beyond my scars, they'd see a caring, genuine, honest woman who would take the shirt off of her back to give to someone in need.
Yet, I know for a fact that I can never feel courageous enough to wear a bathing suit or a low cut blouse or even a sexy nightie for fear of not my flab or the bulge battle but my scars.
My daughter was asked recently, to define beauty and her answer was, "When I think of beauty, I think of my mom." It brings tears to my eyes even now to know that she and my youngest daughter see me as beautiful. They look beyond my scars to the person I am, deep inside. They are the most beautiful girls ever and are told constantly, "You should be models" but you know what, they both believe that beauty really is what is on the inside and has nothing, whatsoever to do with what's on the outside.
Then there are those that have external, flawless beauty on the outside but they are crying out on the inside. Their pain is continually being stuffed out of fear that others may really see how they look inside.
Being totally honest here...and I may be hated for my opinion but I don't care whether you are a size 3 and have had a boob job, you are no more beautiful than a woman that has lost a breast to cancer and wears a size 16 or size 18. We have been taught to judge people by their weight, by their complexions, by their height, by the color of their hair or eyes or even the way they talk...when does it stop? When do we really begin to see that what matters the most is the way we are inside and not on the outside?
I have yet to say, "I'm Simone and I'm so very proud of my scars". But maybe, someday, I will. But in the meantime, remember that if Jesus was standing before us, would we be repulsed by his scars or would be embrace him and kiss his nail scarred hands and feet?
Today, I challenge you all to see beauty beyond flaws. One of my favorite sayings (and I have a lot of them) is the greatest masterpiece is one that has flaws.