Heal the Wound but Leave the Scar



It was our first night. After an exhausting day of travel we thought we would check in to the hotel and crash. Instead, the first whiffs of fresh mountain air gave us a second wind. We felt the enormity of the gift we were given in this time away and didn’t want to waste a minute. I changed out of my airport clothes and slipped my freshly pedicured feet into open toed shoes. We floated down the grand lobby staircase hand in hand and settled in to a cozy spot on the expansive patio overlooking the city lights. I’d been there before. I loved sharing the nightly tequila ritual and toast and special menu secrets at Salud. We sipped drinks made with cucumbers and fresh agave juice. Something shifted as we bared our souls in several hours of conversation under the Tucson stars. We hadn’t wanted to admit the way we were holding insecurities and hurt in tight fists. Now we wondered out loud. How long had we moved through the motions of marriage? Recognizing one another’s unique fragility we cared too much to make even the slightest movement. We knew even one bump had the possibility of upsetting our delicate balance of survival. With open hands and hearts we purged the pain and sadness and cast it all in the fire on our way up to our room. It was a fresh start like only Jesus makes.

The next morning we woke tangled up in silky white sheets and duvet after the longest exhale of love. It had been years since we had the time and place, desire and energy to slow our intimacy to the metronome of breath. For the first time in almost eight years I let him fully see me, and he wanted to look. He traced every single scar with his fingers, and we took turns telling the story together. Not my story. Our story. I never doubted we were one heart, but something about all those wounds often made one flesh a difficult proposition. With every surgery and every long recovery I felt a gulf widening between who I once was to him and who I had become. Suddenly I could see in his eyes and hear in his voice a truth I’d not known before. He loved me even more because of the suffering not in spite of it.

Today marks a week since we returned home. When I stepped out of the plane onto the jet way here the temperature was below zero. I began to cry. I rounded the corner in the airport to see my Danica running towards me bundled from head to toe. I was wearing ballet flats with bare tan feet exposed and no coat. I hugged my sweet girl and cried even harder. Coming back here, a place I know causes very specific pain and many of my symptoms, was heart breaking. Dan looked over and winced as he saw the Monica Kaye he had reclaimed already slipping away.

It was a week ago I exiled myself with my Savior for His forty days in the wilderness. I’m daily sitting with Christ as best I know how. I’m listening to His heart as He prepares for the immense sacrifice He’s been asked to make on the cross. I am brought face to face with a God who knows every ugly sin I’ve committed or will commit. He sees my unspeakable mistakes and feels the bitter shame that wounded Him. His humanness, his hunger, his temptation, his pleas for release from this before the world began plan break me again and again. He is God made man. He sympathizes in every way without sin. My redemption could only come through a sacrifice this understandable and this unexplicable.

I’m walking closer to the days when I will see Him crucified. The wilderness, however uncomfortable, is just a preparation for the week when I will have supper with Him, tell Him I love Him, turn around and deny Him and then watch Him take the lashes, carry the cross and be wounded for my transgressions. At the last hour He will be completely forsaken by His Father and suffer hell for me.

When I’m face to face with Him I know for sure the scars I bear both inside and out are completely redeemed. His dying love stops my breath. His resurrection starts it again.

Since Tucson I pray for fresh starts and new beginnings. I long to live in a place that gives me a more whole body and healed spirit for my husband and daughters. I ache to take all this pain and turn it into a beautiful ministry for others walking this similar road.

When I’m face to face with Him. When I remember His love for me. I trust Him completely.

Every cut of my flesh has healed into a bumpy red reminder of God’s mercy to me. Every sharp memory of sadness and sin has kept me on my knees even though I’m completely free.

Dan and I hiked several miles up a mountain into the Sonoran desert. On our way we stopped to build Ebenezers. Each of us chose seven large stones to symbolize our seven years of tribulation. They stand as altars to God’s faithfulness. We were living something impossible. We were away together on vacation. I was hiking. I was breathing. I was well. We lifted prayers of gratitude as we moved on and my Dan began singing softly as he led the way.

Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.

Here I raise mine Ebenezer;
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he, to rescue me from danger,
interposed his precious blood.

O to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
seal it for thy courts above.

My song today.

Heal the wound but leave the scar.
A reminder of how merciful You are.
I am broken, torn apart.
Take the pieces of this heart and
Heal the wound but leave the scar.

I’ll build an altar of the rubble that You found me in and every stone will sing of what You can redeem.

Don’t let me forget everything You’ve done for me. Don’t let me forget the beauty in the suffering.

Heal the wound but leave the scar.

(This beautiful song by Point of Grace has been on my “healing” playlist for years.)

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6 Comments on Heal the Wound but Leave the Scar

  1. Robin King
    February 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm (9 years ago)

    Monica- You will never know how much your writing and sharing affects me. I am a better person because of you. May God continue to bless you and your family. I pray for you often, my friend!

  2. Melissa Hall
    February 25, 2015 at 4:25 pm (9 years ago)

    Heal the wound, leave the scar. <3 Where we came from and where we are. There is a beauty in suffering that not many understand. Your gracefulness helps me remember the beauty, not the awfulness. I love your uplifting posts being emailed to me and new songs for my playlist are a bonus. 🙂 Love and prayers for you my dear friend.

  3. Suzanne Anderson
    February 26, 2015 at 3:23 pm (9 years ago)

    Exquisitely rendered with the graceful, anointing of the Master. Such an oxymoron this path of suffering can be. What a precious gift this time was. Thank you for sharing in such a vulnerable way. It is very powerful.

  4. lisha epperson
    March 1, 2015 at 10:37 am (9 years ago)

    I see the beauty in the scars. They keep me mindful of the journey and how very much I need Him. And quite honestly, the scars serve as a reminder of victory. Each step. Each day. A little closer. Bless you Monica. The wisdom you share is a treasure.

  5. Mom
    March 11, 2015 at 9:44 pm (9 years ago)

    I love you dearly.

  6. Jennifer Dukes Lee
    March 16, 2015 at 3:14 pm (9 years ago)

    Oh friend. So much beauty here, right in the scars. I love you.


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