When Love Marks You, Hope For Hidden Scars

It was just a simple thing really, a letter opener that my husband found and placed on the counter two days ago. Silver, with my name and a date engraved on it. I swallowed hard because it made me miss her so much that I held my breath. Later I took a picture of it and cried.
2000    Jennifer
All I could think was she knew me then. Before Alzheimer’s took her from us and left question marks all over her memories.
I was practically raised by my sweet, devout Southern Baptist Grandma. She engraved everything, jewelry, letter openers, everything that wasn’t moving. It’s what classy Southern girls do. I still have everything she bought me, and when I miss her most, I wear them. A ring. A necklace. A mark around my heart, this is who you are and you are mine. I was always her girl. I still am.
Truth be told, I was marked by many things. Divorce. Alcoholism. Insecurity. The lie of “I am not enough.” Crippling anxiety. Fear of men. Fear of everything.
Marks and whelps on growing skin from a spanking or two that got a little out of hand. Words always hurt more than angry hands -words spoken in fear over me that I believed were the gospel truth. I knew above all else I was marked by God and that had to be more powerful than all the other misguided ones. He alone could help me straighten out the kinks in my heart from living life afraid and teach me how to balance truth in a toxic world. 
So many marks that I once hid are now proof that I am healed. It’s a different kind of mark, one that doesn’t sting or make me angry because I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to become stronger and sturdy in my faith. Learning to allow forgiveness to flood my heart helped me to see the “why” behind actions of broken people. I am marked by grace because, after all and above all, I am His. 

I lived life marked. Not by labels or the past because I rejected every last one of them. I knew my default button was to shut down, learning how to turn the light on in my heart and give people room to come in has been freaking hard work. I could love everyone with no strings attached but didn’t know how to receive it. 
I understand completely why you have to love some people from a distance. You cannot have a healthy relationship with an unhealthy person. It’s just not possible. When you learn this, you will be the one to decide what kind of marks you are going to allow in your life.
Let love engrave a different name for you, one that says loved and accepted and worth it.
Long before my grandma was engraving gifts for her girls, the God of all creation was engraving my name in perfect skin and marking me as His.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” (Isaiah 49:16 NIV)
I see you.
Your marks.
Your walls.
You are engraved, marked, and sealed by a God who gets you. Right now you might only see setbacks and painful marks that happened years ago. If it still stings, you are not over it. This is doesn’t mean that you have failed, it means that you have work to do. 
I can promise you this, if you start finding who you are in the Word of God, all of that baggage will become a platform. The things you used to hide become the exact thing that God will use the most in your life for His glory.
The only way baggage can become a platform is if you do the hard work to and ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome your issues in a way that removes the power of their position and authority in your life from labeled to level ground and then under your feet.
You’re marked, friend. And it’s a good kind of mark, one that says “You’re in, baby.” Let this mark overpower every other one that you are not over yet.
Pray from a place that you can back up in scripture instead of one distorted by the pain of your past. If you can only pray “Help me, Jesus” those are the most powerful three words you could pray and they are enough to start the healing. 
Truth to hold onto:
“I am marked by Him with an unbreakable seal, Holy Spirit promised.”
9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1: 9-14 NIV)
Linking up with my buddy, Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday
Much love,