I wanted to share a picture of myself with you that I didn’t want to share with you, but it turns out I can’t share it with you because I don’t have it. Confused yet? Sorry! I had originally planned to start this post with a picture of myself from a few years ago, when I had a nasty scab on my lip. But I didn’t really want to share it because even though it was several years ago, thinking about how I looked then still makes me feel ridiculously self-conscious. But I was going to share it anyway. Because I made my character in my newest book show her scars (not on the cover, but in the story), so it seemed only fair for me to do the same. Except, when I went to look for the picture, it turned out, I didn’t have one. I can only assume this is because I wouldn’t let anyone take one.
It happened almost exactly five years ago. A week before we were supposed to move to a new city, new home, and new church, I fell in the parking lot of our previous church, with my youngest in my arms. I still don’t know how it happened. One minute I was on my feet; the next I was literally flat on my face. Somehow, my daughter was uninjured, but I ended up with quite a nasty gash on and above my lip…which became a thick, bumpy, brown scab by the time we moved.
I can still remember arriving at our new home and seeing all the cars of people from our new congregation waiting to help us move in…and while I was touched by their willingness to help out, I was also self-conscious that all these people would see me with this hideous scab on my face. And then a couple days later when the church hosted a dinner to welcome us and we had to sit at the head table as we were introduced, I was even more mortified. What would they all think of how I looked? Did they know I didn’t always look like this? This wasn’t the first impression I wanted to make as the new pastor’s wife.
Looking back on it, I can see that it was silly. No one cared about my scab. If they wondered about it, they never let on. And of course, it eventually went away, though it did turn into a scar that still dips into my upper lip on one side. My husband says the scar makes me a superhero because somehow I managed to keep our daughter from getting hurt in the fall. I’m not so sure that’s true, but I’ll take it.
I have other scars too, of course. There’s one on my wrist from when I was bitten by a dog as a kid. That scar reminds me that I didn’t let fear win—I remain a dog person to this day. And there’s a scar on my ankle that (though painful at the time) brings up fond memories of a family canoe trip down a shallow river that required me to get out and pull the boat (right into a rock, with my ankle in between).
Like me, I’m sure you have scars too. It’s hard to go through this world without collecting some bumps and bruises along the way. Maybe some of your scars bring up fond memories. Maybe some make you feel like a warrior. Maybe some remind you of fears you’ve overcome.
But there are also scars we’d rather forget. Maybe scars we try to hide. Scars that make us feel ugly or ashamed or unworthy.
Those are the kinds of scars Ava, the heroine in my newest book, Heart’s Healing, has to deal with. Her scars are the result of a terrible accident, and they are impossible to hide completely—as much as she tries. But worse than her physical scars are the emotional and spiritual scars that make her feel unworthy of love. Since the accident, she has let those scars define her. She has used them as an excuse to push love away. But with her high school sweetheart back in town and determined to show her that his love is as strong as ever—and more importantly, that her true identity is in Christ—she might just find that her heart can be healed after all.
Right now, Heart’s Healing is available exclusively as one of the thank you gifts you’ll receive when you pre-order the Love’s Treasure box set—a set of 14 books by some of your favorite Christian authors, including Inspy Romance authors Valerie Comer, Marion Ueckermann, Elizabeth Maddrey, and Mandi Blake (oh, and me too). The pre-order price is only 99 cents, and all pre-order proceeds will go to Village Enterprise, an organization dedicated to lifting people out of extreme poverty in Africa through entrepreneurship. All the details of the set, including the 12+ bonus books you’ll receive as a thank you gift when you pre-order, are available on the Love’s Treasure website!
How about you: Do you have any scars that make you feel like a warrior or bring back memories?
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Evangeline Kelly: Love’s Sacrifice
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Naomi Rawlings: Love’s Violet Sunrise
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Melissa Tagg: Someday Soon
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