Scars: Learning to Value the Broken and Wounded Places in Our Lives

By Published on August 8, 2021

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).

We were well into a three-year process of building a new home for our family in the early 2000s — a process that challenged me and caused me to draw near to God in a new way. After crossing hurdles regarding whether to build or not, with drawing and pricing the plans, and with laying the foundation, we were eager to begin framing the house.

We continued seeking God’s will in the process, and we pressed forward with construction. I was overjoyed to see the framing begin to shape our future home. Much to my dismay, when I visited our rapidly rising home, I found not-so-clean two-by-sixes and wood covered in knots — ugly wood that I argued surely couldn’t build the strong house in which we were going to reside.

I brought up my concerns with our builder. He simply told me, “Anne, the more knots there are in the timber, the stronger the wood is.”

Stronger Through Trials

Along this process of building our home, and anytime I sought control or began to give in to my doubt, the Lord would nudge me and say, “Come back. To Me.” I couldn’t have heard the words He spoke to my heart more deeply in response to my builder’s explanation. “The more knots are in our lives, the stronger we are.”

“Anne, the more knots there are in the timber, the stronger the wood is.”

I was reminded of every trial, every battle, and every victory that was a mark on my heart, creating a knot and strengthening my spirit. I was encouraged that the knotty beams holding our house upright were similar to the scars that Jesus used to mark me and hold my life upright.

Covered in Righteousness

Once I embraced the marred timber, we claimed it in the Lord’s name, inscribing scripture on the framing. I was deeply moved when, as a final step to seal the inner framework of our home, our construction crew came in and covered the wood with white drywall, covering the marks with a clean slate, exactly the way Jesus covered my knots by hanging on the cross.

His blood that was shed was shed for me — all my knots, my sins, my scars. His covering was His righteousness, and what a beautiful picture is that!

The word scar isn’t typically associated with something positive. However, I see things differently now, and I’ve come to value those places in my own life that show up as scars.


Anne Neilson shares her stories and artwork this Friday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Anne Neilson’s Angels: Devotions and Art to Encourage, Refresh, and Inspire by Anne Neilson. Copyright ©2020 by Anne Neilson Fine Art, LLC. Published by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

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