My son and daughter are getting to the age where they ask me what my scar is. I usually reply, “Oh, I just got cut there.” The last time my son asked a follow up question. “Why?” Something else distracted him, and I was very glad to not answer.
When I have been in some of my darkest times, the thought of my future kids has helped me. I would think about how they were watching down on me and rooting for me to overcome the battles I was facing. I would think about how I should stop hurting myself because one day, they would ask about my scars. It often helped me to stop. In one dark time, I left a fairly big scar on my arm. I was so disappointed in myself, and I have always been so afraid of that moment when my kids will ask what it is from. It has given me a lot of anxiety, because I don’t want to tell them I hurt myself because I hated myself. I had gotten to the point where I was okay with my scars, but the thought of talking about them to my kids plagued me for years; until recently.
One afternoon I was feeling a lot of anxiety about my past choices. I was thinking about how I had hurt myself and recently my kids had asked about my scar. It was overwhelming and I couldn’t get my mind off of it. I started to let it overcome me, but then I started praying. I was asking Heavenly Father to help me to feel okay and asking him how to answer my kids. As I was praying, I felt my answer come to me. The Atonement. I am a new person because Christ died for me. I am changed and changing for the better, because I trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have worked hard to receive forgiveness for my past mistakes from Heavenly Father and Christ. I am a new person through Christ. I may still have scars that remind me of my past, but I am different. I am better. Won’t it be amazing to be able to talk to my kids about how I am changed through Christ? How they can be too? Yes, I know we will have a conversation about my scars because they already ask. It will be an amazing way to tell them and show them that Heavenly Father and Christ love me and them. It will be hard to talk to them about the pain, but joyous to be an example of trusting in Heavenly Father and Christ to overcome.
As I thought about this, I felt a lot of peace in knowing past mistakes can turn into joyous learning experiences. My past alone isn’t a legacy I would want to leave my children. My past coupled with Christ helping me become new is something I want to leave them knowing. I still struggle day to day, as we all do. I am realizing it is okay. It is okay to fail, it is okay to struggle. I will learn from the struggle and so will my kids. The heartache and scars can become beautiful. I’m not scared of questions about my scars anymore. I have a beautiful story of hope to tell.