Scars Show That You Survived

A couple of weeks ago, Debbie and I stumbled across a picture that surprised us. A new Facebook friend named Michelle Ford had a picture of a tattoo with the words: “Scars Show That You Survived.” I had shared these very words with Caleb, our son.

One day before school Caleb buttoned up his shirt all the way to the top because he was embarrassed by the scar from the open heart surgery he had as an infant. I was trying to remind him how meaningful scars can become since they remind us of the miraculous moments in our lives when God protected us from even worse circumstances.

I started interacting with Michelle and discovered she was at a retreat where I spoke and had shared that story. Little did I know how much that story meant to her. Catch a glimpse of Michelle’s story below:

“Just over five years ago I was hit with the news that I had a metastatic glomus jugular tumor. Don’t worry, I had no idea what that meant either. At just sixteen years old, on April 20, 2006, I went in to St. Vincent Hospital in LA to have a large benign blood-filled brain tumor removed behind my right ear….

As of April 20, 2011, I have undergone sixteen surgeries. I have become quite the pro when dealing with pain and needles. With a cancer in which no one else in the world has, we celebrate five years of fighting! Through all the ups, downs, pains, surgeries, depression, anger, loneliness, bitterness, and frustration, I would not change one thing about the last six years of my life. It was so hard letting go of the girl I was before the diagnosis, but who I am today is so much more than I ever could have been without this experience. God has used me in unimaginable ways, and will continue to do so until His work in me is done.”

To read the rest of Michelle’s story, go here.

What scars do you have? How have you survived?

Showing 4 comments
  • Anonymous

    Have you heard about The Word Made Flesh website at

    Its pretty interesting. It is basically a picture blog of people with tattoos of different lines of literature.

    This picture and post reminded me of it.

  • Heather

    I found this really neat because I related to a few things in this post. First off, I relate to the feeling of embarrassment about my scars. It took 2yrs after my first back surgery before I had the courage to wear tank tops in public where my scar would be visible. Someone who had a similar scar told me to be proud of it because we have gone through alot. She is an amazing friend. Second, the line where Michelle said it was so hard letting go of the girl she was before hit me so much because that is something I still struggle with on occasion. My story is different but similar. I am now proud of the big long scar on my back from back surgeries and it isn’t so bad. I just actually wrote a blog post about how I have changed through the whole experience and become a stronger more whole person. lol I had never heard of Michelle or her story before. It has been such a long road and a long struggle but I am discovering we learn so much through our struggles. thanks for sharing this-I have been tempted to get a tatoo across the top of my scar and now I am tempted to get these words. lol

  • Brandy Schaal

    I can relate on a totally different level. My past and my emotional scars are what makes me who I am. God has taken what others have meant for harm and is using it for His glory. I’m only now becoming comfortable with “wearing” my scars and being more holistic in the story my life tells. It’s a lot easier to wear a smile and not show people what you have been through. But if I don’t show my scars, I can’t tell people how amazing my God is and how He has brought me through. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Eric Bryant

    Thanks for sharing your stories and insights, Heather & Brandy! – Eric

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