A Band-Aid was needed today after I cut my leg this morning shaving. As most women know, they almost never hurt but this one did.
My first response was to press my finger on it because it was stinging and so long as I did that, it kept the pain away.
However, I couldn’t stay in the shower forever with my finger on my leg so eventually I had to stand up, embrace the sting and finish showering.
When I was all dried off I put a Band-Aid on it and was going to leave it there for a day or two. At some point, though, I have to take the Band-Aid off and let the air at it…let the air heal it.
It’s ok to keep the Band-Aid on for a bit but have you noticed that as long as it is covered, it remains a little fresh. It doesn’t get the opportunity to dry up, scab and heal.
If I never took the Band-Aid off, it would take a very long time to get passed the scab part to the scar part.
How this has been true in my life. I was a little bit punched in the gut this morning when I was reading. I have shared bits of my story along the way but I have preferred to keep it covered.
After my 5 year emotionally and mentally abusive marriage ended, I quickly put my finger on it to stop the pain. I moved in with my parents and avoided all things social. I didn’t want to see anyone or have to explain or talk about it.
The new house that Summer and I had bought had a house fire so it was perfect that I had to move in with my mom and dad and live in their safety shelter.
Eventually, though, the house was repaired and it was time to move out and be on my own with my Summer.
And so I began living life with a gigantic bandaid – somewhat coping with the pain and sting and allowing some healing, but keeping it covered for the most part.
But band aids are only good for when the wound is fresh…when it is bleeding.
Eventually it is an obstacle to healing.
I refused to acknowledge the fact that I had an ex-husband…hate that word. I would never refer to ‘Summer’s dad’ – I would just omit him from any conversation.
I have been embarrassed to say I’m divorced or a single mom…to admit I needed a second chance.
About a year after it was over, a friend was disappointed in me about something and said “I thought you would have your shit together by now.” I think I will take that one to the grave. Why didn’t I have my shit together?
Honestly, it is 8 years later and I still think it is all over the place!!! But maybe it’s time to be ok with that…to reveal that my shit is most definitely not together.
I think it is time to take the band aid off and let the air at it…let grace and mercy and love get a shot at it.
The Band-Aid did all it could do…it’s time to give other options a try. The choices I could have made differently in my marriage were to acknowledge the red flags I saw while we dated and were engaged. Yes, there it is. Some mistakes.
But as my counselor says, “So what?” Move on. To let the air at it is to say there were different choices that I didn’t make and so be it. To let the air at it is to say and show that I have a scar and that’s ok.
I think I like to try to even Wite-Out certain parts of my life. Mistakes have occurred and I try to cover them up with a glossy white sheen so that the blemish is unseen…as if the typo never happened.
If you look closely at my life, I bet you would see Wite-Out everywhere…all of my attempts to hide my shortcomings, flaws, mistakes and mishaps. A façade of a crisp, white paper.
But you can buy crisp, white paper by the skids. Box after box. All the same thing.
Why would I want to be that? Why wouldn’t I want my page to be a bit more unique? For the story to be the WHOLE story? Typos and all.
The only thing that makes sheets of white paper unique is what is drawn or written on there.
And on my paper are words like divorce, step mom, single mom, remarried, ex husband, depressed, ETC. And those are not bad words or swear words.
If you read my whole story, you’d see that they became beautiful words when part of a beautiful story – a story I don’t want to hide anymore.
So going forward, I will be tempted to put a Band-Aid on. I will want to cover it in case I bump it and reopen an old wound. But I will fight to keep the Band-Aid off, to let the air at it, to let grace and mercy and love at it.
I think we all need to do this…to let grace and mercy and love at our wounds. If we don’t expose them at some point, there is never the opportunity for others to see it and embrace you, wounds and all.
I have a scar on my right shin that I got in grade 3 falling off a bike rack at school. It is pretty big and usually when someone sees it the question is: What happened? How did you get that?
Can you imagine the freeing healing we would experience if we let our scars be seen so that others could ask,
“What happened? How did you get that?”
That doesn’t happen if you don’t take the Band-Aid off.
When we hear someone’s story we don’t look down on them for having a scar. I think we feel closer to them because now we know a little bit more about them and the life they led.
Maybe there is even some amazement at the crazy story you endured to get that scar.
Scars aren’t ugly…they are story-carriers.
Let others read your story.
Fill that perfect white paper with your imperfect story.
And as I wrap this up, I remember as a kid my mom would try to convince me to just quickly rip the Band-Aid off – she swore it didn’t hurt that bad.
I ignored this suggestion till I was an adult and discovered that the fear of taking the Band-Aid off is far worse than the actual event.
Where do you have Band-Aids?
Are you ready to take them off?
To let love, grace and mercy at it?