As I write this on the second to the last week of 2015, I cannot help but take the time to sit down and relish all the memories of the year that we are about to bid goodbye to.
In my head, I have gone through several 2015s in order to get to the place where I am at today. 2015 began with such a strong sense of optimism. In my heart I have always believed that 2015 was going to be my greatest year so far. One of the resolutions I have asked God at the beginning of the year was for Him to make me a better version of myself.
And boy did He answer that prayer but in ways I did not expect. The movie Evan Almighty states it clearly: “If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings or does He give them opportunities to love each other?”
This year tested me in all ways possible. It has given me the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and while there were times when I felt like there was no possible way to move forward, God swoops in to save the day.
Possibly just like most of you, I have waged wars this year. Wars that were brought about not only by circumstances but also my own wrong choices, hastiness, and admittedly so, my own stubbornness. Just like anyone who’s been through battle, I have found myself a little worse for wear.
Wars deepen the warrior through the scars it produces. And for a time, my scars shamed me until I learned about Kintsugi.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. When beautiful jars are broken, those who practice this art don’t throw away or conceal broken pieces but rather treats brokenness as something part of the history of the object. Those who practice this believe that what makes us broken is what makes us beautiful.
Society, especially in today’s world of selfies and whatnot, teaches us to be perfect at all times. It teaches us to hide our flaws through filters and edits and it unknowingly forces us to keep up appearances. It’s not necessarily a bad thing but at the same time, it pressures us to thinking that we have to hide the broken parts of ourselves in order to matter.
But the truth is, it’s our scars that make us who we are. In going through the process of failure, heartbreak, betrayal, and making bad choices, we discover a different part of ourselves that we otherwise haven’t met if we didn’t go through tribulations initially.
We often reject the painful reality of life without realizing that our pain along with our happiness is what makes us who we are. It’s all part of the intricacy of our story that will one day inspire others to keep going. This is what makes us human and ultimately what makes us empathetic of others.
Your scars tell a story and your scars make you a more beautiful version of yourself.
As you enter into this holiday season, I hope you spend time to reflect on the year 2015 was and realize how every situation you were in: good, bad, disappointing, and frustrating all has a purpose in the plan God has for your life.
Celebrate and be grateful because you have more than just survived this year, you overcame and as in any war, once you’ve won, you know that only greater days are ahead.