About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. Wonderful words, I would like to share this with the inmates I visit at CRRC in Connell wa. I have shared parts of my brokenness with them before. It’s funny he do say to pick up your mat and go. Thanks for this insight Roy

    • I’m glad these words spoke to you, Roy! It would be a distinct privilege to know that these words were being delivered to the inmates at CRRC. My husband is very involved in prison ministry, and we are praying for you today, Roy.

  2. Jennifer,
    Your story reminds me of the story of Samuel, who when God was faithful to rescue him, he built a stone altar – he raised his Ebenezer – to God. This was his way of reminding himself and marking this point in time in which God was faithful. I know there are times when I need to look back on my life…look upon my scars and the Ebenezers and be encouraged about ALL the times that God was faithful to rescue me. Sometimes looking back propels me forward. Not looking back with regret, but with thankfulness. Wonderful post.

    • God’s timing is so perfect to supply what we need when we need it! How often during difficult challenges, we let our scars define us, and they become so glaringly visible to us as a sign of failure so we think they will be viewed the same by others. Your message is timely for me today and an encouragement to reframe the scar from failing to healing!

    • Like you, my 2 sisters,my parents, my grandparents (grampa died),and I were in a traumatic car accident from a drunk driver. My sister had the worst scars, her nose was smashed and she`s had about 8 surgeries and she refuses any more surgery. Kids spoke cruelly to her all her life. I was the only one unhurt VISIBLY. I lost my mother`s presence while growing up. Understandibly she was always there for my sister but me and my older sister haven`t had the closeness of a mother. I am now in charge of taking my parents everywhere-Mom has a pre Leukemia cancer. It`s really hard for me at times to give what I haven`t received. My older sister and I grew up with Dad to help us. We are pretty strong and independent because of it. Mom favors my sister, her children,grandchildren, and great grandchildren over the others. I carry the hurt-release it, but it it shows up again in our family makeup. I have to constantly give my hurt to God.

      • I have a similar family structure except it was my father who was absent for me. I have struggled all my life to measure up because I could never please him. This has carried over into my relationships, jobs etc. I constantly overachieve and yet still feel lacking! I do share my scars with others and sometimes that has been used against me. I am truly thankful for Gods forgiveness, but have still not forgiven myself!

        • It’s sad how there is so much love to give, and the people you want to give it to are running away from it.

        • START SAYING I HAVE ALWAYS. SAY “TODAY” OVER ACHIEVING is out! Maybe today I will specifically not do what I always try to do–everything.

          write it down. put it on you bathroom mirror. make it pretty. each day make a different one to replace it! have fun with the sun!!!!!

          God will lead you to enjoy your coloring EACH DAY.

      • On Verlette, I am so sorry. It seems that you don’t even have scars yet. You are dealing with wounds that open and reopen and reopen again. Know that I am praying for you. Sometimes, that seems a small thing, but we know God hears us. I am praying.

  3. Jesus told Thomas to touch His nailprints and feel His side 🙂 a wonderful example to the body of Christ. Jesus shared His wounds…so should we. Thomas was delivered of his doubts, others will be delivered too.
    Many in the church don’t want to hear the stories, but in God’s perfect providence, He’ll set up the divine connections that need to and will be encouraged in the way 🙂

    • Mo,

      Those words from Jesus have always spoken to the deepest part of me, especially because Thomas reminds me of me.

      Grateful for the Biblical connections you’ve made here. God bless you.

  4. These words are amazing permission to live for Jesus in the very place we find ourselves: with THIS background, with THIS tiredness, with THIS limping marriage. I’ve never thought of the man’s mat in that way before. Thank you for mining the riches of Scripture — and then sharing the treasure.

  5. I shared my testimony just last week for some of the women at my church. Among the “scars” in my life were many. Even after I finished speaking I had to wonder if I’d said too much…but I knew that was someone else trying to deceive me.

    Strangely enough, just after the (in)courage meetup in Springfield I stayed to hear Beth Moore. During her message she touched on something I’d never heard. She talked about during the time the Israelites would tear their clothes during pain or sorrow to show the visible signs of their heart on the outside. But what I didn’t know is that once God had performed his Jehovah Rapha “healing” and restored them – they wouldn’t discard the clothing. They would mend it. Thus leaving a scar on their clothing for all to see that they had been healed. That He had been at work and had been faithful.

    It made me think of my scars. My stories. A testimony of words that have the power to go out and share this gospel mystery like no other.

    We might not be visibly ripping and mending our clothing. But it’s through our courage in Christ to walk forward, sharing scars and that of redemption that brings His love and healing into the light.

    I’m grateful for the scars you so willingly share with us!

  6. “But the rest of us need your mats and your scars.” I always love to see God work redemption into painful places. He uses the pain of one to facilitate the healing of another.

  7. I too have scars. After being healed, the Lord led me to share mine through being a counselor at a Pegnancy Resourse Center and helping others; Then, leading an abortion recovery Bible study. I ave seen many women healed even though they still have their scars. Pains the Lord!

  8. Such a beautiful way of looking at something that so many of us have seen as ugly and part of us that we wish to hide away. My scars have been in the past a reminder of so many wounds and hurts, not really something I would see as a testimony. Thank you for your gentle way of letting me know that my scars can tell my story and remind others of the redeeming nature of Yahweh. As a previous leader of an online women’s ministry helping women who had suffered abuse, I had always encouraged them to share their past and scars, but would keep my own covered away. Thank you again for your encouragement today.

    • I think it’s especially hard to reveal our wounds and scars when we are in leadership. When we share sensitively, I believe we can lead others to a place of healing. Thank you for sharing, Renae.

  9. Thank you for the reminder that healing comes for all things. I hope my scars, physical or emotional may be that source of compassion and service to others.

    • I am sharing this (in)courage with my daughter who is going through a totally unexpected, unwanted divorce. I know the Lord will use this “scar” to help her walk closer to Him. “…forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”

      • I’m sorry to hear that about your daughter. I pray she gets hope from this article.

      • Elsa,

        Prayers for a healing touch from God for your daughter. May God shower her with His love, grace, peace and comfort. I pray she comes out stronger. God can and will use this divorce for His good!

        Blessings 🙂

  10. Thank you for this good word this morning! It was an encouragement to me and I plan to share it with women I meet with at a homeless shelter. To not be caught in shame from our past, but to hold onto the hope that our scars show we have survived and been healed. Thank you, Father.

  11. The Bible is full of memorials to memorialize that God delivered and how Great He is. Thus, a natural scar (memorial) can be used to remind us to be Thankful for an Amazing God who tenderly provides for us.

    We all have a story and I know someday God will use mine for His Glory. Unless my story is in His timing, it will be given as a story of pain and rejection and bitterness. In His timing, it will be a story of Hope, Amazing Provision and overcoming Power.

    I am reminded there is the power of life or death in the tongue. May our scars become LIFE and HEALING o those who need Hope when shown to others in His Timing.

    Thanks for your thoughts which provoke me to go deeper.

  12. Love! Love! Love this! Seems I need daily reminders to stay the course on this hard, hard journey of allowing His healing of deep internal wounds. I love the image of “pick up your mat” and seeing it as the reminder of rescue. I was rescued at age 11 and felt that meant no more looking back, so I kept running forward…I am now in this season of season of learning and healing all He has rescued me from. Thanks for this reminder to stay the course and love the scars.

  13. We can do two things with our hurts–we can use them against God or we can let God use them. I choose to let God use them and then they become amazing testimonies of God’s great grace and justice and mercy in my life. They become my ‘mats’ that I use to remember God’s faithful healing touch in my heart. Thank-you for the reminder! xoxo

  14. “Our scars remind us that, though we were wounded, we’ve been healed. Our scars are a part of our rescue story. We’ve been marked by Yahweh.”
    I love these statements. I have a “battle scar” (that’s what I call it) from a tumor that I had removed a few years ago. At first, I felt really insecure about the scar because it was on display for everyone to see. Then I began to embrace the blessing of healing that God gave me. He gave me a testimony that I’ve been able to share with others going through the same or similar situations. My scars, from my surgical scar to past situations, have helped shape me. I will embrace them because I have lived to tell the story. Thanks for the beautiful post.

  15. Thank you Jennifer for your words today. I have wounds so deep that I long to heal even now. While in prayer years ago, the Lord spoke to my heart saying that I would heal, but that it would take a long time. I have held on to this as a promise from Him. It has kept me from total despair and left me with hope. Please pray for me. I have grown weary. What little I have shared with others, even Christians, has not been received with charity. It has caused me further pain, and I have withdrawn from people feeling the need for safety. I am in counseling with a Christian therapist now, so that is good. I know the Lord is near and still hope in Him. but it has, indeed, been a long time. I helps to see others here who acknowledge His healing. God bless….

    • Sorry you have been rejected by those who call themselves believers. Don’t give up. I know the feeling. Let’s keep knocking on doors!

      • Thank you, Trina for acknowledging my comment. It helps to know I am not alone.


    • Trina,

      Prayers for healing to come quickly! Christians are sometimes hardest on our own. May God send peace and comfort to your tired weary soul!

  16. I am so thankful for this post! It has been most helpful in clearing up some things. We are told we are supposed to forget but I can’t even though I have forgiven. I realize now that scars are wounds that are healed and indeed are part of our stories. We need to remember the lessons, and the rescues that God takes us through. I need to look at the scars as cairns ( a pile of rocks raised to mark a spot where God worked ). Israel did at various times. They are markers on our journeys of where God met us, helped us, delivered us, etc. Blessings! Loved this post.

  17. Wow. As a cancer survivor this speaks to me so clearly. I know without a doubt that God used my battle to bring me closer to Him and the scars from my multiple surgeries are a definitely a reminder of the rescue He performed on my life.
    Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing this with all of us. I have been so blessed by it.

  18. I have both physical and emotional scars. I have learned that it’s ok to wear short sleeved shirts. My physical scar is over 12 in. long running down my arm. It looks fresh and has made strangers go……What happened? I tell them that I fell. Plain and simple. Because if I told the truth it would hurt. It would retrigger the memories. I suffer every day from PTSD. Thank you for helping me heal.

  19. Your post reminds me of a line in a song I found shortly after my
    Port-e-Cath was removed from my chest from Chemotherapy. It left
    a scar on my chest, but the line in the song “It is Well” by Matt Redmond states
    “Scars are a sign of Grace in our lives and Father how you brought us through”

  20. I too have many scars….yes we all have them…thankfully the Lord knows we have them also. We do need each other ….Fellowship is the way forward. …God bless you for sharing these precious words. X

  21. Survival isn’t a myth. It doesn’t mean you failed. It means you were healed.

    Thank you for insight into scars and God’s healing and “taking home” the mat. I am encouraged by your words. The process of healing … rescue … is long and some internal scars are still tender. But like your leg scar, I know they will fade. God is ever faithful.

  22. Jennifer, I thank the Lord Jesus for this much needed posting today, for your tender words and the beautiful replies. I come to understand that our wounds are those things through which Jesus can show us how to truly love, to have compassion, to forgive. I realized that Jesus never hides His nail scarred self; it is through these wounds that He poured our His love and mercy on each of us, showing us how to do the same for others to His glory. I am so grateful for your words that tell me I don’t have to be ashamed of the scars (Christ scorned the shame of the cross), for each reply that helps me to see that testimony comes in His time and way (wink 🙂 Joy and Amanda). We are all “cracked, scarred pots” through which He can pour out His love in through those scars and cracks. May we bring His love and compassion to each other today through our scars!

  23. Jennifer, thank you. Thank you for sharing your writing words of your story. What a powerful reminder for all of us not to hold on to what was hard for us in out past, whether on the outside of inside. The mat verse in comparison was on key. For a portion of my life, I put my mat in book form which holds scars on the outside and inside. Through the writing process that’s what I sensed from His presence was to keep pushing forward. Tell it all because it’s your story and I need others to know. It also was very healing releasing the old.

  24. Thanks Jennifer, for your encouraging post and for using your gift for His glory and our benefit. Your words are ringing out true for so many of us today.
    ‘Our scars are a part of our rescue story’….what a beautiful thought!
    I’m reminded of the apostle Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ which he regarded as a blessing from God.
    This was a continual reminder of his need to be kept in humility. An always current rescuing.
    Our stories of healed wounds are so worth sharing for the hearer and speaker alike! And my own ‘thorn in the flesh’ is maybe God’s way of making me aware that He is always there, rescuing me and healing me. Right here. Right now. An invitation – like Psalm 91 says – to “dwell in the secret place of the most High”. If I choose to do this today I “shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. What a beautiful place to be.
    Love to all of my friends in Jesus today❤️❤️

  25. This is a beautiful message, one that I know many can relate to. One of my scars that marks my body and soul is depression. There was a time in my life when I gave into the darkness, discouragement, judgement and I indulged in the negativity. I had given up. Yet you are never too far gone from the grip of God, this proved very true for me. It may seem odd or amazing to those around me how I made a 180 turn to who I was and who I am now, but I know in my heart that I was saved. The scars will forever be part of me, but they are a reminder of how great God is and how grateful I am.

  26. Thank you so much for this post Jennifer. It really struck a chord and is helping me look at my scars in a new way. Many blessings ~

  27. I like that about taking up the mat. We all try to forget things, but there are things we even forgive and can’t forget. It’s okay to have a reminder of His saving grace. The inside is what concerns me, would we look like Jacob Marley from a Christmas Carol,
    dragging our chains forge in like. Or the man in the tombs, he dwelt among death. Jesus came to give life, so let’s let Him touch the innermost places of our hearts and souls, the scars that no one sees but Him.

  28. As a survivor of rape and sexual abuse, it is very important to talk about my scars and my ordeal and how you can overcome things like that and move on in life and not repeat the cycle of abuse. It’s not easy to show my scars (emotional and literal scars as I was cutting myself for a while) and some people don’t want to hear and/or see but if I reach just one person and help them to break the cycle, to reach out, to realize God has been there all along, it is worth it . So yes, let’s show our scars and share our stories of hope, survival and God’s grace.

  29. This article reminds me of the Japanese art of kintsugi, which is repairing broken pottery with gold infused resin. This 15th century art form takes the broken item and restores it, even strengthening and beautifying it in the process. Isn’t that what our Good, Good Father does for us?! Our broken places become restored as our Lord skillfully and precisely touches us with His holy golden glue! And we become stronger and even more beautiful as we allow His healing in our lives to shine brightly so others can know of His amazing and redeeming grace!

  30. wonderful post, jennifer. i’m grateful to have selective memory (ha!) but also glad to remember some deep regrets SO THAT (a good so that) SO THAT I recall God’s bountiful protection and forgiveness Made me a lot less judgmental, that’s for sure. Blessings on you this fine day from CA.

  31. Indeed! Our scars are a reminder that we have been healed. I can remember a time when my scars were a token of shame and embarrassment. Oh, how I tried to hide those scars! My life turned around when I brought those scars to the light and let the salve of Jesus heal them. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  32. Jennifer, I love this ~ and I have NEVER thought about the mat part wow!! I love how God’s word is truly alive & active, always showing us new things! Thanks for sharing this – it really is a Gideon -like confirmation for me (haha) in that it’s okay to sometimes share (and if needed, the ugly parts) of my past in order that people can see how far God can really bring a person. Even Paul brought his past up and would say, “You remember my old days of killing, I was the chief of sinners!” Sharing this on my social media tonight. Good stuff!

  33. Jennifer, you spoke to my heart. I have unexplained scars called keloids that exist on my face, chest and back. on my face, it has now become a visible Y. Just recently, I mentioned to my husband how I hated that it is a part of me that makes me feel hideous and ugly. He responded that God sees me as beautiful because of the scars. I needed this more than you know. It has taken it’s toll on me as far as my confidence but the words you spoke reminded me that God looks at my heart and not the way others do. Hugs to you. Thank you so much.

  34. Yes, I have a scar as well. I have always said it reminds me of the battle in which God brought me victory. It reminds me of the greatness of our God and His mighty deeds. And for that present reminder, I would go through it all again. So grateful you shared these words. Blessings!

  35. Jennifer,
    I have read that verse too many times to count and I have never thought about what it meant for him to take his mat home with him. Truly, insight from God through you, written beautifully! Thankful for your gift, your obedience and the blessing it was to read you words. My heart was moved and I will forever look at that passage with different eyes.


  36. Your post and various replies has reminded me of a song by Point of Grace, Heal the Wound.
    Heal the wound but leave the scar reminding me of how merciful you are.

  37. Jennifer,

    Interesting thought on the mat. I never thought about Jesus saying take the mat /reminder of your past and the healing. We all have scars from our past. Things we’ve done or haven’t done. It is good to be reminded of how far God has brought us. We must never forget. God commanded the Israelites to take 12 stones and put them in the Jordan as a memorial. Reminders of how far He brought them!

    Blessings 🙂

  38. Plenty of scars here . . . May they remind me always of not where I was, but where God is leading me. And may my experiences, good and bad, bless those who need to hear the stories and heal their wounds, too.
    Blessings, Jennifer!

  39. Thanks Jennifer, for the reminder that our scars are lovely and point to our rescue. I carry some pretty deep scars from an a school bus hitting our car head on over 20 years ago. But over time, those scars have been used by God to help others time and time again, turning those scars into a testimony of God’s goodness. Here is just one way. My 16 year old sister helped me for over four months after the accident when I was confined to a hospital bed. Years passed and then she was involved in an accident where she was badly injured and needed help. Who better to help her and understand what she was going through, than me. It was like God saying, remember all that pain and helplessness and fear you felt and experienced, now go help your sister because you know exactly what she is going through. God is so good at beautifying our scars and using them to help others.

  40. Praise God for his healing of emotional trauma! And thank you, Jennifer, for giving us a new perspective on the scars we carry, for turning them into badges of rescue and healing. A very meaningful post!

  41. On our drive home from Dallas this afternoon, I came across this line in the radio.. Our scars are a part of our rescue story, we have been marked by Yahweh. Yesterday marks 12 yrs since I was saved by Jesus from a major bus accident and I have lots permanent scars on my body due to acid burns. I came home and wanted to research the internet on this line I heard on the radio and came across your article. I am so glad to have read this and as a reminder to me on how my Jesus saved me. Praise the Lord. It also reminded me that Jesus has scars on account of my sin from the cross. I am glad I am redeemed by the blood of Jesus.

  42. I loved this piece. We all have our scars. It’s lovely how when He heals us we can face them and move past them. It’s my scars that I wasn’t facing, but rather hiding, that God used to prompt me to write. He’s assured me I need not have any shame from the past that scarred my heart. And that going through the incident that caused the scars can be a blessing to someone else, but only if I share them. My first blog post tells the story of Him bringing me to this realization and finally showing my scars. Thank you for sharing this. It’s a great testimony that He heals and He uses ALL things for our collective good!

  43. Yes! Our scars remind us that by the grace of God we survived something brutal enough to leave a mark! Beautiful words!