The Beauty of Scars

Hello, everyone! I am so excited to be blogging for American Baptist Women’s Ministries, which gives me a chance to share some of my thoughts with you. I hope something I say will inspire you in some way!

During our observance of Domestic Violence last October, my pastor at church preached a sermon entitled “The Beauty of the Scars.” During that Sunday we were focusing on domestic violence, making those in my church aware of the issues and what to do if they are faced with it in any way. I want to focus on those who have been involved with domestic violence in the past or those who are currently facing a situation of that nature now.

Many times those who have been a victim of domestic violence and abuse are ashamed of their scars, both mental and physically. Often times, women are quick to hide their scars in an effort to forget the past or in thinking that the scars take away from their beauty.

I want each of you to know that your scars make you beautiful. There is beauty in your mental, emotional, and physical scars. Literally, scars indicate that you once were wounded. Eventually the wound healed and closed, leaving behind remnants in the form of a scar. Even though you may not think so, scars are important reminders of the healing that has since occurred.

Jesus Christ and his scars were important, not only in that he died, but that he died for us and our salvation. Without those scars left by the nails in his hands and feet, the crown of thorns on his head, and the piercing of his side, we would not have the opportunity of everlasting life and salvation. Those scars represent the covenant Jesus made with God to save the world–they remind us of the healing that God gives to us through Christ–and they are most certainly beautiful.

To those of you who have been abused and were left with scars in various forms, know that these scars are beautiful. They represent strength, and they represent God’s blessing for helping you to overcome that situation and continuing to live life. So please, I’m asking you: Don’t be ashamed of your scars, for they are a testimony and tell a story that just might help someone along the way.

Peace, Love, and Joy.

Christina

Christina TurnerThis blog post is contributed by Christina Turner, who is serving as an intern for AB Women’s Ministries “In Their Shoes” podcast and this blog during the 2012-2013 program year. Christina is a 22 year-old recent graduate of Washington State University with a B.A. in Communication. She first got involved with American Baptist Women’s Ministries and AB GIRLS in high school and went on to serve on the AB GIRLS National Leadership Team. Christina attends People’s Institutional Baptist Church in Seattle, Washington. She has dreams of one day hosting her own talk show or serving as Lifestyle Host such as those on The View or The Today Show. Christina enjoys shopping, sports, being a Super WSU Cougar fan/enthusiast, and spending time with her family and friends.

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(MDG5) They Turned Mary Away, Will You?

Mother_with_Child_by_Merlin2525We have just observed Advent and celebrated Christmas, and yesterday was Epiphany Sunday. These are all familiar stories to us as Christian women–but one thing struck me especially this year as I’ve been immersed in the issues around the Millenium Development Goals. We listen to the story over and over again. Jesus was born in a manager in a barn among all the animals because there was no room for Mary at the Inn. Can you imagine having your child in a barn?

Today, many of us are so fortunate because we have health insurance and access to prenatal medical care, and we give birth in a hospital with all the medical technology at our finger tips in case of an emergency. We also have access to good nutrition during pregnancy and after the birth of our child, which means our child will receive good nutrition.

According to statistics from 2010 from the World Health Organization, “Every day 800 women died due to complications of pregnancy and child birth, including severe bleeding after child birth, infections, hypertensive disorders, and unsafe abortions.” “The risk of a woman in a developing country dying from a pregnancy-related cause during her lifetime is about 25 times higher compared to a woman living in a developed country. Maternal mortality is a health indicator that shows very wide gaps between rich and poor, both between countries and within them.”

In low income countries, less than 50% of baby deliveries were attended by a skilled attendant. As women of faith, what can we do to change the statistics and find better healthful alternatives for women who are pregnant? How can we assist them in gaining access to healthy food and vitamins to increase their chances of a healthy delivery and a healthy baby?

Maternal health is not just an issue in developing countries, it is also an issue in the United States when women do not have access to affordable health insurance, medical care, and proper nutrition. As women, we need to educate ourselves about the issue of maternal health in our communities and around the world. We need to work together to come up with solutions for all women to have access to proper nutrition and good medical care to ensure healthy babies around the world.

Back in Bethlehem, the innkeeper turned Mary away. Will you open the door for women locally and globally to have a safe and healthy birth? Women helping women can change the world – one woman at a time.

Blessings,

Barbara

This blog post is part of our series on the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the United Nations as part of the End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign. Millennium Development Goal #5 is “Improve Maternal Health.” Please visit www.endpoverty2015.org for more information on the MDGs, including fact sheets and updates on advances on this goal.

Barbara AndersonThis blog post is contributed by Barbara Anderson, director of “All Hands In,” a ministry organization sponsored by Trinity Baptist Church of East Arlington, MA, addressing the issue of human trafficking.