Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Healing: Battle Wounds or Victory Scars?

Battle Wounds or Victory Scars
Author Biography

    In addition to being an award-winning Christian novelist, Dina Sleiman takes great pleasure in serving the least of these through her work at Operation Blessing. This wife, mother of three, and grandmother of two loves travel, nature, dance, and—of course—writing.

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Dina Sleiman - Manager of Marketing Content for Operation Blessing

Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19 esv)

Years ago, I was tasked with writing a blog post on the topic of battle wounds. Initially I thought I didn’t have much to say on the subject. 

I spend time with believers from all sorts of denominations, and being surrounded by such differing mindsets, I have come to a conclusion. Some Christians love to talk about their “battle wounds,” while others prefer to tell their “victory stories.” I am decisively a member of the “victory story” group on this issue. 

I felt God prompting me to reflect on a wonderful sermon my pastor had preached about the difference between emotional wounds and emotional scars, and I realized that I did have something to say.

wound can fester. It hurts, incapacitates, and holds us back; it can eventually destroy us. A scar, while noticeable and sometimes even disfiguring, is evidence that healing has taken place. Read that again: a scar is evidence that healing has taken place.

You can function with a scar. It might be a little tough or red or bumpy, even itchy on occasion, but you can go on with your life and continue to accomplish God’s plans. I realize that most of us would prefer a miraculous, complete healing. And I do believe with all my being that God can heal us miraculously. 

But most miracles that I see on a day-to-day basis look more like God speeding and assisting in the natural healing process through wisdom, guidance, and supernatural intervention. I’ve been healed miraculously twice in my life: as a baby from a twisted foot, and as a teen from skin allergies. However, on many occasions I’ve recuperated much faster than expected, or God has given me wisdom that has led to a surprising recovery. 

Prompt recovery in the emotional healing realm occurs when we learn to submit to God’s care. When we revisit those festering wounds and allow God to remove the infection, cleanse them, and salve them. Maybe forgiveness is required. Maybe the enemy told us a lie that has colored our thinking, and God wants to speak truth to our deepest emotions. 

When God gets in there and cleans it out, He gives us a new perspective, and we begin to heal. The scarred area might look different, not quite pretty and shiny anymore, but it will be well with our soul. 

Our scars can be a badge of honor, a part of our victory story—proof that healing has occurred. You can say, “Look at this cool scar. Let me tell you how I got it.” 

In fact, after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, it was the scars on His body that offered testament of who He was. He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” (John 20:27) Those scars also provided evidence of the amazing gift He had given us.

When we endure painful situations in life, we can focus on the damage: the wounds, the defeats. We can grow bitter, blame God, wallow in self-pity and unforgiveness—and stagnate in our faith.

Or… we can view it as an opportunity for growth, change, and greater dependence on God. A chance to receive hope, peace, and joy. A chance to come out stronger on the other side. 

The choice is up to you. Will you talk about your “battle wounds,” “battle scars,” or better yet, “victory stories”? Have you experienced healing from emotional wounds? Are there any that are still festering in your life? How could you hand them over to God and turn that battle wound into a victory story?


Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.


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