The Scars That Have Shaped Me

“A scar is a mark left by a healed wound. My scars signify healing,” writes author Vaneetha Risner.

Yes! They definitely do signify healing.

As one with a “zipperhead” scar from brain surgery, I look at my scar in the mirror almost daily and know it represents my healing from Moyamoya disease.

The Scars That Have Shaped Me

The scars that have shaped me

In her book The Scars That Have Shaped Me, Vaneetha shares how she contracted polio as an infant and underwent twenty-one surgeries by age thirteen. Scars covered her legs as a result of those surgeries.

In the first paragraphs of chapter one, she says,  “I’ve long despised my scars. I have spent much of my life hiding them, keeping my legs covered as much as possible. My scars told me that I wasn’t like everyone else. They told me I was unattractive, an oddity, a bit of a freak. Some people are proud of their scars; they speak of courage. They show others what they’ve endured. They carry with them stories of bravery and adventure.”

“But for me, with scars covering both my legs, they were not medals to display, proclaiming my bravery. They were rather deficiencies to hide, reminding me daily of flaws – reminding me I was damaged.”

Because of His Scars

She admits she hid her scars for decades. But one day, she noticed how the disciples in John 20 knew Jesus after the resurrection  because of His scars. It stirred something in her.

She realized, “My scars are significant and precious. I shouldn’t keep hiding them. I am recognizable by them; they make me unique. They are an integral part of who I am. They show that, through Christ, I am a conqueror – that I have suffered and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, have overcome.”

An Overcomer

overcomer with scars


When my good friend Cindie gave me Vaneetha’s book, she said, “I know you’ll like this book. You can definitely relate.”

Yes . . . I definitely felt connected to Vaneetha’s story and the fact that she is an OVERCOMER! And Cindie can relate as she too has scars. You’ll learn about Cindie’s scars when I post her overcomer story. (Coming soon!)

God’s Greatest Blessings

Near the end of her book, Vaneetha solidly hits home the point that scars are actually blessings. She says, “Suffering and trials are gifts. They refine my character, draw me to God, deepen my faith. They have shaped my theology and carved into me the capacity for great joy. In many ways, they are God’s greatest blessings.”

The Scars That Have Shaped Me blows apart the idea that scars are something to be ashamed of. Instead, your scars represent strength and courage. They encourage others who are facing struggles.

If you have scars – visible or invisible – you NEED to read this incredible book!


Leave a reply (below): Vaneetha says, “Those of us with scars should wear them like jewels, treasured reminders of what we’ve endured.” If you have scars, briefly share how you wear them – with shame or as jewels.


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Melony Brown I have had numerous opportunities to hear stories about women who have faced life's tough challenges. My writing reflects the lessons I’ve learned from these amazing women.

My blog has their real-life stories, while the book I'm writing follows a fictional character as she faces life's challenges.

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I am continually seeking opportunities to interview courageous women who have faced life’s tough challenges and made the decision to be an overcomer! If this description fits you or someone you know, I want to hear from you!

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