Wearing Scars

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Living in spite of your scars

Living in spite of your scars

The doctors declared that I needed life-saving open-heart surgery at the age of two. At age 11, I had another. Both left a long, deep, dark brown scar in the middle of my chest. They left a scar that I haven’t always been proud of. They left a scar that once made me feel ashamed and insecure.

When I entered middle school, I wore dresses and blouses with high necks so no one would stare at me, so no one would ask me, “What’s that?” Kids stared. Adults stared. They asked questions. I felt embarrassed. I didn’t know what to say. Then one day—I can’t remember the day or the hour—but one day I decided I would no longer hide my scar. I would no longer be ashamed of what is a reflection of miraculous acts that saved my life.

Now, every day, I walk around, and people see my scar. If they just look, all they may see is an ugly mark. But if they stop to ask, I am proud to share my testimony. I am proud to tell them how, in my home country, Jamaica, I went undiagnosed for two years until I started to turn black and blue and become short of breath as a toddler. I am proud to tell them that the doctors gave me only six weeks to live—when a charity, Variety’s Club International, Air Jamaica, awesome doctors and staff at Yale New Haven hospital in Connecticut, and relatives came together to help save my life. I am proud to tell them the doctors donated their services because my parents couldn’t afford the surgeries. I am proud to tell them I am God’s miracle.

I have seen and talked with women who are living beneath their purpose—women who are living in financial, emotional, mental and spiritual poverty because they have been scarred. You have been scarred. In some way, in some shape, by something or someone, you have been scarred. No one can or should ever minimize it. But, to grow and live your life to its fullest potential, you have to acknowledge it, embrace it, and then rise above it. Your scar doesn’t have to hold you back.

Don’t be ashamed. Your scar is not a reflection of who are you. Use it to be empowered and to empower others, knowing that, though you have been inflicted, you can do anything. You can be anything. Use what was probably meant to harm you to uplift yourself and others. Don’t walk around wounded anymore. Don’t doubt what you can do or who you can be in spite of your scar.

You are powerful beyond anything that has been done to you. You have the power to live a meaningful, successful, prosperous life, even with the scars. I pray you will find healing. I pray you will find strength. But, most of all, I pray you find the courage to live above being scarred.

NOVIA REID (www.noviareid.com) is a Florida-based inspirational and transformational speaker, licensed clinical social worker and author of Just You and I: Devotions from the Heart and Woman: This is for You.


  1. Donna Will

    October 13, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    This is such an inspiring story. There are still scars I am afraid to share. Thank you. She should write a book! I would buy it

    • Juanita

      October 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Check Out Just You and I by Novia Reid, that’s a book she wrote that I bought, it’s incredible!


  2. Juanita

    October 13, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Amazing author, I have seen her speak on various occasions and she is very inspiring!

  3. KerryAnn Gooden

    October 13, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    Truly inspirational testimony! I am amazed at what God can do in our lives. He uses our imperfections to create the most resounding stories that inspire others who may be going through something. Wonderful article!

  4. Loraine Anderson

    October 13, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    You’re a walking inspiration and a living testimony!!screaming where’s the book!!

    • Vivienne Hines

      October 14, 2014 at 6:31 pm

      Brova, Brava, Brava, Novia. That is what my soon to be released book “Her Blood No Longer Cries” is all about. I remember when me, my sons, aunt Alveda and someone else drove up from New York to see you in the hospital. It was a very cold winter day, you look so pale then; and look at you now. If those same doctors could see you now? The rest prayed I just listened because in those days I did not yet have Cbrist and I did not pray. I love you. You are “a Powerful woman”, I hope I am the first to proclaim it to you. Everyone has had some hardships, struggles, obsticles to overcome, but God is faithful and He always causes us to Triumph. May I repost the article on my facebook page?

  5. Sam

    October 16, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Novia, in a world that seems ever-more scarred, it’s stories like yours that encourage us to keep striving for the common good, and remind us that there are still many, many loving and wonderful humans on the planet. I am proud to have you as a colleague and a friend, and can only imagine the hundreds of lives you will touch in the years to come….


  6. Nads Roines

    October 19, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    I remember when we were children we always sang this song ” This little light of mine I’m gonna let it shine….” Novia continue to let your light shine for and on those who are scarred externally and internally,leaving nothing but positivity.

    I too have been scarred by many even my own family but for me I am not afraid of the scars anymore because I have learnt that scars are not shackles but mere lessons to foster strength, faith and to develop self will.

    That being said, Gods plans for you and your scar is to reach others in this world of sinfulness and uncertainty… forge ahead Novia looking to Christ Jesus as your only Guide.

  7. Saskia

    October 25, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Powerful and encouraging!
    Great author!

  8. Donna Will

    February 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    This book was really inspiring for me. It is a must read to keep focused and productive daily. Thanks. Hope you will do another book.

  9. Toni smith

    August 6, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    There are mental scars and physical scars that I endured growing up, even in my adult years. Reading about your scars brought tears to my eyes because it reminded me of some of the scars in my life. But God…thank God for Jesus that even tho I was scarred I was able to look beyond those scars and and learn to forgive the ones that wounded me.

    • Novia Reid

      August 9, 2015 at 11:36 pm


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