The Scab You Won’t Stop Picking

Sharon Jaynes Forgiveness, Living Free, When You Don't Like Your Story 34 Comments

I wonder if you’ve ever had hurt that just wouldn’t heal. I know I have. In today’s post, I’m talking to both of us. Maybe, just maybe, there is something we can do, or rather stop doing, to help the process.

Five-year-old Brooke was sitting in the backseat of the minivan while her mom and I ran errands. “Mommy,” she asked, “Is it worse to pick a scab or pick a mosquito bite?”

“You shouldn’t pick either one,” her mom replied.

I glanced back at Brooke as she tried to wipe away the bloody evidence that she had done both.

Little girls aren’t the only ones who pick at scabs. We big girls do it, too. Maybe we don’t pick at the brown crusty scabs that form over flesh wounds, but we do pick at bitter rusty scabs that form over soul wounds. Either way, picking at scabs keeps wounds from healing, and keeps us stuck from moving forward.

One day Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast. While He was there, He stopped by what was called The Sheep Gate Pool or Pool of Bethesda. The pool was surrounded by five covered colonnades or verandas where a great number of physically compromised people used to gather—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. They believed that from time to time an angel would come down from heaven and stir the waters. The first one in the water after such a stirring would be healed. So, there they sat, day-after-day, waiting for the mysterious rippling.

A man who had been lame for thirty-eight years caught Jesus’ eye. He walked over and asked him, “Do you want to get well?” (John 5:6)

That is a strange question; or it is?

Sometimes we can grow comfortable being stuck in a bad story. Sure, there are heartaches and heartbreaks, disappointment and disillusionment, fear and fragile emotions, but at least we know what to expect out of life. Wounds can become like old friends that we wear as a badge of honor in some strange way. Sometimes it’s easier to cling to a bad story than embrace the redemption of a new one because the old one fits like a well-worn shoe. I’ve worn that old shoe with the floppy sole myself. I wonder if you have too.

For the lame man by the pool, healing would mean a drastic lifestyle change. He would have to get a job and become a responsible part of the community. He would have to stand on his own two feet literally and figuratively. Begging is all he’d ever known. Do I want to get well? Hmmm. I’m not sure. At least I know what to expect in this condition. Let me think about that.

The first step to healing from past trauma, no matter how we received it, is to decide that we want to get well and move past it—that we want a better story. We may not have deserved or caused the wound, but that’s what we got. It may not be fair, but those are the facts.

Even though the man never did answer Jesus’ question, Jesus stepped over his excuses and said, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk” (John 5:8). And he did.

Jesus had a knack for telling people to do what they didn’t think they could.

Stretch out the fingers of your withered hand.

Stand up straight and unbend your back.

Roll the stone away and let the dead man out.

Open your blind eyes and tell me what you see.

We all have some kind of condition. Maybe it’s not as visible as the lame man by the pool, but we have something in our stories we’d like to change. And Jesus asks the question…do you really want to live differently than you are right now?

It’s paralyzing to live in the past. Jesus provides the way to move forward—to pick up our emotional mats and walk. Let’s do it together.

LORD, I really want to stop picking at this emotional scab of hurt and shame. I want to be healed of anything that has been holding me back from moving forward. Show me if I have any past hurt or shame that I’ve been picking at and give me the power to open my hands and let it go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What emotional scab is God calling you to stop picking at today? Sometimes writing it out helps us hold ourselves accountable. Click on the comment button. Let’s be brave and share.

We all have pages of our stories that we wish we could rip out and throw in the trash. Chapters of heartache from what has been done to us and shame over what has been done through us. God doesn’t want to rip out those stories but repurpose them for good. If you’re ready to turn your worst chapters into your greatest victories, know this, God is ready, too. So, sink deep into God’s life-changing truths in Sharon book, When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories. The next chapter is just beginning.

Includes an in-depth Bible study for individuals and groups.

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Comments 34

  1. I need prayer 🙏…I have allowed myself to go backwards into defeat and old patterns of behavior. The enemy has used words from my Pastor to destroy me. The situation was not handled well and I started to tell God, how will I be able to be in ministry? Look how the Pastor handled my situation and used words that cut…The “you always” statement. A very bad way to communicate with anyone. I still am needing a place to live but also, my health has been attacked and I am seeing Doctors. All past wounds and fear jumped in and took away the hard work that I accomplished through Christ. Doubt came through the I will never because people keep saying things to me. I am so tired. Now I am laying low and claiming scripture. “The Lord will fight for you all you have to do is be quiet.”

    1. Penny, I pray you will read past Exodus 14:14 to 15::17 and 21. The Lord will triumph over your Pastor’s flaws and insensitivity. People say things like “ you always.” Or “you should.” When have no idea what our struggles really are. But God sees us, and Jesus Christ has already won. I pray He will minister to you directly and sat, “this is the way, walk in it.”

    2. I agee, you may not be able to stay in that ministry. I think of God as all that’s good. Imagine what he would say to you instead of what your pastor said and think about it when the harsh words come and replace with GodWords.

  2. This was so timely. I’ve been picking at a scab of an emotional scar left by my husband and it’s only building resentment in my heart. He is well meaning, but his stubbornness often leads to hurt feelings. This was a reminder to forgive and move on.

  3. Please pray for our family to be United and for forgiveness. Last year my dad was very sick so emotions were running high. Through that time things were said and done that have caused our family so much hurt that now some of the family won’t speak to others. It’s heartbreaking. I’ve reached out and ask forgiveness but received no response. Thank you for praying.

  4. Whoa!!
    I read biblical accounts of what Jesus did for others with the poor understanding that in many ways I am those hurt and broken people.
    Lately, the Lord has been showing me that I continue to pick my scans. Thank you for sharing the wisdom the Lord has given you.
    Like little Brooke, I too pick the scab then try to wipe away what oozes out.
    But I will trust that God has shown me my scab-picking and bumped into this blog post for a healing purpose.

    Thank you again.

    1. This hits so close to home! I actually consider it an answer to prayer, as I’ve been praying for the battle for my mind to be won by God!
      Things that hurt me, whether physically or emotionally seem to keep coming back….! I, through Christ, I am getting better at rebuking the enemy, but sometimes I realize it’s not as instant as I’d like….when I finally turn it over, I realize how much time I actually gifted the thoughts! I have battled with some of them for so many years! Abuse and unfaithfulness from my ex husband for too many years…..I’ve forgiven him, haven’t I? I mean repeatedly, but have I really if the thoughts come and I keep picking at the scabs? I once heard a sermon…..we ask God to throw our problems into the deep blue sea, like waaaay out there, and He does! But then we grab a fishing pole and reel them back in…..so, I believe that’s why in the Bible we’re told to pray workout ceasing.
      I’ve figured out that those old hurts make me feel unworthy in new relationships, work, friends, dates….. they follow me around like shadows, blocking the joy I should be finding as life goes on. God is the only one that can heal my mind and help me set it on things above, but Satan is untelentless.
      So……I NEED PRAYER! God already knows the situation and where 2 or more are praying, He will definitely provide answers.
      Thank you so much, Sharon, for this email, and everyone else sharing and praying.
      May God bless us all.!

  5. I do, for sure. This really spoke to me today. I have been struggling for 6 years with healing from my husband having an affair. I chose to forgive him but I have held onto it all these years and it has been exhausting. I let it go, I pick the scab…. Over and over again! I have felt insecure, actually every feeling of defeat I have felt. I have been letting the enemy steal my life right before my very eyes, helping him actually because I believed all his lies. I want to heal this wound once and for all. Thank you for this devotion. The Spirit has surely spoke to me through it. I know with His help I can be victorious! And so can you sisters! God is good, all the time! He is here for us and loves us. I’m reminded that I need to rest in my identity in Christ, not the world.

    1. Kk… I’m in the same boat…. I realized that it will be a year next Monday that my husband finally admitted his affair, although I suspected it for well over 2 yrs. He had been lying to me for over 3 yrs. Since then, we had had counseling and spiritual advisement. God has sent a miracle healing for our marriage, but I find myself slipping back into hearing evil shape rings of”but how can you trust him, really?” “ remember when he….?” and many more lingering bad memories that prevent me from focusing on our life moving forward, our new granddaughter and renewed commitment to one another in Jesus’ holy name. So I pray for you and I and any other victim of adultery that we may find lasting healing in letting go of dead purposes and unnecessary tears.

  6. God is calling for me to stop holding grudges against other people and, admittedly, myself. I am my own biggest critic and I don’t know how to forgive myself, so it’s definitely hard to forgive others. I hold on to too much baggage and this blog is just confirmation of what Jesus has been revealing to me over the past few weeks. Thank you for your everlasting love and patience toward us, Master!! Also, thank you, Sharon, for allowing yourself to be used as His vessel. Your blogs are always right on time.

  7. Thank you, Sharon l needed to read it, and gives me to protect my positive energy! I know God wants me to forgiveness heart but it is so hard to believe someone in my family using me to destroy my mental illness or let others know l am unable to understanding everyday life. God has given me common knowledge to take my meds every day! Relapse is not my future Jesus is my faithful friend who is the lover of my life! Without Jesus Christ in my life, I have to trust in man more to follow his dangerous advice in my mind! I don’t have to be perfect to know everything l have God is always been perfect and knows everything every day! I don’t know his thoughts and ways! But I do know that I always have a feeling that I am a Child of God! Nobody can’t take it away from my memory! Thank you for your inspiration from God’s Word! Debra Scott

  8. Thank you for this!
    I have a daughter who is a drug addict. We had to step in and have her children our grandsons stay living with us and get guardianship of them. They are 8 and 9. We don’t hear from her but we pray for her every night that she would get better and make better choices.
    We know she can she has done it before.
    I pray as I email this article to her God will use it for His good and His glory!

  9. Claiming VICTORY today over shame and unforgiveness. Emotional, spiritual and physical healing in Jesus Name for all to be set free and really know the truth and love of Our Father!
    Thank you for this powerful message Sharon.
    Love Lisay

  10. A close family member constantly displays toxic and narcissistic and, frankly, meannspirited behavior. It has always been allowed and worked around. To this day we are advised to avoid telling her certain things so as not to upset her and incur her vitriolic words. I am tired of making allowances so our relationship is strained and I refuse to feed it or accept it. My children see it and also suffer. My problem is, I understand the concept of forgiving behavior that has stopped, but behavior that continues? Does that require forgiveness or something else? This behavior will not stop but ignoring the family member doesnt seem healthy either. I want to do what God wants but its continually hard.

    1. Hi Jillian. I feel you. It’s been hard for me to tolerate and forgive continuing behavior. But I have now learned that it only takes Grace of God to live with such family members. And the kingdom of God, which is righteous, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, is acquired and kept by force.

  11. Last year my normally sweet, kind husband was overworked and stressed. After. a rough week and a root canal he blew up at me over something I said that wouldn’t normally cause such an intense reaction and intense is an understatement. Hurtful words were spoken in anger. Words I never thought I’d hear him say and we’ve been married 45 years. An apology did follow and of course I forgave him. But…..from time to time I hear what he said in my head and I think “How could you?” Thank you for the reminder that picking at this wound will not heal it. I must give it to Jesus and stop replaying that scene. I need to give my precious man the grace I’ve been given.

  12. Thank you Sharon for sharing your wisdom. I have been holding on to hurt and bitterness from a broken relationship. I never received the proper closure I felt I needed to move forward. And this morning, I came across your devotional. I know this was The Lord’s way of telling me to move on from that chapter of my life. Thank you Sharon for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you. God bless you sweet sister in Christ ❤️

  13. To be free to share my Christian believe in my work place and in the community without being persecuted. To be able to feel safe around people I have known for years. I love, care and serve in my church but because I find it extremely difficult to walk to the front of my church all because of previous attacks and not really feeling confident in speaking in public. People not understanding are attacking. As a very private person I have had many opportunities but fail to follow through.
    We are all on a journey but did not think this would be so hard. I never thought other Christians would react to cause more pain. I have been in my church for 33 years. I want to feel loved and respected.

  14. I allows my daughters father to emotionally scar me. This is and scar my daughter is 19 and I am 63. I have not seen him in years. I have moved on, but the guilt of me being so weak comes back to haunt me from time to time.

  15. God wants me to stop believing that I’m not good enough, smart enough, wants me to stop living in fear and pick up my mat of my past and move forward to a better life. A life where my belief in him is stronger, my faith is stronger, my trust in him is stronger.

  16. I need to stop picking at the hurt I’ve felt from my daughters, who are so busy with their lives that they don’t have the time to call me or return my calls. I think I need to learn how to move into a new relationship with each of them instead of constantly thinking about how “it used to be”. It’s hard.

  17. I have battled food addiction most of my life. One of the questions asked in your lesson was, do you want to get well? Do you want to change? Do you really want to live differently? Wow! That just really spoke to my spirit. It will mean change. Hard work. I know my body is the temple of God. Thank you so much for sharing. Lord give me strength and courage to do what I must do.

  18. Thank you Sharon for this message. I have a BIG scab! I have had health issues ( 2 collapsed lungs, 3 chest tubes, lung surgery) and full hysterectomy within a 12 month period. I have experienced many traumatic moments that have tested me emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I have been in several recoveries for the past year and feeling better with God’s help. I realize I am changed, I don’t feel like I will ever be the same confident person, I feel weakened and limited in my life now. Reading this today made me realize that my past year hasn’t been fair, it’s not what I wanted but it is what I got, I have been clinging to my bad story and replaying it like a recording because it has been a comfortable old shoe. I have had self pity but realize that God has me right where I need to be, but I ask why here? Why this? I ask Him is more sickness to come? These worries and anxieties of What If’s steal my Joy and happiness daily. I realize that this story is holding me back and I want to heal, I want to decide to get well and move past it, I want a better story! So today with your help Sharon, I want to pick up my emotional mat and walk! I hear Jesus telling me to pick myself up and walk, go forward and live each day well! I know and pray that God has more than this past story for me. I need to trust in Him. Maybe my worst chapter in my life will be my greatest Victory!
    Blessings to you all.

  19. Anita
    I need prayer to let go of a situation that I have been trying to deal with for over a year. I want to be able to let go, and let God do what only He can do. It has been difficult for me to let it go and leave it with the Lord due to the fact that every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of
    It again and again. Thank you for your prayers.

  20. God has called me out of my comfort zone of a safe home and luxury to a place where I will live a less privileged lifestyle in order to teach needy children and provide a Christian Education for my granddaughter. It’s a difficult battle for my flesh that cries out for relief from this exhausting daily struggle.

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