In today’s society we find it imperative to have loving relationships.  In a world of more single parent homes than core family, and countless stories of abandonment and abuse, a hole has been left in the hearts of millions asking the same question: “Does love even exist?”.  Perhaps you find yourself in such a place today.  But what if I told you that such a love exists that can, if allowed, bring wholeness to you?  This is just such a story.

Peter found himself struggling.  Nobody treated him as a normal person, not even his closest friends.  Peter has suffered a horrible car accident that should have killed him; but after weeks of therapy and several surgeries he was promised to be able to lead a normal life.  But the physiological damage was even worse than the physical.  Years of depression that no medication or counseling seemed to ease had come to a head.  Peter has convinced himself that no one could love him for his sickness and the scars that covered most of his body.  All those that cared were pushed away and Peter found himself on the brink of suicide.  But there was one person who stayed regardless of everything.

Brenda was a kind soul that had known love and was determined to bring the man back out of Peter.  But it wouldn’t be easy, Peter would see to that.  Keeping people away was safer than possibly getting hurt again.  Peter and Brenda were wed and a month later Peter became physically and emotionally abusive.  But Brenda stayed.  Nearly two years into their marriage and 1 child later Peter has an affair.  Peter longed for love, but power was a seductress that he refused to leave.  Brenda was destroyed and Peter fully expected a divorce and was mentally preparing, but Brenda did the unthinkable.  She forgave him.  This was the first time such a thing had been shown to Peter.  And that was the beginning of discovering love.  “How could she stay?”, he wondered.  “I’m a monster, unloveable, but she never gives up.  Why?”.  Regardless of his actions and disfiguration Brenda loved him because she knew love.

“I need to know why.” Peter said.  So, he watched intently every move Brenda made.  She was completely vulnerable, hiding nothing and loving unconditionally.  Her love was not of this world.  Finally Peter confronted her.  “Why do you stay?  Why do you bother with me?  I’ve given you every reason repeatedly to leave but here you are!”.  Brenda calmly took the opportunity to explain.  “God loves me this way, so I can love you this way too.”.  Peter was dumbfounded.  “Hell, fire and brimstone God loves?” he thought.  He looked at himself deeply, seeing the horror he has been and was and even his scars.  That’s when it hit him.  These scars were not a sign of injury, but a sign of healing and hope.

God has saved him and let his life continue.  It wasn’t punishment for a stupid mistake, but forgiveness and another chance.  This revelation changed Peter in a moment.  For the first time he realized he could be and is loved.  The old thoughts of worthlessness and shame still haunted him for years, but each time they came, he had a weapon to beat them with.  “I am loved.”  Deep seeded depression left, and over 2 years time he became a completely new man.  The man Brenda knew he could be.  A loving father to two children, a hard worker, and a devoted husband.  Peter tells his story now every time he has a chance and when asked about his scars he tells people “These scars prove I am loved.”.

Author: Brandon Battles