Turn your wounds into victorious scars.
The North American bull elk is a spirited animal known for its strength and stamina and its ability to run for many miles, even after having been shot and wounded by a hunter. Known as blood trailing, the hunter tracks the elk, finds it and kills it.
In her breakthrough book, Wounded and On the Run, Wendy draws on the uncanny parallels between wounded Christians and the elk. Sharing her deeply personal story with courage and vulnerability, she reveals how the hunter, Satan inflicted decades of wounds involving shame, trauma and hurt within the church. This kept her running for years, until she found the power of the redemptive blood trail of Jesus, turning her worst pain into her greatest calling.
The story of my decades of wounding came from inside the church rather than outside of it. Yes, the hunter of your soul isn’t scared of using church folk to wound you in your most vulnerable places—this is perhaps one of Satan’s worst crimes. But this is not a book about shaming Christians into a confession of their guilt, and casting more shadows over a subject that can often be ignored by the church. The purpose of sharing my story is to shine light where there has been only darkness.
In Isaiah 58:9-12 (NKJV) it promises, ‘… If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. The LORD will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.’
I’m extending my soul to yours, dear friend, because I believe that we are called to build and not tear down. To raise foundations, not to destroy them. This book is a sacred place for your wounds to turn into scars. Because scars are good. They’re a way of knowing that what a person is saying is true. It shows someone else you’ve been through something and come out the other side.
In John 20:25 (NKJV) Thomas says to Jesus, ‘…Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.’ Jesus had risen from the tomb and His body was fully restored. So, why would there be any scars? Jesus understood that it was better to show your scars rather than to hide them, so He showed Thomas his scars. However, He went one step further and told Thomas to reach his finger in so he could feel them. Thomas wanted to see Jesus’ scars before he believed what the other disciples said was true, but Jesus wanted Thomas to reach in and feel the scars that told the story of what he’d been through. ‘… Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side’(John 20:27 NKJV). Jesus was not ashamed to show His scars and we shouldn’t be either. Like Thomas, I want you to reach into these pages and feel Jesus’ scars, because it is His scars that will bring your healing, not mine. 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV) reminds us, ‘… by His wounds you have been healed.’
When my daughter was small, she wouldn’t show me her wounds. She’d cover up the cut or graze with her hand and tell me that I was not to look at it. I would tell her that I needed to look at the wound if she wanted me to help her. Reluctantly, after a lot of negotiating and maybe a promise of some ice cream, she would finally reveal her wound so I could clean it up and dress it. Now she’s an adult, I asked her why she would never let me look at her cuts or grazes. She said it was because she was so frightened by my reaction. I have to admit, I could be a little over-dramatic whenever my kids hurt themselves. Like my daughter, we too can hide the wounds we’ve experienced, but all God wants to do is to help us.
Whether it’s the shame or guilt of something we did or something that was done to us, we run and hide because we are scared of God’s reaction when we reveal our wounds to Him.
Hiding our wounds and running away has happened since the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3:9-10 (NKJV), God calls out to Adam and asks where he is. Adam replies, ‘… I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.’ Adam and Eve suddenly became aware of their nakedness after their encounter with the serpent and were scared of God’s reaction, so they hid among the trees.
Listen, dear friend, whether it was something you did or something someone did to you, God isn’t going to overreact. He wants to take a look at your wounds so He can help you. I think we forget that Jesus was wounded long before we felt the sting of rejection, betrayal, or disappointment in our lives. In Isaiah 53:4-5 (NKJV) it says, ‘Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.’
Did you catch that? Jesus endured the breaking so we could become whole, and this was done for us through His suffering and humiliation. You think that there is no hope for you, but there is. Jesus leaves the ninety-nine to look for the one. The Father is standing by the gate, scanning the horizon and waiting for the prodigal to return home again. You can’t keep running and bleeding out like this—you need to rest and be healed. I know, it sounds a painful process to go through, my friend, but the hunter of your soul isn’t far behind and he is already reloading his weapon for the next shot.
Do you keep on running? Or are you ready to surrender and let grace pave the way? If you want to turn the worst pain into your greatest calling, this book is for you.
Wounded and On the Run officially releases 7 October 2022. Pre-order now!