August 24, 2010

In His Eyes.

"'Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart' (1 Samuel 16:7). Everyday there is a constant battle for people to look their best. One person is compared to the other by the way they dress or do their makeup or their hair. There is a definite competition between people, whether it is spoken or unspoken--it's a feeling you sense, especially when you are a teenage girl among thousands of other teenage girls in high school.

I have a skin disease. It is called psoriasis, and it is not a very common disease. It is not contagious, but it is hereditary. Patches of dry skin are randomly on my body, most commonly my elbows, scalp, and knees. I have it other places as well, such as on my back, around my ears, and on my chest.

Unfortunately, it's not curable. Dermatologists can give me an ointment that helps clear it up for awhile, but there is still no cure. I have lived with it for most of my life, inheriting it from my dad. I am the only one of three kids to be 'blessed' with the disease. It has been a constant struggle for me, my biggest insecurity.

Not always being able to put my hair up or wear certain cute clothes is something I face a lot. Being in a dress or a swimming suit can be really uncomfortable if I haven't been treating my skin for a while. Treating it is a pain because I can only put the ointment on at night. Going to bed greasy is not always fun and most of the time I am too tired to put it on. However, it is something I have gotten used to.

My biggest fear is that people will ask what it is (especially when it is really broken out, usually in the winter or when I'm stressed) Oddly enough, it tends to be the most difficult to tell people that I love or I am close to. I think it's because I am afraid that they might not love me as much when they find out about it.

My Mom always assured me that I was special, that God gave me this for a reason. In the Bible it says that God does not allow anything to happen to us that we cannot handle. As I have gotten older and grown stronger in my faith, I have realized it is not outer beauty that is important, but inner beauty--1 Peter 3:4 says, 'Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.' God cares more about what we look on the inside, rather than our outer appearance.

As life goes on, I am also aware that I should be very thankful for what God has given me. I could have a mental illness or be paralyzed. I could be beaten or sexually abused. I could be homeless or starving. I am thankful for the life God has given me.

My prayer is that God will use me as a tool to do His will. Maybe living with this skin problem could be a testimony to people who struggle with their insecurities.

Some of you might be reading this thinking that there is no way that you could ever think of yourself as beautiful. You may think that your insecurity, whether it be your weight, face, body shape, or something else, is not a gift from God. You are wrong--it is. God has made you beautiful in your very own way.

You are God's creation. He is the artist, and you are the painting. Use what God gave you to your best ability. Help other people feel better about themselves--maybe you understand what they are going through.

You also might be thinking that no one would ever love you because of the way you look. God will always love you. He sent His Son to die for you, and there is no greater love than the love God provides and is willing to give you everyday.

I will probably always live with this disease. However, I have learned to use the gift that God's given me to encourage others, and I am thankful for it.

In the end, it doesn't matter what man thinks. Outer beauty will always fade. The only thing that matters is what God thinks. You inner beauty is important to Him.

In His eyes, I am beautiful. You are too."

-Written by Hannah Holeman.

As I was cleaning out my room this morning, I found this article that I saved up from my pre-teen years, ripped out from a magazine and folded neatly at the bottom of a cardboard box. I decided to unfold it and type it out onto my blog, because I never want to forget this article. What Hannah wrote ...meant everything to me; and finding it again so many years later, it still does.

1 comment:

  1. whoa i totally thought that was you writing that article. until i read the ending. i love it though Jenni. it applies to everyone. be thankful for what you have and use it to glorify God. :)