I’ve been on the down-low lately as I focused on this area of my life. I’m not terminally ill. But I’ve been plagued with a disease (yes, it’s a disease) that has rocked me several times throughout my life. Through each episode, I thought I had overcome it. Until it comes back with a vengeance.
This is Acne.
It shames me to talk about it as women my age (I’m already 30) flaunt beautifully clear skin. Sometimes I just sit there and stare at how smooth and flawless my friend’s face is (sorry ladies!). This is me when it hurts to even touch my face.
You’d think that acne is only skin deep (I once thought, too). But as primal beings, instinct tells us that there’s something wrong deep within. It’s the same instinct that attracts men to women with long, luscious locks or to women with wide, child-bearing hips. And so we also veer towards people with clear skin. Acne equates to poor health.
This year, my struggles began anew. New acne has been popping out beginning late last year but I’ve been able to hide it with make-up. But by February, it can no longer be ignored. My whole chin, jawline, neck and temples were covered with big, red, cystic acne. My upper lip would grow big pustules at a time.
It was painful. But the real pain comes from societal judgment that there is something wrong with me.
This was my struggle. Daily I would pray for healing and wisdom on how to deal with this. I’ve been making lifestyle changes and there would be seemingly victorious highs, only to be followed by plateaus.
I felt stuck.
I searched my heart to know if this was only vanity. Was beauty a god I was running after? I justified that this was health. This is MY health on the line. But a book I came across asked, Would you still worship God in the midst of poor physical health?
My thoughts raced to bed-ridden patients who, in pain, would still maintain a cheerful posture and praise God. And here I was, still able to walk around and meet with people, yet sullen in quiet moments, doubting the goodness of God because of a few spots and nodules on my face.
Yet God has been so gracious to me. My prayers changed and focused on His future grace. Someday, everything will be perfect. No ills, pains or sorrows. We will come back in perfect and glorified bodies. He may have His purposes for not healing now. I can only trust in His greater plan and goodness in my life.
God is my healer and true healing can only come from God, whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual illness. Anything outside of God is only temporal.
It’s been four months since this season began. And I’m happy to say that I’m already 90% cleared! There are still a few pesky ones that won’t go away and most are just blemishes. Battle scars if you will. And this time I feel like I’ve gained true wisdom and understanding of my skin and body. That this clearness is true and will stay for good – God’s healing hands.
When God heals, it is true. Acne has plagued me for more than a decade. In bouts and cycles, through different medications, it clears and heals, and then it comes back again. But hopefully this time, it won’t. By God’s grace and help. He is my sun and shield.
Follow me as I share my journey through God’s healing grace to clear skin.