#NotAlone [Micaela]

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No Mess, No Message

What God is bringing you through at this very moment is going to be the testimony that will bring someone else through. No mess, no message. – unknown

We are relational people who thrive off relatable, real life situations. Most of you will read this and feel sorry for me, trying the best you can to relate. Unfortunately, however, you won’t understand unless you’ve personally experienced this kind of pain. Since the beginning of adolescence, at age 12, I experienced my first zits. My beautiful, baby porcelain skin suddenly became widely affected by hormonal acne.

When junior high came along it became worse. I caked on the foundation make-up. The truth is, I mastered the art of not being too close to someone in hopes that they would not notice my skin. But the worst part was the idea that I was the only one struggling with this! Everyone seemed to be walking the hallways with perfect skin, while I tried to avoid too much light in a room (bathroom lights are the worst!). This devastated my self-esteem. I thought people were staring at my imperfection and flaws rather than at me. This led to overly edited photos of myself, never leaving the house without foundation on, struggling to make eye contact with people, and ultimately, becoming ashamed of who I was.

I tried every possible solution out there: went to dermatologists, tried expensive deep cleanses, and once took over the counter pills that immediately caused me to throw them back up. Why God? Why does every girl out there get to wake up to beautiful skin, and I wake up in fear of how bad it looks today. I had countless moments of looking into the mirror in disgust of myself. After numerous failed attempts and many tears, I began to pray, crying for God to heal, to make me beautiful. Yet my prayers remained unanswered. How devastating – even God could not fix this! Looking back, I realize that I was praying with the wrong heart and intentions. God was not seeking to provide an easy-fix solution, for He knew the pain was much deeper than the surface of my skin.

One day during this time of darkness and loneliness, my eyes were opened to the sweet circle of friends right by my side. These girls had never made a negative comment about my skin. If it doesn’t bother them then why should it bother me? I started to keenly watch the eyes of people who I had conversations with – they were not looking at my skin either. A dear friend even chased me down one day to tell me that I was beautiful, and how God urged her to say that to me at that very moment! That was the first day in a long time that I began to believe it. Slowly, I was letting go of the fear of an imperfection surfacing and putting on the joy of Jesus in my life. I stopped checking my face in mirrors 25 times a day, finding my confidence by serving God rather than focusing on myself. This struggle of having the perfect skin has hindered me from so many opportunities, relationships, and most importantly, serving the Lord to the fullest. We look at these flaws as huge disadvantages in our lives without realizing we have the strength to overcome them.

Your flaws do not define you, for Christ purchased you with His blood so we can be seen in the light of Jesus rather than the disgust of this world.

It was the most beautiful thing to begin to see myself in Jesus’ eyes. How dare I mock His creation and the things He’s asked me to walk through. Is He not the King of Kings who is perfect in all His ways? I came to peace with my skin – after eight long years I looked in the mirror and proclaimed victory in Jesus Christ. I was beautiful, and if God allowed this terrible acne to reside on my face then so be it. Shortly after this, on one miraculous day, I stumbled upon acne.org. The man who runs this site struggled with acne himself and sought a solution that became widely successful. I thought well, why not? It worked. (I highly encourage trying the regimen and strictly following its directions if you want results!) The dermatologist once told me that there were thousands of solutions out there, I just needed to find the right solution for me. However, rather than counting this as a coincidence, I counted it as a God-given miracle! He knew what would work for my face, and I believe He healed me. My skin is still not the perfection I initially wanted, but I have this amazing heavenly glow that doesn’t come from any earthly made product or organic cream. It is simply the reflection of Jesus Christ in my life, for He is my life.

I pray none of you have experienced something like this, but I know in my heart that God will bring a handful of you to this particular article on The Simply Beloved to simply tell you, you are not alone. I do not know why God allows certain things to happen to us, but I know He will never leave nor forsake us during it (Deut. 31:6). God is good, and He is there right beside you wanting to reveal His battle plan for this war in your life. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps. 139:14), and you are made in His own image (Gen. 1:27). We will only be in these bodies momentarily. Whatever it is that you’re unhappy with, please do not let this hinder you from living your life freely and confidently. Embrace victory.

Let my pain reveal His glory,

Micaela

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