By Julia Amting
Yeah I know it’s normal.
Yeah I know it’s usually not as bad as it feels.
Yeah I know every adolescent battles it.
Yeah I know true beauty comes from within.
But I also know that this knowledge doesn’t make acne suck any less.
We’ve all had those days when we don’t really want to leave the house, when it feels like there’s mountains all over our faces. And the knowledge that those mountains will leave scars does NOT help. And we feel ugly. I get it. I actually have one of those red imposing mountains on my cheek as I write this. At least it’s giving me writing inspiration amiright?
Lately I’ve been thinking about how much time and energy and money we put into making our bodies look and feel a certain way. We buy expensive workout programs or spend hours each week exercising, figure out which diet will work best, and as women we invest an astronomical amount of time in making sure our nails/eyebrows/hair/clothes/makeup looks and feels the way we want it to. Our bodies ask for 6-8 hours of sleep each night.
These are all necessary and good things, but I’ve just become discouraged that it is a job in itself just to keep our bodies functioning.
And even more discouraging is the fact that there are parts of ourselves that we can’t fix no matter how much we self-care. That we can try our best and do all the bells and whistles and the problems are still there. Often, acne is one of those.
I once read that a person who needs to control their environment is a person who lives out of fear. And that was a loving slap in the face.
Because let face it, there are always things that we are going to want to change about ourselves. And there are always going to be things that we can’t change, no matter how tired we make ourselves trying to.
So what do we do about them? We rise up.
I’ve learned that I am more than a facade. More than a pretty face. More than a collection of features and skills and outfits and feelings and situations. I have a mission, just like the rest of us do – to love, to serve, with JOY. There’s a lot to do, and theres a lot we can do. And the dignity and peace of that mission transcends the little things that the Enemy wants to keep us down with.
Once I was able to detach from what my face looked like, what I expected of myself, and what I expected my life to look like, I lived in FREEDOM. And when we live in that kind of freedom, refusing to let the things we can’t change keep us down, we are allowing others to do so as well.
Honestly, my high school acne battle was what made me finally understand this 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
God turns those your scars into others’ self-acceptance. Your imperfections into others’ empowerment. It’s all redeemed.
We delight in the imperfections, because it enables us to love, to understand. It gives us the opportunity to choose Jesus. To choose to let our weaknesses and imperfections become an opportunity for strength instead of stress.
A long time ago, I decided that I would only wear foundation or powder on special occasions. It took me a long time to get used to it, exposing the scars to the world to judge. I looked at the world and was like “HERE I AM. AS I AM. And I’m not here to impress. I’m not here to be perfect and I don’t expect my life to be either. I’m here to love.” I can’t tell you how challenging and vulnerable that felt. But with it came a strength, and a joy that transcended.
Whatever it is in your life that you are covering up, whatever you are hiding or covering or feeling frustrated about because it doesn’t meet the society’s standard of perfection, or your own, I challenge you to take this new perspective. To get that joy back.
When was a time you struggled with self-image, and how did you overcome it? I would love to hear in the comments 🙂