“What’s up with your skin?”
I’ve heard this question my whole life.
As someone whose skin looks different than everyone else’s because of an auto immune disorder, you’d think I could handle the questions. However, it’s still hard when someone points out something about me that I wish wasn’t noticeable. The questions remind me that I’m different and that my skin does not look like most people’s.
To answer the questions I typically respond with a clinical answer. “Well, I have an auto immune disorder called vitiligo. That means I lose pigment in my skin so some of it tans and some of it does not.” My hope is that the medical terms and specific details will deter someone from asking further questions and we can move on.
But when a 4 year old asked me the same question last week, my answer came out very different. I was ready to go to a fancy event. My dress was on point with sparkly jewelry and I even got my hair done! I was feeling VERY confident. It was in that moment that my sweet friend’s 4 year old daughter said, “Miss Joy, why is your skin 2 different colors?”
My answer tumbled out before I could even put the words together.
“Miss Joy has extra special skin that looks different than anyone else’s. Isn’t that exciting!”
My words hung in the air as I said them. I could not believe my own answer! Where did those words come from? Where has that confident girl been?
Why is it easier to tell a child the truth that I’m physically beautiful and special just as I am, but hard to believe in my adult mind?
Maybe because things are simple for kids. You tell them you have special skin and they believe it and skip away without another thought. But my adult mind has been through rude comments and poorly worded questions about my appearance that fostered insecurity somewhere deep.
What if I just believed that my appearance was unique, special, and beautiful just as it is? What freedom that would bring! Think for a moment about the words you use to describe yourself when you are feeling insecure and looking in the mirror. You would probably never use those words to describe one of your girlfriends and yet we think it’s acceptable to talk to ourselves that way. Something needs to change here.
I believe change is possible not only for me, but for you too. Here is the amazing news, no matter what you feel insecure about when it comes to your appearance- God says it’s beautiful! Every part of your body has been called WONDERFUL by your creator. Clearly, I struggle to believe this too so here is proof.
Psalm 139: 14 “I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
So let’s hold our heads high and believe the truth: we are each wonderful in our own way because we are intentionally created by a God who is crazy about us! When you feel that insecurity sneaking into your mind, picture a sweet 4 year old little girl and talk to yourself how you would talk to her.
Shine on sister.