I came across your blog and while I accept the body shape I have, what do you say to someone, like myself, who suffers from a skin condition–a disease actually? Its one thing to be comfortable in your skin, but what do you do when your skin is the problem? I can’t exercise or lose weight to change my shape and relieve body issues like others can. My problem never has any chance of going away–I’ll always have this marked and scarred skin. Is it possible to really love one’s self with such a condition? Please help. How do I accept my skin condition?
J in New York
I do understand what you are saying.
I had quite a battle with my skin when I was in my late teens and twenties—while I was in college mostly. It embarrassed me and made me feel like I was ugly and that no one would ever want to marry me because my skin was so bad. I understand.
Can I encourage you with a few things that God says right now about you and your loveliness? He says He accepts you no matter what your skin looks like.
Now, here’s the hard truth — I don’t think you have to love yourself. I think our skin conditions, my cellulite, my belly fat…all of those things are symptoms of living in an imperfect, fallen and sinful world (in other words – Eve didn’t have acne until after she ate that fruit!).
Do we have to love the impact that our fallen world and all of the sin and harmful junk in it has on our bodies? I don’t think so. It’d be silly to love a disease…just like it’s silly to love cellulite or a skin condition.
What does the Bible say you need to love? It’s not your body…it’s Jesus. You need to love Him and the people around you. It never says you have to love yourself. I’ve searched and searched and although people say that, but it’s just not in there.
Now, to your frustration. How do you accept that this is the way God made you? I think that comes to knowing your purpose.
I encourage women to look at Leah and Rachel in Genesis 29. The Bible tells us that Leah wasn’t beautiful, right? But, she had a tremendous purpose for God in that she was the great, great and a few more greats, grandmother of Jesus Christ! God used her despite her appearance.
There is a great man named Nick Vuijivic who was born with no arms and no legs. Do you know that he has ministered Jesus Christ to the leaders of over 30 countries and has lead thousands of people to Jesus? But, his body isn’t anywhere near perfect. It’s a little odd – he can’t even walk right! But, God still used him. Tremendously!
My encouragement to you is to get your eyes off of the mirror and onto Jesus. I promise you that freedom will come when you stop worrying about your skin and pursue him passionately with the question, “What is your purpose for my life?”
Whether he wants you to be a great mom, a great leader in your community, a great business woman . . .whatever it is. . .He knows what he has planned for you—and the condition of your skin will not stand in the way of his purpose. Our culture tries to tell us that you have to have beautiful skin and a beautiful body to be accepted, but it’s not true. We are already completely accepted in Christ Jesus and His love is better than the conditional love of any man.
You said something interesting—that you can exercise away weight issues—but that’s not true, either. I can tell you from years of working in gyms that women who battle their weight never find freedom by getting thin. And, that’s why I want to encourage you—your freedom won’t come when your skin clears up. It can come way before that time -by tilting your mirror up, focusing on Jesus, embracing and accepting how much he loves you, and then passionately pursuing his purpose for your life!
I pray that helps! Keep following Him!!