Below is feedback I received from one of my subscribers in response to my last blog titled “A Jesus Selfie." She has given me permission to share her thoughts anonymously.
A Portrait of Grace
I was plagued with acne my entire teenage years, and nothing I tried helped. Finally, during my first year of college, the Accutane drug was released. Our pediatrician offered to charge only what insurance would pay, so, at last, I had found something that worked, and the red blemishes vanished.
However, though the acne cleared, I’ve still had to deal with the scars left behind along with big pores and the same "thin, pale lips and sagging chin" you mentioned. I also have the same deep crevices in my forehead as you say you have, and they are what I have come to despise the most about my appearance. I, too, hate having my picture taken, and, oftentimes, I am even embarrassed for people to look directly into my face.
These external marks and blemishes I bear represent my heart. I was an emotional wreck for most of my childhood/teenaged years. Three different family members sexually molested me, and I kept those deep dark secrets from my parents and the world. In addition to those troubles, my dad was an angry man behind closed doors. I lived on a constant emotional roller coaster ride as I tried to process between knowing a great God and having to live with a dad who was a ticking time bomb. I never knew when the bomb would explode. My life seemed perfect to those on the outside, but my reality was not perfect at all. But things have changed through the years. I do not speak maliciously against my dear father. God has brought healing to his life, and he has encouraged me and has given me permission to write my book and speak publicly about my story.
My best friend and I went to a ladies meeting this past March, and while we were there my friend asked me, "Why don't you like to have your picture taken?” She then continued and said, “I never noticed it about you before until we attended a funeral together and I wanted to take our picture. You almost went ballistic over some of the photos you didn't like and begged me to delete them." I pointed out all of my reasons, and she responded and said, “In the seven years we’ve been friends I’ve never noticed any of those things about you.” She continued with very kind complements then ended with, "It's a shame that you can't see what I see."
I am so extremely grateful for my "Jesus filter." God has brought so much healing to my life. It has been a daily struggle to learn to love myself, flaws included. Though I lived in chaos, my struggles are what drove me to run to Him so young. I learned at an early age to take everything to Jesus, and I found Him always with me. He has heard and answered so many of my prayers in miraculous ways, and my relationship with Him has grown as I’ve grown. He has proven His love for me to be unconditional and everlasting.
Wow! What a beautiful portrait of God's amazing grace. Thank you, my friend, for your willingness to share.