Learning To Love Yourself

I remember from a young age when my insecurities started. I was in middle school. Seeing all the pretty girls in magazines and movies I wanted to look like that and wondered why I didn’t. I remember the first time that I heard the verse Psalms 139:14. I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made marvelous are thy works and that my soul knoweth right well. I was amazed that the God who created the universe, the stars, mountains and the seas, created me. And that he loved me enough to send his son to die on the cross. I tried to cling to what that verse spoke to me. I learned that the images of women that I wanted to look like were all fake. However the devil was fighting against me. Going through high school my insecurities got worse. I was depressed and had no interest in anything. It was by the grace of God that I was able to push through and find happiness again. The summer before I turned 16 I was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis. Which is where small benign tumors develop under the skin. In most cases it’s genetic. My mother and her mother before her both had it. I only have a few but the most prominent one is on my cheek. Which is where a lot of my insecurities came from. I learned to live with it as the doctors said it was no harm therefore no point in removing it unless I truly desired to. Over the years I have thought about it. I had to learn that true beauty comes from within. This past year at church camp I met a guy my age who was diagnosed at a young age with alopecia. Where you lose all your hair and usually don’t grow it back. I had a conversation with him and a few others and I will never forget what he said. He talked to us about how they were coming up with a possible cure for it and that he was unsure of weather or not he wanted to look into treatment. When he was asked why he wouldn’t jump on the first opportunity he simply replied, “Changing how I look won’t matter. Let’s say I do get the cure, but stop living for Christ, it means nothing because I’m not doing it for His glory. Let’s say I don’t get the change but continue to live for Him, then that’s great because I’m bringing honor to him by living my life for him.” That hit me like a ton of bricks. I had never thought about that. If I were to have surgery to remove my tumors, it wouldn’t matter, if I wasn’t living for Christ. It put so many things in prospective for me. I was reminded of the beautiful words in Psalms 139:14. So now it is my job to live for Him and love myself, because He created me to do so.

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