Today is a big day for me. I’m going to talk about my blemished skin and share the #1 lesson acne has taught me. The fact alone that I deal with acne on a regular basis now has been an embarrassing burden only people with acne will ever understand. The fact that my sister, Charlotte, has had more triumphs than me with her skin over the last year is definitely the pits. But little did I know how God would use my visible flaws to reveal the invisible flaws deep down inside. Ready for a new perspective on our imperfect skin, girls? Deep breath. Let’s go.
Trauma and Heartache Play a Major Role in our Skin
Over two years ago I experienced a complicated break up with a young man. The upheaval that it brought into my emotional and spiritual life was overwhelming and for a long time, I let the resulting toxic emotions build up inside. In spite of this upheaval, my sister got married and, once again, I experienced a new kind of loss.
Around this same time, we girls also found out that the acne treatment we had religiously used for nearly a decade was full of toxins that mess with the reproductive system and can eventually lead to cancer. So, we had a choice–acne, potentially being infertile or dealing with some sort of cancer later on. We decided that children and our health were definitely more valuable than clear skin. Thus began a long year of trial and error with natural alternatives.
I won’t lie, we spent a lot of money on all-natural products and new diets. A lot of it didn’t work, but a fair amount did. Thanks, Young Living. We love you! The best part was Charlotte began to see a significant difference in her complexion. The worst part was, I didn’t. At first, I attributed a great deal of my acne to the trauma and stress that came out of the broken part of my life. But, what happens when you heal from that trauma and still the acne looks and feels the same? What else was I harboring?
Who’s that Little Deva in the Mirror?
Let’s go back to my childhood for a moment. When I was 5 I was deeply impressed by one of my female relatives how important beauty is to women. Their great love for beauty naturally resonated with me, just as it would with any little girl. And pictures of Marylin Monroe certainly didn’t help matters. I fully believed that because I had beauty marks like her, I would grow up to look and be just like her. It’s embarrassing to talk about. It’s so silly! But that was how my little mind worked at the time. And I realize now that that was my foundation for understanding beauty.
This is not to say that as the years went by I didn’t learn about vanity and the trouble it causes. I was taught to some extent to watch out for it and control it, focussing instead on my inward beauty as much as I did my outward appearance. But, I don’t believe it sunk in like it should have. In fact, I remember lying to myself that I believed inward beauty was more important than outward beauty. That lie would come back to haunt me.
Teen Years Without Acne
Fast forward to year 13, I began to get little pimples on my nose and cheeks. Mom promptly put me on the acne treatment I told you about and the problem went away. I hardly dealt with breakouts throughout high school. It felt wonderful to be able to use something that could make my complexion crystal clear during those vulnerable years.
I won’t deny how great the feeling of having beautiful skin was. In more ways than one that acne treatment empowered the girls and me as we entered the next 4 years of our Singing Career. We all had beautiful, flawless complexions, and everyone thought we were lovely.
Again, I’ll admit, I loved it. I loved being loved, and I loved being thought of as beautiful. In many ways I guess my bottle of vanity filled up too much. Deep down, I knew it, but I shoved that prickly thought even deeper. I had it all good. Nothing to worry about, right?
I was so wrong.
Fast forward to this present year now and you find me battling waves of misery, looking, looking for something that would fix the way I looked, naturally.
Every time I saw myself in the mirror I felt ugly. Painful thoughts entered my head that never had a place in my mind before. I really began to believe it was impossible for people to like me, or think well of me, when they looked at my blotchy face. Doubt and mistrust towards our essential oils crept in because I they weren’t supporting my skin like I wanted. (In truth, they were. But it just goes to show you how terrible I felt and that those feelings were playing a major role in my skin health.) And don’t get me going on how great my skin looked in old blog posts. Those were the worst.
See how skewed my perspective on beauty really was?
The Truth about Acne and Fear
Throughout the year, I kept looking at our Young Living Essential Oil Pocket Reference guide to see if I had missed something in the section on “Skin.” The one thing that kept glaring at me was the connection it said acne had with stress. ‘Huh. Well, that’s helpful. I’m stressed all the time!’
Why I didn’t see the writing on the wall I can only attribute to the Lord. I kept finding patterns to my emotions, especially fear of rejection. Every time my adrenaline spiked (like when I had to go somewhere, away from my safe “hideout”) I noticed huge pimples would form right below my cheekbones the next day. ‘Hm…interesting.’ Also, whenever I let my stress levels run high my digestion would go out of wack and I would get pimples all over my forehead a week later. ‘Really now?’
Just look up “face mapping and toxic emotions,” girls, and you will see the connection I am making here between fear and acne. The worst kind of acne (what I have) is the direct result of fear + toxic emotions. So what in the world could I do? Ha! That was the question that had haunted me all year, and was getting me nowhere, until…
#1 Lesson Acne has Taught Me
“(You) have been made complete in Christ.” Col. 2:10
At the time I read those words, as in, really read them, my heart was so crushed, and my spirit so low, and my mind so exhausted that the truth just came crashing in and sunk down deep. I realized that nothing else mattered in life if I didn’t have my focus on Christ! For the first time, I saw the trap I had laid out for myself and that my real enemy wasn’t acne, it was actually me!
I realized I had put my trust in everything else, but most especially in myself. That is why I felt scared to meet new people. That is why my confidence went from normal to nothing. Its the reason why my face keeps breaking out! Because I trusted in myself and not in Him.
Along those lines, what good is it if I have a healthy body to serve the Lord with if my mind is constantly looking for ways to serve my own ends? What good does it do to let my own embarrassment about my blemished face stop me from exploring new outlets He gives me? What good is it to question my worth every time I meet a stranger? I could have been radiating Christ’s love onto that person!
Wisdom has helped me understand something else. All of this foolishness could have been directed away from me by His loving hand. However, I know it is because He loves me so much, He didn’t. He allowed me to fail over and over again until only the Word could be my only answer. He wanted me to know fully that He was the Lord of my life – mind, soul and body. At last, I could stop fearing the worst.
What I’m Doing Differently
So, what am I doing differently now?
- First of all, after I repented of my sins I also had to forgive myself and let go of the shame of having lived in the dark for so long. We are not perfect, and never will be outside of Christ. We have to forgive ourselves too if we want to move on without the baggage.
- Every morning, when I look sleepy-eyed in the mirror at my acne, I remember with thankfulness that God is giving me a new day to serve Him with all my might. I also pray for His beauty, not mine, to be seen by everyone.
- When I meet new people I remind myself that if I show the love of Christ, my textured, scarred face won’t matter to anyone. Especially if I can make them feel loved and happy! All I have to do is let go of “me” and put on Christ! Then and only then can I be the best me there is! Both you and I have all the liberty in the world to be the happiest people alive if we would only remember this! Isn’t that amazing? 😀
- Every time someone talks about my face, I’m on a mission to remind myself that my face doesn’t determine my worth or how far I will go in life. These days, I am not letting anything hold me back because “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I have acne because God decided I should have it. Perhaps it will go away now that I have learned this huge lesson, but I’m not banking on it. In fact, I don’t really care anymore because I want to keep testing the act of putting on Christ every day to see how it will change my life and other’s.
Acne doesn’t define me, and it doesn’t define you. If we are in Christ, He defines us! Through the thorn of acne, God has taught me that I can really be ugly if I focus on myself. It has also revealed to me how much Christ loves me. After all, He gave us essential oils to bless and support our bodies unlike anything else in creation! I would never have embarked on this journey were it not for my acne. Finally, it has taught me that there really is nothing in the world that can fix my problems without Christ’s blessing first.
No matter how you look or what flaws you have, you will always be the most beautiful person you can be when you put your focus on Christ. He is perfect, and we are made perfect through the regenerating work of His Spirit. My long, hard journey is a testimony to His good work, and even though it was miserable, silly and humbling, it was worth it because I love my Savior more than ever. Soli Deo Gloria!
A Note to You
This was a long post, and if you got through it all, I just want to say, thank you for taking the time to read my heart! I sincerely hope that my story has encouraged you to seek Christ in the biggest burdens of your life and to lay them down at the Cross. His peace is so sweet.
What part of my story intrigued you the most?
What did God use to inspire you?
Have you heard of the connection between stress/fear and acne?
Love and blessings,
By the Way...
We aren’t doctors or health experts. We just have a passion for wellness, and educating others on how to maintain it through the goodness of essential oils. Please know that any information provided on the B.Well website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, nor replace current medical treatment or drugs prescribed by your healthcare professional. The statements made have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is your responsibility to educate yourself and address any health or medical needs you may have with your physician. Please seek professional help when needed.