Thursday, November 30, 2017


If someone had told me just ten short years ago that I would one day spend my days writing and speaking to girls about my flaws and insecurities, I would have laughed in their face. I would have brushed it off likyesterday’s fad and thought to myself, “What Flaws?” in that place where no one can hear you.
The walls of “perceived perfection” were so thick around me that I couldn’t possibly fathom living a life in which I ever let myself, much less others, in to see my imperfections. Oh, how Satan marvels in his attempt to keep us in hiding. Oh, how tempting it is to remain in a place where it seems as if no one can hurt you, but then again, in truth, it is the loneliest place on earth. It is a self-inflicting type of pain that keeps you in a constant state of running from yourself, running from the beautiful “you” that God created you to be.
Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with Vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder which causes the skin to lose pigment, leaving the areas effected much whiter than the rest of your skin. This creates a less-than-desirable complexion and a not-so-thriving self-esteem. Although you would have never known that I was insecure about it, that was all part of the hiding. It was a constant battle of the inner mind and unending speech I gave to myself; never show your weakness, Jill. Never act like you really care, and convince yourself and others that you think it is cool.
The only problem with that little speech was that it wasn’t true. I was attempting to sell a perception of myself that was false. No matter how hard I tried to tell myself that I didn’t care, deep down I really did. Behind the scenes, I would spend hours researching possible cures and means to cover up the discolored areas. Behind the scenes, I would cry in my car when someone asked me what was wrong with my skin. I vividly remember a guy friend making the comment, “You look much better with makeup on,” to which I laughed and responded with a confident, “I know. Seriously!” He meant nothing by it, and I love this dude; it was just one of those goofball moments when you say something stupid. It happens to me on the regular. I remember sneaking off to the bathroom but not immediately, so as not to seem too obvious, locking myself in and crying. I felt about the size of an ant, and then I felt incredibly guilty and stupid that I was so obsessed with my appearance.
But why did I feel the need to put up a front? Why could I not have responded with the truth? Yes, I totally look better with makeup on (thank God for Maybelline), but the fact is, I am insecure about it. However, I am praying that God will work on me and change my perspective through this. I have already realized that I care a little bit too much about the external. Why do we all feel an enormous amount of pressure to hide?
I believe it is because we have been offered the same lie that Adam and Eve were fed at the very beginning of time. When they were deceived by Satan and ate the fruit, their eyes were opened. They immediately became aware of their sin; but what did they do? They hid. Instead of running straight to their Father for healing, comfort, and covering, they searched for the quickest, cheapest, and most uncomfortable route possible: the Fig Leaf.
We spend lifetimes jumping from one fig leaf to another, because the coverage they provide is less than sturdy and in constant need of replacement. All the while, our Creator is ready and willing to clothe us with an indestructible skin. Skin that will not tear. Skin that absorbs our flaws and weaknesses and uses them to create a beautiful pattern unlike any other.
She was the cutest little thing. Seriously. Complete with a matching bow and a smile that instantly stole my heart. I did not know her, except to say that we shared aisle 7 in the Walmart checkout line, along with her mom and a million(ish) other people waiting to have their items scanned and be on their merry way.
We were exchanging smiles, she and I, and I could tell that she wanted to say something. In the sweetest little voice, she asked, “What happened?” as she pointed to the skin discoloration on my arm. A smile stretched across my face, and I responded with, “Oh, those little spots? They just help to remind me that my true beauty comes from inside.” That sweet thing had no idea what I meant, and we soon parted ways there in the Walmart checkout line, but it was a monumental day for me. What, years before, would have probably left me crying in my car, feeling sorry for myself, as if there are not far worse things to encounter in life, had actually left me with the feeling of joy.
Have I arrived at this place of total healing with a rock-solid self-confidence, as one who never struggles with comparing herself, or wishing her skin was beautiful, or that her nose hadn’t been broken? NOPE! Indeed, I have not! But that statement is the very evidence that God has, in fact, been working on the crooked places of my heart. He tells me that I do not have to hide. He reveals to me that my willingness to be honest is where he can actually use me the most in His kingdom.
The world is not looking for perfection, though it may seem that way as you scroll through your social media sites. In reality, the world is looking for something REAL. The world is looking for something AUTHENTIC. Satan would love to take every bit of brokenness you have experienced in life, every insecurity, and every mistake to convince you that you must remain in hiding, that you must continue to cover.
What if the very thing on which you are spending all your time and effort, in an attempt to remain covered, is the very thing that God wants to use in and through you to share His Beautiful and Perfect Name? Would you then be willing to remove the veil? Think about it.

♥, Jill

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