This week’s blog is written by our daughter, Alisha. She transparently shares about her struggles and what has helped her be an overcomer. We think it will be a blessing to you!
“What defines me?” This question has been on my mind the last while. I have been struggling with some rather tough skin issues since May. Even though I’ve tried lots of different lotions and pills to clear it up, it still persisted.
The nights have been especially miserable because of the constant itchiness, which caused many restless nights. Because of the heart transplant that I had when I was three months old, the doctors have said I will probably struggle with at least minor skin reactions and allergies the rest of my life. But, recently, it has been the worst it’s been for a long time.
I gradually became very self-conscious of my red, raw skin. No sixteen year old wants to look weird or strange, and I was overly careful to hide it. I began wearing only extra-long skirts and long-sleeved shirts–even during the summer. It affected so much of the way I lived, but I got so good at concealing my misery, that others close to me couldn’t see just how much I was suffering.
One morning, I finally went to my mom, after yet another night of battling with sleep. With tears in my eyes, I showed her my skin. She’d had no idea just how bad it really was.
After the arrangements were made, my mom and I flew out to a doctor in Tulsa who has helped me so much in the past, when other doctors couldn’t find the root cause for my problem. We found him at just the right time in our lives when both my older brother, Austin, and I desperately needed help. I’m so grateful for this Christian doctor and his amazing team!
Several days into the treatment, my mom told me that, in order for my skin to heal more quickly, I needed to keep it exposed to air. Naturally, this meant no more covering it up, and for me, that was difficult. I knew she was right, but I didn’t think I could bring myself to wear short sleeves and flip-flops again.
My mother is the most precious mom a girl could ever want. She kindly and gently pointed something out to me. This was something that I was totally blinded to, and at first, I didn’t see it…but it was true.
I was struggling with a low self-image. I was allowing my ugly skin issue to define who I was!
I thought if others saw my less-than-perfect skin, well, I didn’t know what I thought would happen! Perhaps they wouldn’t like or accept me.
But I began to see, with the help of my mom, that Satan had begun whispering lies in my ear. “I’m unloveable” and “I’m not beautiful.” By God’s grace, I am learning to overcome these lies. And, oh, how sweet it is when I hear God whisper His precious promises to me! I am learning not to care so much about what others think of me. Everyone wants to be accepted. We all have that longing to be accepted. That’s not inherently a bad thing. It only becomes a problem when we look to people for our acceptance rather than to God.
Jesus died for you and I. He paid the ultimate price, not for the way we look, but for our souls. The innermost part of us is what God cares about. And if that is what God cares about, why am I spending my precious time worrying about other things? This is not something learned easily though. Once a destructive thought process is set in motion, it can be difficult to overcome. I am learning to thank God for my skin! But I know I won’t always do it perfectly. I’ll mess up sometimes. However, constantly giving thanks for something that is painful is slowly changing my perspective. We will continue to seek medical help to treat the physical problem, but I am learning a new thought process and a new way of looking at my reflection in the mirror. But it’s a process of giving thanks.
So, this is the question I would ask you:
How do you view yourself? What have you allowed to define who you are?
Sure, we all have things to work on. Because, we will never be perfect until we get to heaven. It could be physical things, reputation, family problems, you name it. Anything that Satan can use to make you believe his lies…he will use it.
Friend, God wants to tell you the truth about yourself. The words we say or even how we view ourselves is so vitally important! God always speaks the truth, and what He says is completely opposite of what Satan tells us! God is not finished with any one of us. He is constantly refining us into the reflection of Himself, and He will continue to do so until He calls us home. So join me in my efforts to focus on heaven with much more desire and shedding the empty things of this life. God wants all of His children to be over-comers.
Do I view myself as God’s redeemed child or as a imperfect mess?
What does a redeemed child of God look like? In my mind’s eye, I picture the start of a sunset after the most dramatic storm. The clouds still linger in the background, but ever so slowly, the multiple rays of color appear. After a few more minutes, the entire sky is filled with the most majestic hues imaginable, and all the darkness has vanished.
This is how we should be.
We are only at the beginning of that transformation, but the change has begun. When we get to heaven, the process will be completed. Redeemed doesn’t mean perfect, but we have a new beginning as His born-again child. So, I’ve learned that nothing else about you matters except your relationship with God. If your heart is tuned to God and you have the correct view of yourself, the entire world will look at your deformities or imperfections, and yet say, “I want what they have.”
Be an overcomer!
~Alisha (For The Mullett Family)