What Acne Couldn’t Take from My Sister

What Acne Couldn’t Take from My Sister

This post is very near to my heart. It is my sister’s own testimony of struggling with acne and how God showed her how beautiful she was regardless of what the mirror showed her. Please read and I pray her story inspires you to see past what’s skin deep.

Check out my sister’s blog, you’ll love her little family adventures!

“Growing up many people would compliment me on how beautiful and clear my skin was. They would often describe my face as porcelain, beautiful, and flawless. Looking in the mirror now, I don’t think I would be able to use those same words to illustrate how my skin appears. My journey through acne has taught me so many things, and I still am learning as I look back on my experience. I believe God took me through this path of dealing with my appearance to really uproot the main cause of my insecurity, which was finding approval in others. Here is my story of how God has redeemed me of the sin approval.

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It was my junior year of high school and the first semester was what I thought was amazing. I had wonderful teachers, a balanced schedule, and not to mention I just got my first boyfriend. The start of my second semester was another story. My friendship with my best friend of four years starting drifting apart. I found myself changing, growing up, and realizing what I thought was important in my life, acceptance, beauty, and acknowledgment from others. After struggling with the situation, my friend and I both agreed we had grown up and no longer were the same people we use to be four years ago. Dealing with that obstacle in my life was not only emotional but physical. Since I was so stressed out I started to have breakouts on my face. This was really new to me because right up to this point I was blemish- free and proud of it. I quickly turned to what I thought would fix it all, a daily regimen of washing my face, moisturizing, and zapping any problem areas with special ointments.

When I noticed the break outs were getting worse and not going away, I started to feel insecure about myself. I would struggle with thoughts that consisted of; me not being pretty, how others might think I am ugly, and I might even lose friends. I felt my face was no longer beautiful but a nightmare that needed to be masked by makeup. I would spend countless minutes finding ways to disguise what I thought was a hideous face in my reflection. I prayed about my face, begging God to wipe it all away and give me back the face I once had. Every night I would begin to lay my burden at the foot of the cross, but every morning I took it up again as I looked at myself in the mirror. I was no longer able to love myself and was mad at the Potter for what He created.

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My face cleared up a little, but I continued to struggle with acne till my junior year of college. I don’t even want to think about the amount of my parent’s money I used on dermatologist appointments and special medications to help me find the one thing that could fix it all. The summer after my sophomore year I believe I finally hit a breaking point. It led to finally realizing my problem could not be fixed just on my skin’s surface, but needed to be healed from the inside out. I realized the biggest struggle was my sole desire of approval of others to find my worth. I looked to others to tell me I was beautiful, valuable, and thought highly of. In all honesty, I never found that validation until I sought after my Creator. I began studying my Bible and I was blown away to find verses that specifically filled me up with true acceptance.

Psalm45:11: Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.

Psalm 139:14: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,

Song of Solomon 4:7: You are altogether beautiful, my darling;
there is no flaw in you.

Isaiah 43:4: you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you

The summer of 2007 I was heading to T bar M to be a camp counselor, and help facilitate team building activities to high school dance teams. The exact same time I was going to be experiencing my worst break outs. Working with high school girls while dealing with acne was no piece of cake and I was struggling. I can recount a time when I was leading a small group discussion with a few girls, I asked them to share what one of their major fears were. One girl who made it a point to voice her negative attitude about participating in the challenge course responded,” My biggest fear is to get acne.” Her response really affected me even though she was 6 years younger than me. Little did I know the girl’s response would not just tear me down, but to my surprise, empower me. I finally asked the question to myself, “Why does it matter so much what others think about you, and does it really matter?” I could not respond to the question and I knew the lack of my answer meant that it truly didn’t matter.

I began praying not that my acne would disappear, but that God would heal the false idol that ruled my life, approval. God didn’t fix me overnight, it took a long journey that I sometimes struggle with today. After camp I began using acutane, which helped stop the break outs. I have been off of it for four years, but I still have scars that remind me daily how my value is found in Christ alone. My creator formed me and his masterpiece is flawless.”

17 Comments

  1. Such a sweet story of how God uses ALL things for good. I too struggled with acne, and it is no picnic. I pray my kids have their father’s family skin, which seems to be immune to it. But if they do have to deal with it, I pray I can help point them to their heavenly FATHER who made them and loves them.

    Reply
    • He does use all things for His good. I see His goodness unfold every day. Thanks Christa!

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  2. True beauty, like yours, shines through. Your story really hit home with me as I struggle with approval too. Thanks for sharing your story and the verses!

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  3. Thank you for your beautiful comments. God’s love is redeeming and perfecting. He has taken my sister through this journey and she has come out shining!

    Reply
  4. I was searching to look for encouragement stories because I’m a junior in high school and I’m going through the same thing…this brought me to tears because it’s exactly happening to me..and I happened to come across this story. Thank you so much for sharing your sisters story.

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    • Rebecca I cannot tell you how much joy it brings me to know you found comfort in this post. This is why I write and I pray constantly that women “stumble upon” my blog and find hope. Blessings to you and know I am praying for your peace. You are beautiful and breath taking!

      Leslee

      Reply
  5. Leslee I am so thankful for you and this post! I have been struggling off and on with acne since highschool, and not until my freshman year in college (Right now) did I start getting awful, painful acne. My boyfriend who is absolutely amazing, has encouraged me through it, and told me that it doesn’t bother him at all, and that I’m still very beautiful to Him, but I’ve been struggling with it for months now, and just cannot seem to get past it. It breaks my heart that I put my self worth in my appearance. I can only hope that the Lord will break me of this idol, and refresh me into his peace. I will be beginning accutane on February 22nd of 2013 (next month) and I pray that it works for me. I have been hiding from friends, staying at home all day during my Christmas break, and sometimes I wouldn’t even have the urge to go to class, I was that embarassed. Please email me for more encouragement if you can.

    Reply
    • Jade,
      First, what courage you have to share your heart and fears with us here. I am so blessed that you found this place to be a safe place for you, and it is.

      You are beautiful and breathtaking, literally. God literally gave His breath to form you. I know looking in the mirror can be one of the most difficult things to do right now, but rest assured He is with you and sees no flaw in you.

      Don’t beat yourself up for having your identity in your appearance. God designed us to be called beautiful and lovely, we just become confused on who we turn to find that recognition from. The world will always tell us we are not good enough, Jesus says we are worth his own life. He gave it all to call you his breathtaking bride.

      I have asked my sister to write to you as we’ll with encouraging words since she knows exactly what you are going through. It would be a pleasure to motivate you as we’ll.

      Thank you Jade, you are a True Beauty!
      Leslee

      Reply
  6. Its heartening and couraging to see a girl with such views.By the way you still look good.Being a boy myself I am filled with joy to encounter such a brave girl.I too have severe acne and I am a strict believer in GOD.My god has taken all the load off my shoulders, I m happier and calm.May god give you my share of happiness and blessing too.Keep smiling, your smile has a unique charm and its GOD who only has the power to judge.

    Reply
  7. You have no idea what this means to me to hear your story. I have been struggling with acne and depression from it for a couple months now after returning from overseas, which really made it a lot worse. I’ve been feeling as if I am the only one around me trying to seek God through this really hard time. I was wondering if you have any tips about how to keep my eyes on God rather than on the struggle that I’m going through right now?

    Reply
    • Becky,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I wrote this post about my sister and it has been my most popular one. I am going to personally ask her for Bible verses she look to for strength and encouragement and maybe she would be willing to post an update as well. You are in my prayers and know you a breath taking. Literally, God breathed life into you and you are in His perfect image. No one can and nothing can take that away from you!!

      Blessings!
      Leslee

      Reply
  8. Thank you for sharing this. I’m in the same situation right now-severe acne. But because I was so desperate to heal it, it just became worse. I now have like a burned face (literally burned) because of the last acne cream I’ve used. Honestly, it was my fault and the lesson I’ve learned is to be contented on what I have. Is stayed in the house for a week to let wait for this mess to disappear, but there’s still no changes. I always look at the mirror every minute and always feel depressed. Until I’ve realized that there’s only more than a week and school will start again. Now, I guess I will just stop on worrying and just trust our Lord.

    Reply
  9. I have been staying home and working from home because my of my acne. Honestly it is not that bad, it’s just that I dont understand why my skin cannot be perfect! I am a slave now who keeps hiding because I am so scared of what people will comment. I have been praying for a miracle healing but today I prayed for God to just give me patience as the healing comes. Please pray for me to stop being so desperate for approval and for God to give me the strength to just be PATIENT! Oh Acne..

    Reply
  10. Thank you, more especially for the scriptures

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  11. As a current Junior in college, I’ve been struggling with acne since I was in the 7th grade (about 8 years.) After years and years of going to the dermatologist…nothing has worked. I came to a point where I relied so much on makeup that I went on a 40 day makeup fast to remind myself that God made me beautiful just the way I was. It was a great experience for me, but a year later, I find myself struggling even more than before. It’s nice to hear the stories of others who have dealt with similar struggles. As I’ve dealt with this I’ve been trying very hard to deepen my reliance on God and focus solely on Him but I can’t seem to reach a point of peace with myself.

    Thank you for sharing your sister’s story, for those of us who are having a hard time with accepting ourselves so that I may see that even if I have acne until I die, I am beautiful because I am a creation of God. =)

    Reply
  12. I am 16 years old. I have been struggling with acne since the 7th grade. It wasn’t that bad back then and honestly it didn’t bother me until high school. The summer coming to 10th grade is when it got the worst. After I got saved and committed my life to the Lord, I still had acne but it didn’t bother me as much because I was so focused on Jesus. I finally got Retin-A and started antibiotics and my skin was finally completely clear. I could finally look people in the eye and come in close contact with them. But then summer hit again and my skin grew a resistance to the antibiotics. I started to go in a frenzy to clear my skin again and soon enough it became an idol. I felt that God was trying to tell me to trust Him and put it in His hands and I tried to depend on Him for healing but as soon as it started to get worse (I threw away my acne medicine so I could trust God alone) I order more and started on Benzoyl Peroxide. It is working, but I feel empty as if I have been holding this back from Jesus. I want to surrender all of my life to Him and I don’t know if He wants me to give up my medicine. I just feel as if the medicine I have is an idol because it is the only thing I would have a hard time giving up.

    Reply
    • Kristie,
      First, thank you for being courageous enough to post about your struggle. You are helping many others by being so transparent. As you read within my sister’s own story, she used acutane to clear up her acne, but this was after her heart change. After reading your comment, it seems to me your heart is yielded to the Lord and therefore I don’t think you need to run away from any possible medication. After all, wasn’t it the Lord’s wisdom and knowledge that led those scientists to create the medication in the first place? Ultimately, God is not looking at you with crossed arms saying, “tsk tsk tsk Kristie… I can’t believe you are using medication.” The Bible says, “For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.” Psalm 32:7

      God does not glory in your pain, He shouts victory over you. He wants to see you joyful, not condemned. He is more concerned about the condition of your hear than what is on your face. You are breathtaking to the Father no matter what, and to me, you also have a breathtaking heart. Why else would you desire so much to have a heart towards him?

      So walk away from the guilt and condemnation. It’s okay to use medication, we all use it. I took two advil yesterday, it doesnt mean I love the Lord less or don’t trust him.

      I pray this encouraged you,
      Leslee

      Reply

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