As a resident of Central Florida, sun exposure is second nature to me. I don’t lather on sunscreen to walk out to the mailbox on a 70° “winter” day. I don’t wear baseball caps to the beach or even simple trips downtown. I have had squint wrinkles in the corners of my eyes since birth. Yet, recently I have began to notice a new form of sun exposure: freckles.
While doing my makeup for church one morning I noticed three new freckles – ironically in the shape of a sideways Mickey Mouse – across my cheek. First, I was alarmed: calling for my mom and WebMDing the possible causes. Second, when the freckles were still visible even after a another coat of foundation, I was appalled. As someone who often struggles with self image, I immediately began to degrade myself for the new dark spots along my face and forearms. I instantly hated the blemishes I had obtained because they made me feel unworthy. I tried to connect my scarlet stains of my mistakes to the speckles on my skin. As if my sins were pouring from the inside out, my character felt compromised due to exposure.
I began to realize that something inside my of soul wasn’t right. Something was causing me to doubt my desirability and grow in insecurity. Something that caused me to stand in front of my mirror and believe the lie that I am not worthy, that my vulnerability has caused ill repute, that I will be disgraced for the sins that scar my face. Yet, I am reminded that it states in Genesis 1:27 that “God created mankind in His own image (NIV).” I am reminded in 1 Peter 3:3-4 that “3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” I began to realize that maybe my obsession with the flaws caused by sun exposure was in direct correlation to a lack of time spent with the Son of God. I realized that rather than worrying about the negativities of my appearance, I should be grateful that I serve a King that not only knows about the recent coming of these freckles, but was the One that created the pigmentation to rise to the surface of my skin in the way that it did. I realized that it was time to draw closer to the One who died so that my worth would not be defined by my transgressions.
My friends, I pray that when you are faced with peaked insecurity and fear that you will run to the One who has created you. I pray that you will find comfort in the fact that you are considered beautiful in the eyes of your First Love. Finally, I pray that you will continue to look for beauty in God’s greatness, even when your own reflection becomes your enemy.