We are more than conquerors
Throughout the stress of planning my wedding over 17 years ago, I noticed a white spot on my skin in the corner of my mouth. I did not think anything of it or bothered to ask a doctor about it. 5 years later when I was pregnant with my first son the skin on my wrist lost pigment. Again I did nothing about it, I didn't question it much and, embarrassed I covered it up with chunky bracelets. A year later I finally asked a doctor who referred me to a dermatologist. He offered me expensive and ineffective treatments. Discouraged, I just forgot it and moved on.
A few years later we dove into providing foster care and I had the challenge of raising 3 newborns and a 2 ½-year-old. I swear it was overnight, my hands and arms had white spots all over them. Then it moved to my knees. At this point, I was freaked out. Why was my body doing this? The internet only offered sketchy sales pitches for expensive oils and herbs, but few answers to my questions. I finally decided to see a naturopathic doctor. She opened my eyes to better health. I thought I was healthy but soon realized that perception was based on questionable information and great marketing. What I needed was to reduce stress, change my diet and lifestyle along with improving self-care.
Live a healthy life, great in theory, difficult to execute (that is without support or manageable action steps). I tried to do a few things as best I could, such as cut gluten and dairy. I started juicing and tried to eat more veggies. None of these things really took form at first, in my busy life I relied on old habits.
Vitiligo does not cause much for physical pain (thank you God!), yet it isn’t pain-free. I have experienced severe emotional pain. I have been embarrassed and ashamed. I just could not understand why God would allow me to experience this. I felt bad for my husband and kids to have me as a wife and mother who looked freakish. I wore long sleeves and pants to cover my knees on 95 degree days. I even began wearing heavy makeup on my face, which I hate. I dyed my hair to cover the chunks of gray.
All this work was exhausting and never-ending, I saw no hope. I could not keep it up so I made a decision to ditch the negative self-talk. Determined, I was going to conquer this disease, I would be healed! I went to nutrition school, changed the way I ate one step at a time and set my priorities in life. I stopped feeling guilty when I did something for me and not my kids. I focused on strengthening my faith.
All these difficult, yet amazing changes gave me more energy, a positive attitude, great sleep, and strong physical health. But my skin pigment didn’t change. I was forced to acknowledge that healing may not be re-pigmentation, it is MUCH more than that. Healing has been confidence and greater dependence on God and knowing that I am valuable and created with intentionality. Embrace who you are and redeem your wellness.
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NLT)