Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Blog I Never Wanted to Write

 


I could have at least fixed my hair, or washed
it for that matter;) Hey, raw is raw, right?
This blog has been a long time coming, in that I have felt compelled for quite some time to write this, but my fears would not allow me.  It may come as a surprise to you that I am fearful of revealing this, especially after all the mess I have written about myself over the years, yet somehow this is different to me.  The fact that I am so fearful actually attest to a side of myself that I would really rather not know, or let's just say that it would be easier not to know, or would it?  I attached some photos of myself to this blog not in an attempt to highlight my beautiful complexion, but rather to show you an unedited, un "filtered" close up of this fear of mine.
     10 years ago, while pregnant with my 2nd child, Max, I began to notice spots appearing on my skin. They were very small and rather unnoticeable or bothersome.  I simply related it to years of soaking up the sun in my youth, yet I was only 24 at the time, ha!  I remember casually mentioning it to my doctor at one of my pre-natal visits and was shocked when he wanted to preform a biopsy on one of the spots.  What??  I was only asking to ease my mind and hear him say, oh, no biggie, just a few sun spots.  One biopsy later my doctor was throwing the word "vitiligo" at me, a word I had never heard.  But when he mentioned that it was the same disease that Michael Jackson had, immediately I drew a visual.  He went on to inform me that it was an auto-immune disorder and more than likely attributed to the trauma that my body endured following the birth of my first child, Laela.  Days following Laela's birth I developed a life-threatening illness very uncommon know as Hellp Syndrome, which stands for H (hemolysis, which is breaking down of red blood cells,) EL (elevated liver enzymes,) LP (low platelet count.)  It began with me coughing up large amounts of blood, developing congested heart failure, & a 10 day hospital stay, but that's another post for another day.  He insured me that this disorder was not threatening to your health, but there was currently no known cures.  He also mentioned something about it potentially spreading and such, but once I heard that there was no health risk I was good to go and left the office just as happy as when I walked in to check on my little man in-utero.
     I wish I could say that I remained in that mode of thinking, but as a couple years went by, this disease began to spread.  It started with a few spots on my arms, then more, then a couple on my legs, and then my worst fear, my face.  I remember telling myself with every new spot that it would be fine, it's not that big a deal, people deal with issues much worse than a little skin disorder.  I would tell myself these things over and over in my head.  Every time someone would make a comment or inquire about my skin I would very confidentally respond in a way as not to make them feel bad, but that it was no biggie, just a skin disease.  However, inside, I was deeply insecure about it, entering into a victim mentality in my mind every time it was brought to my attention and prayed ferventlly that The Lord would heal me.  I distinctly remember breaking down to a couple of my friends one time, for fear that Zach might not find me attractive anymore and going through a list of "what ifs" as I cried until they managed to make me laugh.  Good friends can always find a way to make you laugh!
     I became confident that if I just prayed enough, that God would heal me, I just knew that he would, but He didn't and He hasn't (physically speaking.)  So now to the real reason I am writing this post and to why I was so fearful to write it.  Many of you may have read this and thought, what's the big deal, so you have a little skin discoloration, get over it.  You are right, the disease is no big deal, but the way in which I allowed it to shape the way I viewed myself is.  As a woman in todays culture, well sheesh, let's just say as a woman period, we very often find our worth in our appearance.  It feels better to group us together, but that is unfair, so let me just say that I found MY worth in my appearance.  Sure there were many ways in which I fell short,  I possessed many character flaws (still do) and sure had my share of mistakes, but in my mind and even writing this makes me want to vomit, because it sounds absolutely disgusting, but please know that I am only trying to be honest, I could handle all of those, because, well, at least I still looked decent.  Everything in me wants to erase that line, EVERYTHING, but I can't.  It's true. I was ok to admit all of my downfalls, because somewhere along the line I believed the ridiculous lie that as long as I could keep it all together "physically" then I could work on everything else.  So at the beginning of this post I said that perhaps I would rather not know that disgusting truth about who I am, but with all that is within me I would like to say that I would do it all over again.  I would go through the grief, I would go through the fears, I would go through the embarrassing moments, the bad decisions, the pity parties, all to have the very root of who I am pulled out of me so that My Amazing God can show me what true joy looks like.  This was written in my prayer journal on March 30, 2015
"I praise you for the spiritual healing taking place in my heart, mind, and soul.  Help me to desire only Your Glory, help me to be your humble servant excited to do even the smallest of task.  Not seeking glory or high positions, but simply seeking a heart that burns for you, consumed with your love and compelled to share it.  Nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING I desire compares to you.  Give me freedom in my joy and break my chains of perfection allowing me to give thanks in the moment and not anxious to make things perfect.  I THANK YOU FOR THIS SKIN DISEASE and the lessons you are teaching me.  Experiencing the stages of emotions I have gone through is so representative of the working of Your Spirit in my life.  I know that I will never be perfectly healed until you make all things new, but I am grateful for the smallest amounts of healing in my life.  Renew the Spirit of our family and breathe hunger into my children that will produce Glory for Your sake.  I love you!  I honor you! I praise you in ALL things and through ALL things.  In Jesus Name, Amen"
     True Joy is not found in a perfect complexion, in the highest of positions, or your ability to charm a crowd.  It is not found in a "Southern Living" house, the latest model Denali, or the magnificence of your closet.  True joy is found curled up in a bawl weeping before The Lord in a quiet place.  Telling Him that you want to know the truth, asking him to show you even the ugliest things about yourself, the things you wouldn't want anyone to know.  Confessing your sins before Him because He is our great healer.  My brother-in-law, Grant, preached at our church a couple weeks ago and he said something that was so beautiful to me, "No sin holds greater power than the blood of Jesus Christ."  Make no mistake about it, I do not write this blog as someone who has conquered one of her greatest struggles.  Not at all, in fact I have a whole new list of things that I must daily bring before The Lord, but I am so grateful to be aware of the war that is raging.  I am very tuned in to my weaknesses, to the places that I know Satan would like to trap me with my thoughts.  But I have joy.  I doubt Paul's thorn in the flesh was a skin disease, but I love what God said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may swell in me.  Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor 12:9-10  
     With Love,
       Jil Dasher

I even have a fever blister. Probably because of this post

not sure why my hands are on my hips, not exactly a "fashion" post & my zipper is zipped, probably need to go up a size:)

7 comments:

  1. I can relate. At the age of 8 I was diagnosed with Psoriasis. It quickly spread from my arms, stomach and back to my face and head. As a child it was horrifying. It gets worse with stress. I have suffered most of my life with it and luckily have found a great dr that has helped to keep it under control. It was very hard to grow up with, but I feel it has helped me to be a more compassionate person to others. As for you, I have told you before that you are one of the sweetest and most beautiful people I have ever met both inside and out. You have such a sweet and caring heart. I love reading your blogs because you are real and very inspirational! Love ya girl!

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  2. Jill, thank you for your post. Our middle daughter has Vitiligo. She has had many medical issues, and I've told myself that Vitiligo is nothing compared to those. And yet, as I see the spot on her head or notice new spots from time to time, I wonder how this will affect her self-confidence as she goes through the teenage years. I ask the Lord over and over that He will help my family find their value, self-worth, and identity in Him.

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    1. Amen sister, He is faithful and will give us the perspective we need when we submit to Him. Your sweet daughter will likely develop a character far beyond her years, because she has a momma that is covering her in prayer.

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  3. Please tell me how it is that you are still so beautiful!! Inside and out. Wonderful post.

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  4. Jil, I have been going through some struggles myself and I am so thankful that my faith in God has carried me through. A good friend of mine in West Monroe also struggles from the same condition and both of you women are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the out with or without vitiligo! I miss seeing both of you wonderful Christian ladies!

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  5. Hey Laura, I hope you are blessed today! Your message has blessed me and I am thankful for a God that gives us insight just when we need it through all types of people. God is definitely faithful and will carry us down journeys that are unclear at times, but always prove to be exactly what we need. Blessing over your family!

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