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I sit in the comfy arm-chair, holding my baby in my arms and looking at his half-closed eyes in his beautiful little face while I was breastfeeding him. 7:45 pm, it was the last feeding of the day. When he’s done, husband kindly took him and cuddled him, then put him down for the night. I was still in my chair, took a deep breath, closed my eyes… and decided to type down some thoughts.

Last two weeks have been rough for us. I had a terrible allergic reaction starting about two weeks ago. It might be the Collagen powder I took that I was allergic to. Anyhow, I had rashes first appeared on my front arms, then the whole arms, then my chest, then my neck and face… It was red and itchy. Then, my left eye started to swell, then came my face, with all the rashes on it. It might be even beyond your imagination that how odd I looked. We did go to the doctor’s and got prescribed some allergy medicine, but it didn’t stop the reaction progressing.

I had the similar allergic reaction four years ago when I was living in Burtigny village. I was still single at the time. It was even more severe as my whole body was covered with rashes and my face was swollen like a balloon. It lasted for about half a month and I was in utter fear. I locked myself up in my apartment and didn’t want anyone to see me. I looked at the mirror many times a day only to leave myself feeling more and more devastated.

I’m just a girl like any other girls who’d like to feel beautiful all the time. When my face looked bizarre, I thought I was so ugly and no one would like me, and that had been my main fear fours years ago, especially when no one could tell me how long this would last. But this time, I was no longer single. I have a husband, and he proved quite the opposite of what I feared. More than once, he looked intently at my unusual face, as if he’s looking through it, and told me that I was beautiful. At first, I laughed with embarrassment. I didn’t really believe it. I thought he was just being nice.

I remembered I had heard the same thing also from God when I was praying desperately for healing. I had felt God said to me that I was beautiful when all I had was self-pity and feeling ugly. Did I believe it? Not convinced, because I was still very sensitive about my swollen face. I might as well had thought that God was just being nice.

So, I didn’t believe in God nor my husband at the time. What did I really believe? As I was digging into my own heart, I found that I believed that I was ugly, therefore, not worthy of love. Why? Because my face looked bizarre with its swelling. Why did that make me ugly? Because beauty comes from the look…Ouch!

I felt a punch in my heart with this finding. Because I thought I had long believed that beauty and worth were about the inside. Apparently, they were just some nice ideas in my head, not the truth I believed in my heart. I basically judged my worth by how I looked. I judged myself ugly because of my swollen face, which drowned me in the fear of rejection. I had shut myself down four years ago, fearing people would reject me for my look. And four years later, my husband’s love for me broke the fear of rejection; his affirmation of me being beautiful echoed the truth of God and broke the lie I had believed— the lie which says beauty comes from the look and your look decides your worth.

Isn’t this what the world’s promoting? How many women have spent their whole life pursuing the outward beauty because they are driven by fear? They fear they would be rejected and would not be worthy of love if they didn’t look a certain way.

I didn’t want to admit it but truth be told, I knew this because I was one of them. I had been sold to this lie. Because I judged myself by my look, most likely I have also judged others by their looks. And anyone who believes this lie will judge others and feel judged.

I remembered one Scripture about the Lord. Isaiah 53:1,2:

“My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot,
like a root in dry ground.
There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
nothing to attract us to him.”

Jesus, the Lord, was not good-looking. In fact, the Scripture says that there’s nothing in his appearance attractive to us. Yet he was the most attractive man who ever walked on earth and is still alive. His attractiveness was just not in his appearance.

Back to my allergic reaction. I’m mostly recovered. God is good. I haven’t only recovered from my physical health, I have also recovered from one broken corner of my heart. God has been teaching me to align with His perspective about myself and other people, to see their beauty and worth beyond their looks. It all starts with the healing of our own heart.

May you and I, gain more of the ability to see the beauty, worth, and attractiveness of people, behind their face.

One Comment on “Behind the Face

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