When Vanity Speaks

I growled at my reflection this morning (not a normal practice). “You have got to be kidding me!” I mumbled as I rolled my eyes. It was one red, slightly swollen pimple. On a 26-year-old. Skin allergies to my favorite stress food don’t take day off. As I quickly recounted my last three days of existence, I rolled my eyes even harder (is it possible to do that?).

One piece. Of chocolate. Uno. Singular. ONE! That’s what caused the stupid blemish on my face. Three days ago, I might add. As I glared at my reflection, I sarcastically confessed my “sin” of endulging in chocolate with with slight hopes that my action would make it disappear. No such luck. Apparently, the idea that acne disappears after you’re done growing up (at 5′ .5″, that’s a relative statement), doesn’t count for me. 

As I slipped into my comfy shorts, I sighed unhappily realizing that, though I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained muscle. All that means, for you patient men reading this, is the number isn’t shrinking as fast as I want it to (yesterday?). It’s just a number, but it’s a number that verifies I like eating, I’m comfortable in my body and… Well… I am well aware that my hips don’t react well to my addiction to salt and chips.

Because I spent my adolescent years drastically ill, my body didn’t have time to worry about weight or skin allergies. Eating chocolate meant I could wake up without drinking coffee — which often caused seizures. Eating chips meant my 85 pound frame might rise to a slightly more acceptable weight of 87; which I promptly worked off by having four or five more seizures. 

I may have looked model thin and not had to wrestle with the finer points of vanity, but it wasn’t worth it.

We often forget that blemishes, frustrations and the stupid things that distract us from God are there to prove we’ve lived. For God-honoring Christians, they’re also there to remind us that even in the mundane, we need God. 

It’s a stupid example, really. But this morning I was reminded that enjoying life often leaves its trace. May we learn to glory in the fact that the Creator has given us the ability to live. Maybe someday, we’ll learn to treasure the markings of life because the truth is, living fully is something not given to everyone. 

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