Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This is Me!

My name is Sara and I have alopecia. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that attacks the hair follicles causing them to die and fall out. It can vary from small bald spots to total hair loss. Mine first appeared when I was ten years old. By the time I was thirteen, my hair had grown back and we saw no signs that the alopecia would flare up again. However, in September 2006, I found a quarter-sized bald spot. Alopecia had made another appearance. For months, hiding it was what consumed my life, my thoughts, and all my emotions. Over the course of those months, I eventually lost every bit of my hair, including my eyebrows and eyelashes. I sank into a deep pit of self-loathing and hatred. I felt stripped of my femininity. I felt ugly. I hated the woman I saw starring back at me in the mirror. I would go for days locked in my home, hiding from the world. Others in my life and even my own self, kept telling me, “It’s simply cosmetic. It’s only hair. At least you’re not sick. You should be thankful for that.” And I was! But I still felt horribly ugly. I was angry with my body. It wasn’t the first time I felt like it had failed me. We lost two babies prior to this; our first miscarriage (our third child), on September 5, 2004 and our second miscarriage (our fourth child) on June 3, 2005. Why? I asked that question many times. The answer ringing in my spirit was always, “To bring Him glory!” I wanted Christ to be glorified in my life, but I couldn’t imagine how this would accomplish that. After a while, I got used to living my life bald. The shame and pain was still there, but I got good at hiding it.

That was all until God decided He had had enough of my self-loathing. I was convicted. I started praying the Lord would clean me and sanctify me, so that I could fulfill the destiny that He has for me. In that process, He began to teach me what true beauty is, what it looks like, and how He sees me.

First, beauty is on the inside.

1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment….Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of the Lord.”

I was so concerned with the reflection I saw in the mirror, that I had failed to recognize and tend to the inside reflection. What was I really reflecting? Was I reflecting Christ to others through a quiet and gentle spirit, or was I so wrapped up in me that I reflected insecurity, anxiety, and pride? As I started focusing on Him and on being a reflection of Him, I found that I focused much less on the outside.



Second, the LORD of lords and King of kings thinks I am beautiful! He told me so!

Song of Solomon 4:7 "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you."
Psalm 45:11 "The King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, worship Him."

To put a question mark where God puts a period is to doubt God Himself! He commands me to trust Him in everything! He calls me BEAUTIFUL.(period!)


Last but most certainly not least, He made me EXACTLY the way He intended me to be. He saw my days before there was one. He calls me fearfully and wonderfully made.(period!)

Psalm 139:13-16 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

This is who I am. This is how God made me! I’m a wife to Lee, a mom to Hunter and Braden, a mommy to two babies in heaven, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a granddaughter, a friend, a niece, a cousin, a youth pastor’s wife, a Reality Check presenter, a worshiper and follower of Jesus Christ, and daughter of the KING of Kings; who is bald! Is it the worst thing that could, or even has, happened to me? NO! Is it still difficult sometimes, as it would be for anyone? Absolutely! But because He is my Lord, I will worship Him always, in every season! I will trust Him in everything! He picked me up out of that dark pit and has given me joy and a new song!

Psalm 40:2-4

He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

How happy is the man
who has put his trust in the LORD



Photobucket

42 comments:

kford0714 said...

Sara you are beautiful!! I love you!!

Jennifer said...

Sooooooo proud of you! And you ARE beautiful!!!

Kitty said...

Oh how I love you! Thank you for your encouragement and love and laughter.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing your heart! I love love love your pictures, they are beautiful!!

Amy.Keck said...

Sara - What a beautiful testimony of your relationship with your Precious Savior. It is truly amazing what Christ allows in our lives so that He can make us more and more into the image of His son. You are a beautiful reflection of your Father! What a testimony.

Glenda said...

Sara, what a blessing to read this! I just want you to know that your sweet honest spirit inspires me and makes me want to be a better Christian woman!

TDM Wendy said...

Thanks for sharing. And thanks for believing God and trusting Him with His Creation -YOU! Unique, beautiful, faithful. Bringing Him glory.

Kristen said...

Yes, you are courageous! Can I share this post? Just email me if it's okay.

Laura Lee said...

you are brave and beautiful! Thank you for sharing!!!!

Christy said...

Absolutely beautiful. Your love and inner beauty shine so.

Christopher Doyle said...

Sara,

I met your father at a conference a few weeks ago and he told me about you. I have Alopecia Universalis. I can relate to all of what you said - I've been through the anxiety, the grieving, the pain...it's hard. It's like a part of you has been lost...almost as if your hair is a family member or loved one! Thank you for sharing your story.

hiyaluv said...

you are gorgeous! i love the confidence in your smile.
smiles,
gina

amy (metz) walker said...

I actually think you are exceptionally beautiful...both inside and out. This post made me cry. And it convicted me.

I've spent so much of my life in an industry (personal training) that demands perfection and every day I struggle with feeling like I don't look the part. What I often forget is that God doesn't ask that I look "perfect", only that I speak of my love for Him and minister to the souls and bodies of His children!

THANK YOU! for your honesty. So powerful.

CAW said...

You are SO Beautiful!! We tend to define our beauty by hair, body or make up - isn't He wonderful to send such gracious words of encouragement- thanks for sharing your story!!

MBKimmy said...

Beautiful! Nice to meet you! I love it! I love the post and I love the pictures! Thanks for sharing!

Stephanie said...

You have such an encouraging spirit. Thank you.

Celia said...

Im a new follower...thank you for sharing. I am amazed by your strength AND beauty. I have to admit, as I was reading, I was nervous for you(because you hated the way you looked so much) and then I saw your picture, and was like "Holy Cow, she's gorgeous!" So glad that God was able to help you see just how beautiful you are!!

mrsmarkdave said...

Wow! Reading your story has left me breathless and crying. Thank you for sharing!

Pastor Samuel Tressler said...

Jesus has a gr8 purpose for your life. He is using you mightly for His kingdom glory. You are in my prayers. Hang onto Jesus alone. Agape.

connie Somero said...

Somehow I stumbled upon your blog and read your story, your beautiful! Not to many woman can have no hair and look like you! (just to encourage you, your head and face shape are perfect;) I am touched by your story...keep looking up!
BTW, the song "what do I know of Holy?" I made a song video for that song, one of my faces for a long time I cried overtime I heard it, if you want to check it out its on youtube (cjsongbird1) making music videos is one of my hobbies..
I am happy to see you have peace!

Anonymous said...

sorry, *faves

Anonymous said...

I have a blog for fun too, if you like to ck blogs out ;)
http://justalilshabby.blogspot.com/
(I just recently started posting stuff but have had it for awhile, its fun to meet other believers on the web, so encouraging!)

Felicia said...

I'm glad to find your blog..
I just have to say that you are really beautiful :))
Thanks for sharing it, I believe you will bless a lot of people..
God bless you, Sara :)

Sandra said...

Hello! I just found you through Lynette's blog and I'm so glad I did! I also have alopecia and have suffered on and off with it since I was in elementary school and am currently dealing with losing my hair (and lashes and brows and so on) again. And coincidentally I also just suffered from a miscarriage (it'll be a year on Friday, matter of fact). I can SO relate to your words - your pain and searching for your real beauty in Christ versus the beauty society values - and it is always, always good to know that I'm not alone - and neither are you.
I appreciate that you're choosing to find your beauty in the Lord.
I recently wrote a blog post about losing my hair and I'll leave the link if you're interested in reading it, too.
Thank you for sharing this!

http://sandrakelly.blogspot.com/2011/04/alopecia-areata-how-i-feel-about-losing.html

joyfilled said...

Oh wow, you are beautiful! Beautiful on the outside, a beautiful heart, and a beautiful spirit! What a blessing to me! Thank you for such a sweet, heartfelt post!!

Linda said...

What a beautiful lady you are! True beauty inside that radiates and glows to the outside.

God bless you!

Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

Doula Brandi said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I think you are beautiful too!

raleyfamily said...

What a sweetie and an inspiration you are! This was wonderful!

Lynnette Kraft said...

Dear Beautiful Sara,
That just blessed me so much. Thank you for sharing your heart. I can tell from way over here that you truly are beautiful and a wonderful inspiration.
Feeling blessed by you. :)
Love,
Lynnette

Kristin said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I'm visting from Lynette's and sitting here with tears in my eyes. You are truely beautiful!

Prairiemaid said...

Truly the daughter of the KING...you are a lovely and amazing lady.

Loved reading your story!

Blessings,
Cheryl

BARBIE said...

I am here from Lynnette's blog. You are a beautiful inspiration to many woman. Truly a beloved daughter of the King of Kings!

Linda said...

I already posted a comment to this post back in May...but I read it again today, and I just have to say again how PRECIOUS you are!

I am Lynnette's mom...and I am so glad she featured you today Sara. Because we all need to be reminded of our true worth in Christ! I love all of the verses that you listed. So many true and precious promises.

My momma raised 4 kids with one arm. She lost her right arm in a car accident when she was a young and beautiful woman in her twenties. She said she struggled at first with not feeling whole...and not feeling attractive anymore after she lost her arm. But she overcame all of that through her Savior's help...by His grace!

I loved her so much...and hardly ever noticed that her arm was missing when I was growing up. She was just my beautiful and precious momma.

I hope you feel the love coming your way today. You truly are beautiful! I pray great blessings in your life.

Love, Linda

Laura McCann said...

Your smile is so inviting, your eyes sparkle with true happiness, your demeanor exudes the confidence of a true child of God. I think you shine so brightly without hair, that to cover your head would diminish your purpose. You are inspiring others to 1)accept themselves in spite of their flaws and 2)accept others and look deeper than the outside, before passing judgment. I agree with the rest of these good people who commented. You are beautiful both inside and out and it shows!

JillAileenJones said...

Came over from Lynette's blog-so glad I did, I was so blessed. Thank you for touching my heart today-two toilets overflowed, my husband's car was hit in the parking lot, I thought I was having an icky day, whoa is me kind of day-then I got on hear and read you blog and thought shame on me God-I need a swift kick in the pants! You are beautiful inside and out-you make bald very beautiful my sister in Christ. Your eyes and smile would light up a room. Thank you for sharing your heart and for being so honest. I can't wait to read more. We are fearfully and wonderfully made-PRAISE GOD!
Hugs-blessings, can't wait to follow your blog and read more. Thank you for being a blessing to me today.
Jill

Monica said...

:) Beautiful Sara!
Thank you for sharing!
No matter what our struggle, your words and verses ring true. (period. no question marks) :)

May the Lord bless and keep you, may you continue to shine His face to others! :)
Blesings!
~Monica

Holly said...

Beautiful post and beautiful YOU!!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Beautiful....in every way...You are gorgous

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

What an amazing post and an amazing you! You are beautiful!!

Angie said...

Wow - what an amazing post!

My cousins daughter has alopecia. She started losing her hair when she was 3 years old. It has grown back, but not fully (she is now 8) But just as she is beautiful - you are too!

Angela said...

He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the LORD.

How happy is the man
who has put his trust in the LORD

amen amen amen...What a beautiful post of praise, glory, honor and love for our Father God....

Holly@A Life-Size Catholic Blog said...

What a strong and beautiful woman you are! God will give us strength, but we must take it...congratulations.

Came to visit and follow from "Pay It Forward" at Prairie Maid.

Many Blessings...