Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: RASH (04/12/18)
By Sandy Roberts
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She also saw the tiny crow’s feet around her eyes were more prominent.
“I don’t think I will try to cover those up,” she mumbled under her breath. “I earned them.”
While looking at her complexion, Regina’s eyes glazed as she reminisced; the year was 1976. Her favorite hymn played in her mind, “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”
Her memory was in the deep south where she grew up; her skin was flawless. Momma told her the humidity and the summer air, which felt like a sauna helped keep her pores clean and clear. Sure, she had a break-out here and there, but nothing ever serious.
That summer, her daddy’s work relocated the family to Colorado. When the first signs of winter developed, it was quite a shock to her system and her skin. Her skin became dry and soon after a red patch appeared on both of her cheeks. As the temperature dropped and the snow fell, tiny pimple-like pustules formed.
She believed in God’s healing power. She had been taught that at church, so she prayed each night, “Heavenly Father, please heal me before I wake up,” and every morning when she awoke, she rushed to the mirror to see if God had answered favorably. It was always the same, the disease was still there. Her prayers became more frantic, “Please Father, I beg you, please heal me!”
Regina remembered how she felt God was angry with her and she questioned in her heart, “Why doesn’t He heal me?”
Her recollection switched to an exchange of words with her mom.
“Regina,” her mom said, “today we are going to see another dermatologist.”
“What can they do?” Regina asked sarcastically. “I have already seen two doctors. Each told me I had acne and gave me antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide. That didn’t work so they gave me Retin A, and when that didn’t work, they said there was nothing they could do!”
She felt like screaming because after using the Retin A, her face became reddish-purple with not a normal patch of skin to be seen, and then came the awful scars.
When the discoloration appeared, Regina pleaded, “Momma, I can’t go out in public! Please put me in a convent!”
“Regina, don’t say such rash things,” her mom said compassionately. “We may not have all the answers, but we do know that God gives us grace for everything we go through. Trust Him and let's pray.”
Her mother’s comment reminded her that while visiting the third dermatologist, she was finally given the right diagnosis. He told her she had rosacea and it was aggravated greatly by elements of extreme heat, cold, and spicy foods. All the acne products she used had intensified the disease, drying her skin even more and making it appear purple. He gave her a special ointment and clear skin began to reappear within a week; only the scars remained.
As Regina sat staring in the mirror, she noticed behind her the reflection of her husband cozily asleep cuddling up with a pillow. When he met her, he told her she was beautiful.
“Regina, you are the most beautiful woman in my world!” he would often say with sparkling and loving eyes.
She argued with him, “Don’t you see my scars?”
“When I look at you, I don’t see any scars. I see all of you and you are beautiful to me.” He persisted.
Many years passed before she believed him.
She also noticed the picture of her three sons sitting on her vanity. An image of them embracing her floated across her mind as she thought, “My handsome young men. They too think I am beautiful.”
A smile formed on her lips. Brushing her hair to prepare for the day, she said in her heart, “Thank you, momma for telling me not to say impulsive words. Maybe God didn’t heal me in the way I wanted, but He did heal me. He gave me you and them.”
Glancing happily at her contented sleeping husband again, she kissed her right index finger and gently touched the photograph with it.
“Thank you, Heavenly Father. Your grace has been sufficient for me.”*
*2 Corinthians 12:9 (paraphrased by author)
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