Jennifer Elizabeth is a lovely mom, Kindergarten teacher and writer. But thanks to a disease called Vitiligo, she spent years hating the splotches covering her skin. It wasn’t until she became a mom that she finally started seeing God’s beautiful design. Then one of her daughters developed the same disorder. And this mom’s letter about the skin disease they share is truly powerful!
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that targets healthy skin cells because they are mistaken for unhealthy ones. Thankfully, the disease is non-life threatening. But it causes the loss of skin color in blotches, and can impact the skin on any part of the body.
Jennifer was embarrassed by her disease. But after she became a mother to twin girls, things started to change. And when one of her girls developed spots of her own, Jennifer learned a valuable lesson about God’s love.
It inspired Jennifer to write a letter to her daughter. And this mom’s letter about the skin disease that plagued her self-esteem for so long carries a lesson for us all.
A Prisoner To The Disease
Jennifer developed the disease at 12 years old. Spots first appeared on her face, and then “spread like wildfire.” As a teenage girl, the disorder was devastating to her self-esteem.
“I looked in the mirror and saw imperfection,” Jennifer explains. “I didn't see my beautiful brown eyes, my long, thick hair. I couldn't see the huge, bright smile that I now realize is one of my best features.”
Jennifer couldn’t see herself for what she truly is — a beautiful creation of God! And she assumed the disease was all people saw when they looked at her.
“I saw big ugly spots, like tattoos that announced to the world that I was broken,” she recalls. “I would try to forget, but would be reminded when someone innocently asked.”
Jennifer spent years hating how she looked. When the spots would fade, she’d regain some self-esteem. But when they came back, the self-loathing returned. She says the disease controlled her.
Jennifer tried all kinds of treatments, steroid creams and makeup. Everything became about covering up the disease and the pain it caused.
“I became skilled at hiding how broken I felt,” she says.
But then she became a mom.
A Mother’s Love
Becoming a parent brings a whole new perspective on our Heavenly Father’s perfect love. Jennifer looked upon her beautiful blessings — two healthy twin girls — and knew she had to change.
“Because of you, I wouldn't – couldn't – let the diseases control me,” she says. “When I cuddled you and your sister each night, and looked deep into your unguarded eyes, I thanked God for you...for perfection.”
When her children started asking why mommy’s skin looked different, Jennifer told them it was magic.
“I wanted to teach you that it was important to look beyond the outside, even though I couldn't. I wanted to show you how to be strong, because inside, I wasn't,” Jennifer writes in her letter. “I told you how special I was, even though I wasn't sure it was true, to have magical skin that changed color.”
Even though Jennifer didn’t believe what she was saying, something amazing happened. Her children looked back at her in awe. They loved everything about her, including her spots.
And what was reflected back through their eyes was the Father’s love. He, too, loves Jennifer just the way she is. He loves all of us.
Mom’s Letter About The Skin Disease Shared With Daughter
God truly works all things for good. Jennifer started believing what she told her daughters. God used them to bless Jennifer with a very special gift. She began to love herself — to see her spots as something special rather than a curse.
“You've always spoken of my skin the way I taught you – it's magic,” Jennifer writes. “You've continuously told me how beautiful I am and how unique I am...how you hope to be just like me. And you know what? You were right. You taught me to look in the mirror and see magic. Beauty. Perfect imperfection.”
And as Jennifer began accepting her disease, it was God preparing her for the next chapter in her journey.
The day arrived where the disease came for one of Jennifer’s daughter’s, as she puts it. Just like Jennifer, it started with a spot on her daughter’s eye. But while its the same disease, this time, the impact was very different.
“Today I look at you, wearing the same disease that I have, but wearing it so differently. You have so much strength behind your beauty.”
God wasn’t just preparing Jennifer. He was using her own journey towards self-acceptance to prepare her daughter. She would face the same disease, but because of Jennifer, she’d handle it so differently.
“You wear this disease as a badge of honor, not a curse. YOU are magic, both inside and out,” Jennifer says to her daughter. “Thank you for teaching me how to be strong. Thank you for reminding me that I am beautiful, that my imperfections make me unique. Thank you for being my warrior.”
Victory Is Ours
Many of us face the same battle as Jennifer. Not because we share the same disease. But because we live in a broken world. A world that is constantly telling us we’ll never be good enough.
But, you see, the battle has already been won. We don’t have to be concerned with worldly standards. We are already loved so completely by a Heavenly Father, that He sent His only Son to wash us clean!
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;” Ephesians 2:8