When Our Imperfections Connect Us

Ever since I wrote the post Remember I have been thinking about this one memory. My mind just won’t let it go. So today I would like to share it with you.

Sometimes God uses our ugly imperfections in the life of another who needs to see that imperfection.

I have spots on my skin.

When I was fifteen years old I started getting little white spots on my hands. The dermatologist said it was Vitiligo. A skin disorder involving the loss of pigmentation of the skin, which appear as spots. They have grown over the years. The good thing is that I am fair-skinned so they are not very noticeable to others, except during summer.

When people ask what it is I casually say, “Oh, yeah, I have spots and guess what they glow in the dark.” People laugh and that is that.

(They really do glow in the dark though. I found that out when I went with friends to Lasertron and they were glowing under the black lights.)

My hubby assures me he doesn’t think they make me ugly. But sometimes I feel ugly when I see them. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I had darker skin and people really noticed stark white spots all over my face, hands, and arms.

One year I was teaching eighth grade English and I met Latisha.

Latisha was the toughest girl. She would fight anyone and gave all teachers a hard time. She was constantly in detention or in-school suspension.

I noticed it the very first time we met…she had Vitiligo too.

She was a beautiful girl with half her face as a giant white spot. My heart went out to her because I could guess how difficult that would be as a middle school student. I knew it was one of the things that made her so guarded.

One day she stood up in the middle of the class during my lesson and announced she had to use the restroom.

“No, Latisha. You were just out. Please sit down.” Frustrated she glared at me from the middle of the room. A few minutes later she stood again.

“Oh, I have to go to the nurse you know for my skin problem. So I’m going to go, all right?”

I looked at her knowing the nurse could do nothing for her.

“No, you don’t have to go to the nurse. Please sit down.” I said calmly.

“Yes I do! I’m going.”

“No, Latisha. I know you don’t have to go to the nurse because I have the same thing you do. So, please sit down.”

She sat slowly looking at me like she couldn’t believe it. Then she interrupted me again telling me I didn’t have anything wrong with my skin.

It was fall so my spots were less noticeable.

She walked up to the front of the classroom challenging me. The rest of the class carefully watched wondering what was going to go down.

I looked at her with all the compassion I had and pulled up my sleeves showing her my spots. My ugly white spots. I’ll never forget the look on her face as she saw my spots.

Her jaw dropped open and her eyes were wide with disbelief. I did have what she had. She sat down and was quiet the rest of the class….which was not like her at all.

After that day I saw a new Latisha walk into my classroom. Her walls were down. Her hard attitude was gone. Instead a sweet, energetic, interested girl glided into my classroom.

She talked with me and was excited to tell me things. I was a new friend and not the enemy. She worked hard in my class and loved learning. I saw her smile everyday!

All because we share the same ugly spots.

I don’t know why God allowed those spots to appear on my skin, but that day I was thankful for them.

Everyday I see my spots and remember the girl who desperately needed to see them too.

Whatever imperfections you have I just want you to know that God loves you, He thinks you are a beautiful creation, and He just may have a purpose for those imperfections.

(Here is a picture of me with my spots. My spots are on my hands, elbows, and face.)

IMG_1796

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7 thoughts on “When Our Imperfections Connect Us

  1. excellent thoughts! i have 3rd degree burns from a car accident when I was 15, and let me tell you, all through high school I was constantly afraid of what people would say. Then one day I woke up and realized that it didn’t really matter what people thought, it only mattered what I knew. What I knew was that God loves me, and has molded me into the person I am today. I still get the awkward stares in the summer when my burns are on full display, but I don’t let it bother me anymore. God has a purpose in everything, and we are all created in His image, so who am I to complain?

  2. Beautiful picture! We all have imperfections, that is for sure. I think you learned one of the reasons for yours that day in your classroom. Latisha needed someone who understood. It is so amazing how God connects us to people in His perfect timing. Thanks for sharing your story :)!

  3. This story brought a tears to my eyes. Aren’t we all longing for others who share imperfections with us? You may have been one of the first people she came across with the same condition and what a comfort it must have been to know she wasn’t alone. Thanks for sharing your story.

  4. This was so humbling and inspiring! I couldn’t agree with Kendra’s comments more, thank you for sharing!

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