By the title, you already know what I'll be talking about. You might think this is a testimonial on how I use to have acne and now I have amazing skin and want to share how I did it. Well, that's not what this is at all. This is my story of the most impactful insecurity that has been a burden of mine for most of my life. Don't worry, this isn't all sad, but I do hope in some way, you can relate to this even if it's not that you had acne or have it but the fact that we all have insecurities that we deal with daily. So here is my story.

Around the time I hit middle school I started developing acne which is very common, but what I wasn't prepared for was the shift in the way I thought of myself. I was never the girl who was confident enough to openly say that I was pretty or beautiful. Yes, my mom and family members would tell me I was, but it was never something I really paid attention to. Then when acne made its way into my life, my perspective on my life and my worth all changed.

Middle school is commonly a time in someone's life where they would rather not look back on because of the awkward stage most people go through. For me, middle school not only was an awkward stage but one of the worst stages of my life. Because of my acne, I had been given a nickname making fun of what I looked like. At this time in my life, makeup was not even really something that was on my radar so I just had to deal with the bumps and scars on my face uncovered.

I was always exposed. I started to hate the way I looked and hated walking into the school knowing not only what I saw of myself but what everyone else saw and pointed out to me. This was a very hard time in my life, especially because this was the time where people started dating and finding boyfriends/girlfriends. Yes, they had the beautiful flawless skin, and even if their skin wasn't perfect, mine was worse. I felt no boy could ever like me, especially the ones, whom I thought was cute. And that broke my heart on a momentary basis.

I started hearing more of what was wrong with me and fewer good things about me. The only compliments at that age I remember getting was from adults or from family. For me, by that time, there was no compliment that could make me feel any better about myself. I hated pictures of myself or even being around anything that created a reflection. I wanted to cry every day, all day. I felt my worth was defined by how many scars I had on my body and over time, I believed that any flaw, baggage, bad decisions, or anything negative about me, measured my value. This was my mindset for many years, throughout middle school and high school.

Now in high school, my acne wasn't as bad and I also started learning how to wear makeup so that gave me a little confidence, but honestly, it was the kind of confidence that was a mask that I put on and then when I took it off, all you saw were my scars. The more I started wearing makeup, I started to see all of the breakouts and scars as though they represented all of my imperfections whether that meant physically, or mentally or even just emotionally the way I felt. They were away I stayed in the reality of never thinking I could ever be seen as attractive.

Being reminded that no one ever saw the real me and if they did then they would hate me as much as I hated myself at the time. Now, I did date some, but not a lot. Even though I did date, I still felt as though they were settling until they found who they really wanted. That no guy could actually like me or even love me.

Fast forward to today, I'm a sophomore in college still going through acne, but this is where it gets good. I spend more time without makeup than with it and it is such a freeing feeling. No, I didn't have this breakthrough because more guys started to like me, or more people gave me compliments. I am where I am now because I chose to look at myself through the eyes of my creator, my Heavenly Father. Another great thing that I noticed that there are people in my life that still care about me and see me for me through all my imperfections. They treat me no different than people who have great skin. No this was not an easy process and this process is something I am still working through now, but I can proudly say that I am beautiful and wonderfully made and my identity is not found in my insecurities and what I fall short in, and that is such a feeling!

Your insecurity may not be acne but something completely different and may not even be physical. I just wanted to share my story to let you feel and encouraged that you are not alone in the way you feel. But I do want you to know that you don't always have to feel this way. The way you see yourself is the way others will see you because you are so concerned in pointing out your own flaws you don't give others the chance to see why you are so amazing! You are loved, remember that. Be you, because that is BEAUTIFUL!