I'm sure you'll agree that Richella is a beautiful woman. Her husband took this photo of her on Kiawah Island, where they honeymooned and have since returned with their children. It's one of their favorite places to visit.
But Richella shared that this photo is very selective, showing only the parts of her that she likes. She continued as she explained that she has a large birthmark that covers most of the right side of her body.
Read Richella's own words:
"And over the years I have lied about my birthmark. Many times, people have asked me, "Does it hurt?" Invariably, I say, "No; it doesn't hurt."
That's not true. It does hurt. It doesn't hurt much physically; it's a little uncomfortable sometimes. But emotionally it does hurt. It hurts to look funny; it hurts to have people stare at you; it hurts to have people exclaim, "Oh my gosh! What happened to you?"
But the fact is that I've let it define me. In spite of having a husband who loves me and who thinks I'm beautiful, I've thought of myself as someone who could look okay but could never be beautiful."
- Past hurts in your life
- Childhood abuse from someone you thought you could trust
- A sin you committed and thought God could never forgive you
- Overwhelming shyness
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Intimacy issues
You see, not all of our issues can be seen from the outside. But remember that God not only sees our outside; He sees into our hearts and knows the cause of those issues. He sees the motives and understands.
I left a comment on Richella's post expressing my opinion and asking her permission to link to her story. She graciously agreed and emailed me this beautiful response:
"You know, protecting privacy is a good thing. But I think maybe we can all protect our families' privacy and be authentic about the way we present ourselves. It's so easy to fall into the trap of editing everything we say about ourselves, admitting only the part that we think will be pleasing to our audiences. It's kind of funny that we would do this online, just like we sometimes do in "real" life! Maybe we should all try to be authentic in our writing and kind and gracious in our reading and commenting. I say bravo to you for promoting this idea."
That's the kind of person Richella is; beautiful on the outside but more importantly ...beautiful on the inside.