// and all I have in You is more than enough. //

Honestly, I shouldn’t be writing this right now.

I should be sleeping, because it’s 1 am, and I have an 8:15 class that I need to be awake for.

That’s what my logical side is telling me.

But my heart refuses to budge, nudging me and whispering that the thoughts I’ve been having lately need to be processed and written and shared, and what better place to do so than the blog? (I’m long overdue for a life-update, I suppose.)

And what better time than now, when conviction is fresh and I’ve just drank a cup of Earl Grey so I’ll be awake (as in, awake but not awake enough to work on my philosophy paper) for a little while longer anyway?

So… here we go. Here’s where I’ve been lately.

Ever since I’ve arrived here at Liberty, I’ve been struggling with acne.

I know, I know. It seems so trivial compared to what others are struggling with. (I’m cringing even writing this, to be honest.)

Only it doesn’t feel so trivial when my whole face is blotchy and bumpy, and the acne is beginning to itch and hurt in a way it never has before, and makeup can no longer hide it all away, and no matter what I try nothing seems to work anymore, and insecurities that I thought I’d long-ago buried flare up every single time I happen to glance at a mirror.

And that’s the thing– I hate that I’m so insecure about this.

Because I know the truth. I have it hidden in my heart. I am a beautiful daughter of the King, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, true beauty does not come from outward adornment but from a heart after His own, and I know my worth is not defined by how I look or what I do, but in Christ alone.

I know the truth. I’ve moved beyond this, I’m more spiritually mature than this, right?

Except… I don’t like to leave my dorm room without makeup on anymore. I’ve never been like that. But then, the acne has never been this bad before.

And maybe that’s it. Maybe it’s that my belief in the truth that my beauty is in Christ hasn’t been truly tested until now, and maybe that’s why this is so hard.

Because it is hard. It’s exhausting, fighting a battle and using all the strategies available to you and yet nothing changes, nothing gets better– if anything, it’s getting worse.

My parents have been so, so wonderful in standing beside me as we face this– together, as a family. I’m not fighting alone. Even though we’re a day’s drive away from each other, they’ve always been there to encourage, to suggest wise courses of action, to help in looking into dermatologist appointments and what treatment combinations we haven’t tried yet, to remind me that I am beautiful and loved in the moments where I am overcome and 100% done with this whole mess.

I had one of those moments last night (Tuesday); I stood in the shower and cried over this, frustrated that even the dermatologist-advised course of action wasn’t working, and growing afraid that the acne was getting so terrible that it would begin to scar my face. Permanently.

I whispered angrily that I hated this, hated myself.

And I know, I know that was wrong of me, that this broke the heart of the God who made me and who knows me by name.

I calmed down and silently apologized to my Father, because I don’t hate myself, not really– but I did hate the acne, and the fact that I was still in this situation.

And that’s why campus community tonight was so convicting.

Our campus pastor David Nasser asked us if, for us, God was not only good (for of course we as Christians readily admit that), but good enough— meaning that if we lost everything else, if we were called to count everything as loss, would we still cling to Him and His goodness?

“If your physical affliction doesn’t go away, do you still say God is good? Is He enough for you?”

I’d been scanning the Scriptures used in the sermon, but with that line, I looked up in surprise as the words hit me like a punch in the gut.

“We like to say ‘I want God! …and [fill in the blank]. God… and a husband. God… and money. God… and popularity.’ But what if you had only Him? He ought to be good enough.”

Unshed tears sprang to my eyes. I’d been viewing this whole thing the wrong way.

“I want You, God! …and I want clear skin. Or at the very least, clearer skin. I want this struggle to be over with already. I don’t want to deal with it anymore.”

This was how I’d been thinking just last night. Now, a new thought came to me:

If I end up struggling with acne for the rest of my life, if it never gets better, will I still praise the Lord? Will I still trust in His goodness?

The answer is yes. But the question is a sobering one, a hard one to contemplate.

If He doesn’t remove my physical affliction? Yes, yes I will still praise Him.

I’ve been setting aside a bit of time every day to read one chapter of The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp, and though I’m only two chapters in, I’m already learning.

Namely, that He is glorified in brokenness.

Which gets me thinking– maybe it’s not that He is good in spite of our afflictions, our brokenness.

Maybe it’s that He is good in the midst of the affliction and the broken.

And maybe, I am not beautiful in spite of acne.

Maybe I am beautiful, acne included, because this acne is pushing me closer to the Lord, and I am depending more on Him in an otherwise lovely season where I would be tempted to say, “I’ve got this”. Acne is apparently part of my life’s-story, a plot twist that, though unwelcome, is growing my character.

And maybe beauty is not diminished by brokenness. God’s goodness and glory certainly isn’t.

So maybe… maybe instead of begging God to take this away from me, I can instead thank Him for the acne and ask that He be glorified through it, that He’ll show me the beauty in the brokenness, that He will continue to reshape me so that I may be content with Him alone?

My dad recently shared with me the passage that he clung to in his own struggles with cystic acne and the insecurities that accompanied it:

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

–2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Delight in weaknesses and hardships.

Consider it pure joy.

Not that I’m giving up– I’m still going to pursue treatment in every avenue I can.

But my heart, my attitude, is changing.

All of You is more than enough for
All of me for every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You
Is more than enough

“Enough” // written by Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio, performed by BarlowGirl

This is my heart’s song now.

No matter what happens– He is more than enough to satisfy my soul.

He is good, and He is faithful, and I am forever grateful.

…and it is almost 2 am so I really, really need to use the sleep now.

Goodnight, friends. xx

{love always, Em}

3 Replies to “// and all I have in You is more than enough. //”

  1. Thank you for sharing such a powerful statement here. Our afflictions, no matter how small or big they may be, can be a crossroads for our faith. I have struggled (and still struggling) with acne and I don’t know why. Lately, I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression, too. My life plans have been halted and I don’t seem to see the future as good. But your words here struck me: that no matter what happens, he is more than enough, even in our brokenness and nothingness. I can’t say I’m thankful God chose to give me afflictions to test my faith, but that God has blessed me with strength to carry whatever he is giving me in order to glorify Him. I have moments where I can’t sleep and like you, I try to write (only in my journal) and end up conversing with Him through my words. He is just amazing, isn’t he? I hope you are well and may God Bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! He is amazing indeed! I’m so thankful that this was able to resonate with you a bit. Praying for you, friend– that He will continue to give you the strength to press on with your cross, and that tomorrow will look a bit brighter soon. I hope you are well too, and that you have a very Merry Christmas! God Bless!

      Liked by 1 person

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