Are you ready to be empowered?
At Yours Truly Portraiture we empower women to gain confidence in who they are, loving themselves the way they are. This goes beyond your session as we support you in this journey of confidence & worth. Subscribe below and I'll send you a link to my guide 'Boudoir Session - 'What You Need to Know' to help you to prepare for your session with tips that you'll find will encourage you in your everyday!
Our flesh and bone house our minds, which are more than scientific measurements.
Our skin holds together marvelous works of wonder, which house immortal souls.
Yet, here I am: sitting in the hematologist’s office. Confused.
“I’m sorry. What?”
It’s like a slap across the face or frigid water poured over my body. And I am left to collect the pieces.
The sheet doesn’t lie to me. 3,000 platelets. The average person has between 150,000-400,000. And I’m on the knife’s edge between being fine and vital organs bleeding out. It all came without any warning.
At some point in our lives, we all come to understand that some things are set in motion without us knowing. That there are things we cannot control. And this thing, this illness inside me, is a wild and unpredictable beast.
What began as a nosebleed evolved to an uncontrollable menstrual cycle that wouldn’t stop. At 21, alone in a hospital room, I had to make the call of whether the doctors would try to resuscitate me in possibly minutes. Whether I wanted to fight to live.
Now, what was meant to be a routine check-up on my platelet levels is now an intervention. The classic bruises – those pinprick marks that cover my body like an impressionist painting- didn’t come. They didn’t warn me.
This story of my body has a name: idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura. ITP for short. It is a rare autoimmune disorder, and doctors speculate that it was a ticking time bomb before it first hinted at existence when I was 17.
The doctor runs over the drill of how we will treat this bout. I listen with numb ears. Not deaf, but certainly elsewhere in my mind. I’m allowed to go home for a period of recovery and isolation. They’ll shut down my immune system. We’ll track my platelet levels.
And my job is to not get hurt. To not let anything or anyone touch me too hard, lest it make a bruise that risks my safety.
How it doesn’t “look” unwell even when I’m in dangerous territory. I don’t see myself as a glass box- yet this disorder forces me to do just that. Pushing me to accept that I am not in control. At all.
Driving home *VERY* carefully, I ask God if it’s really true. That something so broken like myself could truly reflect His image. And why would He do it? As Brandon Heath’s song, “Behold Our God” plays on the radio, I see it.
In my mind, there is my speckled body: broken and fragile with its internal bleeding. But after a moment, every dot becomes a fleck of gold with increasingly brilliant light. My face turns from sadness into joy, and I see myself moving with ease. I hear the lyrics of the song ring out:
“Behold our King, fall down in wonder/ Behold our King, there is no other/ He is everything/ He is the life and light of man/ Beginning and the end…”
This is the real picture of myself. Not a disappointment or mistake. Rather, a unique creation that speaks to a different sort of beauty. Through this disorder, I have gone through the valleys of paranoia and the storms of grief to come to the one conclusion this moment shows me.
God sees the glory in everything that lives and moves. And in the midst of my human brokenness, I am still redeemed. Whether my skin is covered in bruises or splotched with tinea versicolor, He endows me with beauty and redemption. That there is beauty and worth in the mortality of my being.
Creation is meant to glorify God. And so often, I fail to see that even someone like me, whose body is inwardly flawed, still bears witness to that awesome wonder.
Through pain and heartache, I want you to know the unwavering worth endowed in each part of the body. Even when we cannot change what is seen to be “imperfect.” And, you might find that there is still a little mystery and wonder left for you to discover in the mundane. If only you are willing to see past the dark haze prescribed by a fallen world.
In Courage & Care,
Samantha, aka S.A. Borders-Shoemaker
Check out more from Samantha: sabordersshoemaker.com
If you need some support in navigating these issues, a good place to start is cultivating thoughtful practices. This looks like a time each day where you pause and think deeply. To begin such habits, we have available our Courageous Vulnerability Reflection Set. This series of prompts and thoughts will help you begin the journey of seeing your body through the lens of self-acceptance. You’re not alone in this journey.
BACK TO TOP
Brand by Three Fifteen Design
© yours truly portraiture
BACK TO TOP
Click here to book now!