Sep 25

TEMPLE: Lessons from Infirmity

I have vitiligo—a disorder of my immune system in which my white blood cells attack the pigment in my skin and destroy it. For 40 years I have asked God to restore my skin. He hasn’t. But He is teaching me through it.



1. God looks not at outward appearance; neither should I.

My overly enthusiastic immune system sees the chemical in my body that causes pigmentation, decides it isn’t important and destroys it.

Look at the photo above. Every person on earth has the same color of skin; it is only the creation of the pigment that differs from person to person, causing one person to be light brown, another to be dark brown, another to be yellow brown.

The skin of a dark brown person by race who has vitiligo is the same color as mine once the vitiligo has destroyed the chemical causing the pigmentation.

The skin of a yellow-tinged person by race who has vitiligo, is the same color as mine once the vitiligo has destroyed the chemical causing the pigmentation.

In other words, color is not even skin deep. Even though we all know the truth of the fact, vitiligo provides clear visual evidence that the issue of race based on skin color is irrelevant.

How has God worked in your thinking to see the irrelevancy of color?


2. Having this disorder makes me more compassionate toward others with physical infirmities.

People who meet me for the first time sometimes react to my vitiligo. Am I contagious? Should they stay away from me?

It is human nature, when we are confronted with a physical disability to wonder; sometimes even to be cautious. How should I treat this person? Should I acknowledge their condition or is it kinder to ignore it?

I do not compare vitiligo to what someone confined to a wheelchair or unable to speak without confusion endures. But this condition has softened my heart toward people with infirmities. God is teaching me the lesson of showing mercy.

How do you struggle with acknowledging other people’s infirmities or physical limitations? How have you learned to show mercy?


3. God is teaching me to find the blessings in my condition. Here are a few:

  • Although I wish God would restore my skin to even color; I am grateful that it is not life-threatening, contagious or extremely painful condition.

  • I am learning to look beyond my skin imperfections and recognize the outward physical beauty God has gifted me with. This isn’t me being vain or proud. It’s about focusing on what is beautiful and looking beyond the imperfect. For example:

My handHere is my hand. The color variation is not beautiful. But my hands are strong. My nails are useful. My fingers type out words that string together to form sentences, paragraphs, articles and books that help me and others see God’s world and our place in it. That’s beautiful!

  • I am learning to make the most of the physical health I have. Instead of focusing on my out-of-whack immune system, I focus on maintaining and improving muscle strength, cardio health and good nutrition.
  • I remember that God truly does look at our inner beauty. I praise God for the process He is taking me through to become the woman He intends me to be—inside and out.

What physical issues do you struggle with?
What do you think God might want you to learn from and through your struggle?


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  1. Bonnie

    Oh Carol “beautiful” article. I always thought (and envied) your beautiful porcelain skin. I didn’t even realize your hand pigmentation was ‘uneven’ for years. Honestly!
    I have struggled with IBS for years and years. It is a cruel disease that I would wish on no one as it affects many activities in my life. Doctor after Doctor say I just have to learn to live with it. Okay. Done. Happy about it? Absolutely not!! My poor understanding husband is always asking “where can we go to eat? How’s your tummy doing?”
    The cruelty for me is never being able to relax and enjoy ‘the moment’ for fear IBS will tear its ugly head
    The ‘good’ news is that it keeps me in prayer. I have to trust God that whatever happens He will be with me. He will get me through it.
    Just like Paul, are you and I aren’t we? Constant thorn in the side/flesh and yet through His grace we carry on
    Love you. Thanks for this wonderful article my Sister in Christ ❤️

    1. carolwritesbooks@gmail.com

      We do seem to have those thorns. Does that mean we are roses?

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I struggled with this post; putting it off for weeks because it was painful to write about and admit my humanity. So very thankful for the lessons you and I are learning. Your big one that it keeps you in prayer and trusting Him–is perfect and wonderful. Like you, girlfriend!

  2. Terrie

    Thank you Carol for sharing this painful struggle. It is difficult for us as Christians, ministers of the Gospel, writers and women to share with others our pain. Some how we believe we are to be full of knowledge and wisdom beyond little aggravation – but we are not. I would never believe that you had a tinge of an issue with the condition, because when I met you all I saw was a friend, fellow writer and a sister in Christ. I am sorry that you have carried this pain with you. I believe we are healed through the atonement, which I am now beginning to understand. God has healed you and the other lady who shared her struggle – Jesus said, “we must believe we have received when we pray” can’t remember the location at the moment, but the key is God responds to faith and Faith is believing what God said. I have meditated on these things and I have had wonderful results. Peace and Blessings to you my friend ~ receive your healing in Jesus Name!


    1. carolwritesbooks@gmail.com

      Thank you, Terrie for your thoughts. God uses whatever we are going through to grow our faith and trust in Him. At some level (down fairly deep perhaps) I may not truly desire to be healed because–just like the pain we carry at consequences of our mistakes–they can serve to remind us what is important. Jesus never promised us a pain-free life; He promised to be with us through it. It’s so lovely to hear from you Terrie.

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