You see the society is much harder on women if they do not conform to the standards. Just couple of weeks ago I wore a tunic with jeans, as I walked into our student room, where we usually do our assignments and projects, and some women started telling me that I should have worn it (tunic) with tights or leggings. They even kept pushing their opinion all day long.
I live in a place where it's very windy. So, wearing skirts, for the most part, is not practical. Most of thee time I wear pants with long top: sweater, t-shirt, tunic or any other.
I was never confident in the way I look. You see I was born with a condition--achondroplasia. I wasn't socializing much with other kids during my childhood and until age of seventeen when I moved to the USA. In order to compensate for lack of social interaction I began to read. My amazing mother made me wear long skirts, dresses and pants, so my condition would not be that obvious. My father completely agreed with that.
At the age seven my mom and I went to Kurgan for the series of surgeries. We had to go to Ilizarov Center for seven years. My legs became 30 centimeters (one foot) longer, whereas my arms became ten centimeters (four inches longer). Ilizarov Apparatus is a very invasive construction. Lengthening was painful, but it gave me an access to things many people take for granted: reaching shelves, reaching light switch, being physically independent. If you don't have a need for this type of surgery, please don't do it. There are risks. During my arm lengthening procedure I lost motion in my right hand because the nerve was over-stretched. In addition, my feet till this very day have somewhat limited motion range. But my scars is the biggest visual reminder. They are deep and go all the way into muscles.
For the longest time I used to hate my scars. During summer, I would wear stockings/long socks just to cover them up. When I moved to the USA, I accepted my scars. However, the biggest transformation happened this summer. During our Young Ladies group Bible Study, It dawned upon me--I love my scars. Furthermore, I consider them sacred because their main purpose is to glorify God. Our bodies are the temple of Holy Spirit and temple is sacred.
They remind me of the sinful worldAdam and Eve were created perfect. After the Fall Sin entered the world. As the result, our flesh is corrupted today. Achondroplasia is not normal. Making fun of other people is not natural. And yet when we see what Sin does with people, most of us, have hard time not to run away from those people. How many excuses I made in order to avoid those people that are different. Out of all people I should have known better, because I know how it is to be sneered at, called names, and how to be mocked. We are sinful and our flesh is corrupted.
They show me how futile our attempts to fix sinful natureWe can try to fix ourselves, or rather our sinful nature, but we fail. How many times we had broke our promises? How many times we tried to change for better and when something went wrong--we relapsed. Our sinful nature rules. It can calm down for a bit: that's what people call progress in personal development. After placing trust in Jesus, I became much more aware of my sinful nature. Romans 3:23-- For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Scars remind me about past difficultiesLooking at my limbs, I shall never forget the kindness of doctors and medical staff. Doctors and medical staff of Ilizarov Center showed me more kindness than some of my extended family members. These people are i my constant prayers. I hope to visit Kurgan in the next 2-3 year. Surgeries were hard, but by the Grace of God I can walk and my limbs are working.
Scars provide opportunity to talk about what matters
"What happened to you?" So many people asked me that question. This opens window of opportunities to talk. Sometimes it leads to conversation about faith. In some cases to a word of comfort. I pray that scars will be efficient helpers in sharing the important matters.