I have a confession… you can go on and start judging me. I mean, I judge me for this.
I have always had access to a pool…one has always been just out the door or a small block away from my house my whole life. I was unusally fair skinned growing up (thanks dad) and continue to be during the winter months. I burned badly as a child…and it’s not because my parents didn’t put sunscreen on me…it just happens sometimes.
My intrigue with the sun and being tan really started in high school. It was the era of Brittany Spears, JLO, and Jessica Simpson…everyone wanted to be tan like them. I just wanted a little color on my legs for basketball cheer season. I would go to the tanning bed periodically…just for some color…since I couldn’t really tan.
Then, I moved to Texas for college, where it is super warm for around 9 and a half months a year. I had formals to go to, shorts and skirts to wear, and a hot sun beating down on my face that didn’t quite reach my legs. So me and my roommates got memberships at the local tanning salon…yep, $50 for 100 minutes of tanning. Sounded like a win to me, right? I have plenty of pictures to prove of my glowing skin. As if that wasn’t enough, we would lay out in the cold Texas wind on our driveway…no joke. It was a way of life. Why study inside when you can study outside and get sun, right?
After college, I declared that you are officially “old” and can get wrinkles from the tanning bed…so I stopped that. I have remained faithful to my reading in the sun regimen though. During the spring and summers over the past 4 years I have kept up my flip flop Friday’s at the pool. I will say I have added 30 sunscreen on my face to the mix over the past few years, but have remained oiled up for the rest, and didn’t really burn much.
Well, this past summer, in June I remember coming in from one of my “flip flop Friday’s” at the pool and surveying my sun on my arm. I found that a freckle had changed… like turned red/purple…no bueno. I kind of ignored it for the summer and just decided that maybe I should lather up with sunscreen after all…and maybe just dab some 50 spf on that spot.
I finally got up the courage to go get it checked out in October. I know, I know,…that’s a long time to wait…I was in denial. Well, they immediately took the spot off and sent it off to be checked out by the lab. For two grueling weeks I checked my phone all the time and jumped every single time it rang. Then I got the call.
Less than a month later, I was getting my margins cleared, and I now have a scar that I lovingly call my vampire bite. I have been able to hide it with long sleeves or 3 quarter length sleeves the last 3 months because of the cold weather. As much as I love spring and summer, that means my little vampire bite will be making it to the light of day for all to see…and it won’t be sparkling like diamonds like Edward’s skin,…sorry to disappoint. So please, save me the awkwardness and such…if you have read this…and then if you see it… don’t make a big deal out of it please. 🙂
You may be asking, why is she sharing this? Let me tell you.
For one, I couldn’t really talk about it at the time. I was upset, confused, angry even and quite frankly didn’t know what it all meant. Nobody in my blood family has ever had skin cancer or pre-skin cancer (that I know of). I try to always share what is going on, but sometimes I just have to delay it.
Second, it brought my relationship with the Lord to a new place. It caused me to question. I have always so faithfully believed and trusted and been able to say, God has been faithful in the past, why would He leave me or forsake me now? It caused me to think things like, “Things like this don’t happen to me. They happen to other people.” Also, “Why, God? I’ve avoided the big sins, come on, I am a youth minister. Can’t I just have a little fleshly perk? I just wanted to be glowy like JLO!”
It also made me realize just how human I am. I get this superwoman mentality sometimes that whatever comes up I can handle it. I can fix it. I mean if you think about it…that is partially part of my job description. People come to me for help and guidance…I am supposed to know what to say, how to say it, and a Godly truth or word of scripture that backs those up. I realized, well, yes I can handle things…but the truth is, no matter what comes up GOD can handle it. HE is big enough for me to ask questions of and not get offended. It is ok to question. In fact, you should probe a bit. God can always bring the answers through circumstances, people, His word, and time. HE is always faithful even when we are prone to wander in our feelings or thoughts.
One other reason, kids…ladies,…gents,…young,…old,…I am 26 years old. That is really not old at all. I never would of thought I would have a problem like this at such a young age. Wear your sunscreen. Get a spray tan instead (that is light so you don’t look orange). Just don’t bake in the sun. Like really,…
Also, let me say this. I AM OK. I mean, I think I am… It just means my lifestyle may change a bit. I have to go get checked every 6 months. According to my doc, I really am not aloud to get sunburned…which I already messed up on last weekend at Discovery. Whoops. I can not bake in the sun like I used to do on a weekly basis. Sunscreen, sunscreen, and more sunscreen is now my friend. I not only need to wear it, I must reapply it. I am going to the beach in a few weeks, and I am purchasing some new wide brimmed hats, not just for fashion purposes anymore. The umbrella is now my new beach post. Flip flop Friday’s will still happen this summer, but they will take place not out in the sun in the pool, but in the shade by the pool.