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The Veiny Left Leg

Is there something about your body that you would change if you could? I can understand. When I was born, I had a huge red birthmark covering the inside of my left leg from the knee to the sole of my foot.

It’s called a hemangioma, which is a type of birthmark that appears as a rubbery, bright red nodule of extra blood vessels.

The doctor told my parents that the birthmark will either shrink and eventually go away, or it will continue to grow. In my case, it continued to grow. Two choices of treatment were presented to my parents.

One, the doctor could use radiation to shrink the birthmark, which could affect my growing bones, probably causing the left leg to be shorter than the right leg.

Two, the doctor could burn off the birthmark with what he called hot ice.

My parents chose the second option. For the first year of my life I had a series of appointments to remove the birthmark by burning off sections at a time.

The long-term effect was that it caused the skin on the inner part of my left leg to be extremely thin, making the veins very noticeable.

As I grew up (especially during my middle school years), I became more self-conscious about the veiny left leg. I wanted to hide it.

I would purposely wear clothing that would cover it. Also at the beginning of a new school year, I would intentionally choose a desk that was on the far right side of the classroom. That way I could cross my left leg over my right knee with just a wall to my right (no students to possibly notice my veiny leg).

Even today as an adult, I find myself not wanting to draw attention to that leg. This seeming imperfection about my body is something that I cannot change. I must accept it. That is the way God made me.

Is there something about your body that you do not like? Do you have the ability to change it? For instance, if you’re overweight from overeating, you can probably do something about that with diet and exercise. If you do not like your hairstyle, you can change it to a style that is more becoming to your face shape.

But if you can’t change what you perceive to be a body imperfection, you must realize that God has a purpose for how He made you. You are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). No doubt, God wants to use it to help you trust Him and to encourage someone else.

My veiny left leg is a reminder to me that God makes no mistakes. If I can encourage you to accept the way God made you, then my veiny left leg has had a positive influence.

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