My mind lies to me. It tells me I still look 27. It forgets I have wrinkles and that I can’t do all the things my younger body could do. It forgets how frizzy or lumpy my hair may look. It convinces me that I’m doing okay, no need to worry.
But when I look at myself in the mirror, there’s a different story altogether. I see a thirty-something (almost 40), aging woman, saggy where I’ve never been saggy and squishy in all the wrong places. My belly will never see the light of day again because, you know, stretch marks times six.
So, just to see–I know why they say curiosity killed the cat–I get on the scale. Instead of good news to make me smile, I find myself fighting the urge to scream because I’ve tried. I’ve worked out and jogged and limited sweets and portions and all but banned anything except water (and coffee, but I think coffee doesn’t count).
The mirror is brutal, revealing all the imperfections–all the stuff I really hate about myself. And so, I strive to do better–exercise more, eat less, get a new hairstyle, buy some anti-wrinkle cream. Buying a new mirror would do no good because it isn’t the problem.
There’s another Mirror. The one that shows me the wrinkles, the flab, the squishy parts, and the unruliness of my soul.
I find myself carrying on with life, thinking I’m doing okay because in my mind, I don’t see all the imperfections. My mind’s eye sometimes usually sees what it wants to see.
It takes this Mirror–The Mirror of God’s Word.
In it, I find myself falling short even in the areas I thought were going fine.
In this mirror, I see clearly my insecurities and fears, my lack of trust.
In my mind, it masks itself as being conservative and shy. However, what I see in the mirror of God’s Word is insecurity and fear. No one wants to be seen as a crazy or weird or stupid. Nor does anyone want to stand rejected and alone. Yet, that’s exactly where Jesus stood.
I’m afraid of not being accepted, being shunned or made fun of if I really put myself out there. If I stand on some controversy…that I won’t be smart enough to back my convictions, and ultimately be ripped to shreds. No one welcomes that. Yet, Jesus….
The Mirror of God’s reveals even deeper issues: lack of trust.
I’ve always lacked confidence in myself; I see it every time I leave the bathroom, giving myself a final glance in the mirror, muttering, Oh, well…. I’ve never trusted myself to approach the hurting with an encouraging word nor to stand for what I know is true. I’m afraid of what might happen. They’ll think I am crazy, you know, but God’s mirror reminds me it’s not about my confidence in myself, but in my confidence – my trust – in Him.
Philippians 1:6 – 6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
To be completely transparent with you, I’m afraid that if I let go completely and trust God, my hands being open won’t be able to grip when I need to–that I can’t hold on to the things or the ones that I cherish. The Mirror shows me that my holding back only cripples me more. I have forgotten that His is the One whose grip matters.
Ultimately, do I believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says he will do? My mind forgets that I know Who holds the future, the One who loves deeper than I, the One on whom only I can trust. But God’s Word reminds me!
Psalm 34:21 The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
My prayer is that we find who we are in Christ, and see ourselves as He sees us. That we continue to seek the reflection that matters, the one that will tell us the truth about who we are, where we stand, and where we can strive to do better–for Him.
As for the physical mirror? Well, I’m getting older. Weight hangs on a little more persistently, lines and aging happen, but I can’t reverse it one bit by hating it. Therefore, I’m going to spend less time examining myself in that mirror.
My prayer is that God will help us to focus our attentions on the the Mirror that reflects the most important part of ourselves–our souls. As we strive to improve that reflection, we become more like He is. We can’t get more beautiful than that!