Is that really how I look?

We all have those moments, don’t we?

Mine happen when I walk past an unexpected mirror in a department store, or see a candid photo taken by a friend. Is that really how I look?

I’m not sure if it’s because I spent so much more time looking in the mirror when I was a teenager or what, but I kind of forget what I look like now, and surprise myself. There are a few parts of me I’d change if I could, and in the meantime I ignore them, but not out of existence.

Five gray hairs. A furrowed forehead. Extra padding. Is that really how I look?

Then there are moments when I catch a glimpse of myself in another sort of mirror—in Scripture, the words of a friend, an uncomfortable situation, a failure, or my husband’s sermon at church (ooh, my favorite mode of conviction). Is that really how I look?

It’s desperately uncomfortable.

Am I actually that jealous? Dishonest? Controlling? Am I really the kind of person who takes every life event and turns it into A Lesson for the Masses?

I’ve found there’s only one good answer. The mirror doesn’t lie.

Yes, this is a part of how I look. This is part of who I am.

Until I’m willing to say yes, I’m going down one of two paths—rapidly walking on, whistling and pretending not to notice (what white hairs?) or plunging into a mother lode of inadequacy and condemnation.

Yes, this is a part of me is freeing, a call to humility instead of shame. I can accept some things and move to change others. I can iron the skirt that’s hanging lopsided, and smile at my changing hair. I can bring the jealousy to Jesus, invite Him to change my arrogance, bless Him for loving me in my mess.

Yes, this is a part of me (not the whole picture). Now what are we going to do about it?

He has named me Beloved and declared me His—but I hope every day He will tell me how to grow. Being in Christ is not code for being above correction. Sometimes I get this wrong, and push away divine conviction thinking it’s of Satan to drag me down.

It’s awfully merciful of Him to show me myself in glimpses.

You were wondering? I spent some time repenting today.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
9 years ago

“He has named me Beloved and declared me His.”
Was there ever anything so beautiful? That assurance alone goes so very far when we let Him stamp it on our hearts.
Thank you for this post, Shari. It fed me.

9 years ago

Thanks, Shari. I needed that reminder.

9 years ago

Beautiful words! We are beloved…some days we forget that!

9 years ago

There’s a line in a song that I love, it strikes me every time– “I pass every mirror by that I can’t bear to face”. As I grow up… I’m trying to begin to look into those mirrors and face up to what is revealed. And yes, thank God, we’re only shown in glimpses.

I heard a poem just on Tuesday at the student Convention I was judging at that spoke about mirrors also. A broken man, looking in the mirror, barely able to look at the man that had “messed up again”. I felt the despair of the man/boy sharing the poem, putting himself into the disgusted feeling he had looking at the truth of himself. But then he switched to how Jesus looked at the same man. The first line said “I made you in my image” and went on to say how he loved him, and how he had died to free him of the filth that he saw on that man in the mirror. It was a beautiful poem… one I felt right down to the tips of my toes! 🙂

9 years ago

indeed…Jesus is so gentle to give us glimpses.

I really liked your line about the invitation to humility instead of shame.

9 years ago

I love this more than I can say. I’ve been frightfully vain a lot of my life–but I am so grateful that God is working on me so kindly, showing me those glimpses of myself that need to change.

You always say things so gracefully, Shari.

Rach Eicher
9 years ago

There is so much in here that my heart was hungry to hear. No condemnation. Real-ness in realizing who I am and yet loved by Him. Thank you!

9 years ago

I loved what you wrote! Also, it encourages me to extend that acceptance to others, also! Bless you!

9 years ago

“I can bring the jealousy to Jesus, invite him to change my arrogance, bless him for loving me in my mess.” Yes. Thank you. 🙂

9 years ago

“It’s awfully merciful of Him to show me myself in glimpses”

Thank you for the HOPE in this Shari – I am so not enough in myself – but in Jesus there is HOPE!!!

Join the conversation to share your comments.x
Scroll to Top