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.