When the Mirror Lies

Mirror-MirrorOne thing I’ve discovered about you, we both want some of the same things: freedom, joy, and a good life. I believe that happens when we fully realize that our lives and voices matter. So for the rest of 2013, we’re celebrating the power of voice, your voice. Every week, we will feature a guest post from a brave-hearted reader who will share how she moved away from any negative thoughts that tried to silence her. This week we hear from Monica Schmelter …

 

My Mirror-Mirror relationship started young. I was desperate for positive feedback, but the Mirror had none.

As a teen, I wanted to fit in with the thin girls at school. But I was the chubby girl, and I detested it. I knew God loved and valued me, yet I deeply longed for the affirmation of others.

Intellectually, I got it—I understood that I was fearfully and wonderfully made, but secretly, I hated my thighs and the size of clothing I wore.

For a few years, some of my extended female family members weighed in every Sunday after dinner. Taking turns, one after another, they announced weights between 105 and 120 pounds. At five feet three, I was well over 140 pounds.

I could have elected to pass the after-Sunday-dinner weigh-in.  No one made me participate—it was a ritual I blindly followed because I didn’t have the courage to opt out.

If only I’d picked up the Mirror of God’s Word on those weigh-in days. I would have been much better equipped to reject the world’s unhealthy, unrealistic standards of beauty. My true worth, beauty, and value could have been appreciated instead.

As women, we constantly talk about how fat we feel, or how bad our hair looks, comparing ourselves to our friends and measuring ourselves and our lives by impossible standards. A deadly comparison.

It wasn’t my desire to look my best that got me off track, but it was the unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards promoted in the media that left this Jesus-loving girl feeling like she’d never be pretty enough.

Each day we have a choice to decide: whose mirror will we look into, whose mirror will we believe? Too often, we catch ourselves looking into both at the same time, and we’re not pleased with either reflection. We say we believe God’s truth, but we live quite another reality in our day-to-day existence.

It’s time we took a risk and we give our hearts permission to believe the Mirror of God’s Word through faith. Time to refuse to allow the mirror of the world to define our value and beauty!

I’m not saying we shouldn’t pay attention to our physical bodies—we should. But how much attention is too much? Where is the line between caring for our bodies as the Temple of the Holy Spirit and putting too much of a priority on our body size and appearance?

I’d like to offer a formula that shows clearly what is enough and what is too much—there is none, though. Yet, there are some ways we can tell whether we’re using God’s Word as our Mirror or staring intently into the world’s mirror.

What are you saying to yourself? Where do your thoughts, self-talk, and attention tend to gravitate?

If you find yourself moving mostly toward negative, critical thoughts about your physical appearance, then you are most definitely looking into the world’s mirror to define your beauty and subsequent worth.

I’m too fat. I look old! My nose is too big. My thighs are huge. If only I could look like her.

For most of us, it’s an intense struggle. We know we need to change mirrors, but don’t feel we have the strength to do it on our own. Let’s do it together. This moment, let’s ask God for help?

God, will you change my heart? Will you help me see the reflection you see when you look in the mirror? Will you create an intense desire in me for your Truth? A Truth that will help me see myself as You have created me. Help me to hold to that Truth when the world tells me I’m not enough. Will you also bring godly friends in my life who will love, honor, and encourage me in this journey for I can’t do this alone. I’ve tried and failed. But I know that you want me to realize my true beauty and I can only do that when I look through Your mirror.

 

MonicaHeadshotMonica Schmelter is the host of the daily television show Bridges that airs on Christian Television Network.  She is an author, speaker, and the General Manager of WHTN of Christian Television Network. Monica’s book, Does This Make Me Look Fat is available on her website. 

 

{Photo Credit: adamr at freedigitalphotos.net}

One thought on “When the Mirror Lies

  1. This was an awesome post and totally lined up with what God has had on my heart all week as I deal with my body issues. Thanks for sharing!

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