If you rummaged through my boxes of un-filed, and very disorganized photos from throughout the years you would be hard pressed to find more than a half-dozen photos of me. Photos of my babies as they grew, and family gatherings are replete with those present … minus me.
I often said when my kids were little, “If something happened to me, my kids wouldn’t even know they had a mom.” There was little photographic proof of such a human existence.
You’re probably wondering ‘what in the world would possess someone to be so camera shy?’
Glad you asked!
At the risk of sounding like a 90-year old grandma … back in the day … K-Mart was the place to get portraits made. Clearly nothing digital or quick about the process. We’d dress up, put on our best possible smile and pose, only to wait with great anticipation for about four weeks when the final portrait would be revealed.
I was 10 years old when I accompanied my brother and my mom (who had adopted me just three years prior) to pick up our much anticipated portraits. Portraits that my mom hoped to proudly display and send to her friends and family.
I noticed that my mom was slightly agitated as we walked across the K-Mart parking lot. Finally, she stopped in her tracks and pulled out the 8×10 portrait of my brother and me. My brother looked his typical handsome self. But me… not so much. She angrily waved the portrait in front of me and said, “Look at this! Just look at your smile! You ruined another picture!”
I already was self-conscious about my smile, but this moment … these words spoken over me utterly crushed me, and would follow me for decades, dictating my actions and responses, including causing me to hide behind the camera, sacrificing capturing the most precious moments of life.
BUT GOD …
I’m turning 50 soon, and it’s only been over the last five to six years that I’ve been able to embrace the camera regardless of the output.
God, through the Holy Spirit, has healed the wounds of those words and other words that have been spoken over me through the years. He has unveiled His love to me, showing me who I am in HIM! That I was created in His image, and the Spirit of God lives in me because I believe that He is who He says He is, and that He sent His Son, Jesus to die a most horrific, tragic death, taking on every scorning word, every moment of rejection, abandonment and abuse, so that I would not have to bear it any longer.
For decades I was looking into the wrong mirror! The mirror of judgment, condemnation and shame. The mirror of rejection and others’ opinions.
But, when I chose to look only into the mirror of HIS Word, I saw (and see) a daughter who is adopted and chosen by the King of Kings! Loved! Treasured and cherished! Free! Healed! The apple of His eye! Forgiven! And … one who has been entrusted with the keys to help set women free from the same pain and wounds that for so long kept me in bondage.
What do you see when you look in the mirror? Guilt? Shame? Hopelessness? Ugliness? Pain? Pride? Fear?
When we look into the mirror of God’s Word, we see who we truly are in HIM. Our true identity! Who He created us to be! Loved. Forgiven. Chosen. Redeemed. Free. Secure. A new creation. Strong in Him. Transformed. Delivered. Treasured. Cherished. Created for great purpose!!
So … what mirror are you looking into?
Dig deeper: Psalm 45:10-15, John 15:16, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 8:32, 2 Corinthians 3:15-18; 4:16-18, Galatians 5:1, 1 Peter 2:9