I stopped at an antique store a few weeks ago and purchased a mirror. It reminded me of the one my grandma used to have that I would look into as a little girl. I would put on her costume jewelry and gaze at the reflection of a 10 year old little girl who had suddenly transformed into a princess, waiting for her prince. I wore the biggest smile on my face as I looked at my reflection and saw beauty and promise. That was before I earned the nickname “Bucky Beaver” in 6th grade for my large front teeth. Once the name calling started I no longer liked looking in a mirror and smiling .
Admiring this newly acquired antique, I stopped to ponder who had looked into this mirror before me? What had they seen? Were they wiping the dark makeup out from under their eyes after crying over a lost love? Or maybe one final look before the big job interview? This thought struck me as I pondered the ones who had looked into this before me; So many people look into mirrors and never truly see themselves.
Little girls stop looking in the mirror and seeing a princess as they start to transform into teens. The freckles they’ve been teased about across the top of their noses are the first and often only thing they see. The glasses that cause them to don the nickname “four eyes” stand out and seem to take up the entire space of the mirror. They see brown hair when all the boys in school seem to like the girl with blonde. If there is not a parent or loved one telling these girls that they are special, beautiful, wonderfully and uniquely made, the feelings of “not good enough” start to creep in. Those feelings cause young girls to stop waiting on their prince and start settling for the attention they’re given.
As we mature from teens into grown women we look in the mirror and see a tired mom who feels she hasn’t been the Pinterest Queen the world is expecting her to be. Many no longer see a smile looking back at them. They see a woman who thinks “If I’m good enough tomorrow, maybe the abuse won’t happen again.” Gray hairs and a few wrinkles start to make their appearance and panic sets in as we zero in on those areas and never step back to see the whole reflection in the mirror.
At some point in our lives, the labels put on us by others can keep us from looking in a mirror and seeing the beautiful masterpiece God made and who he intended us to be. A woman’s true beauty isn’t revealed by wearing the latest designer label or donning the best make up, it lies internally and is revealed even more as she finds her purpose. God has designed us all with a purpose. When we start to love and seek Him and he reveals himself to us? We glow from the inside out!
For the last 40 years I can’t say I always liked the reflection that was looking back at me. But today, as I prepare to turn 50 in a few short weeks, I look in the mirror and I see a fighter with her boots laced. I see a woman who knows her worth and refuses to settle for anything less than God’s best. A woman that God has a plan for and one with a willingness to follow His lead. I see a new grandmother who is blessed beyond measure and so very, very thankful. Once I met Jesus the mirror was once again a reflection of hope and promise; the woman looking back is once again smiling! A princess waiting for her prince.
I leave you with this my friends: If you are a parent tell your children often that they are special, wonderful and God made them perfectly unique. Build them up and speak life and love. Don’t take the hurt feelings from name calling lightly. Encourage, address and reassure them.
For all of us? Never underestimate what a simple compliment to a complete stranger does for their reflection in the mirror. I’ve made it a habit to find something special about the waitress, clerk at the store, or random little girl or boy who has crossed my path. Nothing is better than seeing a strangers eyes light up, and smile cross their lips, when you have identified them as pretty, sweet, talented or smart. Share the love my friends. A little bit goes a long way in what others see when they look in their mirror.
“You are God’s poem. That makes you a piece of art. Art is often beautiful. More importantly, every piece of art has something of the character, vision, and values of the artist embedded within it. So it is with you.” – Marc Alan Schelske
“The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.” – Richard Grant