“Mum, don’t make that face.”
“What face?” I asked, turning to see the back of my reflection and check out whether the jeans I was trying on made my bum look big.
“That face, where you screw your nose in disgust. You do it whenever you try anything on.”
Wow. Had I really done that?
My problem was twofold.
Firstly, I had no idea I was making such a horrified face, and secondly and in my defense, my thinking face – the one that says “Hmmmm, I’m not sure about these” – is a duplicate of my horrified “Oh my goodness I look like the back end of a bus,” face.
Either way, I’d been busted by my teenage daughter.
How was she meant to grow a healthy self-image, love her body, and be proud of how she’s made, if her mother always looked at herself in disgust?
Like her faith, I’m convinced my daughters self-image will be more caught than taught.
Bombarded with images of seemingly perfect young women, with airbrushed bodies and whitened teeth, any maternal encouragement that she’s beautiful just as she is and that we are made in God’s image, will fall on deaf ears if she sees me not embracing it myself.
How is she meant to believe she is remarkably and wondrously made if her own mother doesn’t show her how?
If I don’t want her to look at her reflection in the way I did that day at the mall I must model self-acceptance and a belief that I am God’s marvelous workmanship. But it’s not easy. I’ve never found it easy.
And yet since that moment, squeezed in to a fitting room and a tight pair of skinny jeans (by the way, who decided to call them skinny fit when skinny is the last thing they make you look or feel?) I’ve worked hard to change the way I look at myself and the self-belief behind it.
If God knitted me together and I am wondrously made, who am I to look at myself with a face I reserve for sour milk?
God made me and He doesn’t make mistakes.
He made you too friend, and you are wonderful.
We are all the Master Craftsman’s workmanship, so let’s believe it.
Because here’s the thing, how we see ourselves impacts not just what we see when we look in the mirror, but how we respond to life’s tough seasons.
If we believe we are worthless we’ll see our diagnosis as a reflection of our worthlessness.
If we see ourselves as shameful we won’t seek the help we so desperately need.
When we see ourselves as valueless we’ll never truley believe God loves us.
And so it goes on.
But it doesn’t need to be this way.
If you want to break out of the negative self beliefs holding you down and begin to see yourself as God sees you so you discover the freedom and life he has for you, take a moment to mediate on this scripture, ponder the questions below and make the prayer your own.
Scripture to Meditate On
I pray that you being rooted and firmly established in love, maybe able to comprehend with all the saints what is the lengths and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph 3: 17-18)
** When you look in the mirror what goes through you mind unfiltered?
** Whenever you see yourself looking at yourself with disgust or saying something derogatory about your image, try and switch your negative mind talk for God’s truth about you, saying “I am remarkably and wondrously made.”
** God’s love for you doesn’t rest on your looks or what you have or haven’t done, but on who He is. Take time to soak in that truth today.
** Going forward how might you ensure your daughter’s self-image is more caught than taught? Do you need to use fewer words and more frequently act in a way that shows her you believe it’s true?
Prayer to Pray and Make Your Own
Lord God, you made me as I am and I thank you. Help me see myself as you see me. Help me love myself as you love me. Help me embrace the truth that I’m wonderfully made not worthless.
Lord thank you for loving me and seeing me with your eyes of mercy and grace. You love for me never fails and I need to know and fee it daily. Help me walk in it through good days and bad.
Grab a couple of FREE chapters of Breathe Again and discover that with God, life doesn’t have to be pain-free to be full, then learn to go live it, no matter what!