Every morning, I [Ginny] stand with my girls in front of their bathroom mirror as I style their beautiful curly heads of hair. As I take a turn with each girl, she watches her hair transform in the mirror from a morning fro to adorable braids, piggy tails, etc. Their favorite part comes when I put a cute little hair piece in their hair as the final touch.
I've never really paid attention to their facial expressions as they look in the mirror, but the other morning I did, and it struck me. They didn't make ugly faces at themselves in the mirror. They weren't searching for something that was "wrong" with themselves. No, they smiled in the mirror, tilted their heads and practiced their "camera smiles" and told me that their hair looked "SO PRETTY!" They believed me when I told them they are so amazingly beautiful, inside and out.
How many times do we look at ourselves like that as grown ups? I can probably count on my fingers, and it was probably when I was at my lowest weight, tan, and had just worked out. Other times, I notice how my nose looks like a ski jump, my freckles are overwhelming my face, my thighs touch, and how the bags under my eyes are just growing each day.
But what if I looked in the mirror like my Heavenly Father looks at me? What would I see? I can just imagine what He might say - "My daughter, I was walking through the valleys in Heaven the morning I created you in your mother, and I was inspired by the rounded mountain ledges I saw rising majestically above me and created your nose. I looked above around me and saw crystals speckled among the rocks and imagined your freckles. Your thighs were made in the perfect shape to match your body's shape. And daughter? Those bags are a sign of the love you have for your children like the love I have for you. But those bags of worry? Hand them to me, child, and let me take your worries. Your children are mine, and I am taking care of them."
Recently, Dove, known for advertising to REAL women, did an experiment. They brought in a forensic artist who did two drawings: The first was a drawing of how the person described him/herself. The second was a drawing of how another person described him/her. You can see the experiment at this link: http://realbeautysketches.dove.us/
What amazed me was how accurate and beautiful the second drawing was and how inaccurate and UGLY the first drawing was. How incredibly sad that we are so full of insecurity, self-doubt, and pain from the past and the lies the media sends us that we can't see ourselves for the truly beautiful creations that God made us? And how much does that negative view of ourselves affect everything else that we do? Is it holding us back from following our dreams? Trying something new? Or most importantly - following God's call for our lives?
I challenge you this day to read Psalm 139 (read it as many times as you need to so that you start to BELIEVE IT) and then spend some time in front of the mirror and look at yourself as God, your Creator, might look at you. Think about what may have inspired Him when He created your various parts. Remember, God thinks all of His creation is good. His view of beauty is not the same as the World's view. Unlike the world, He is the perfect God - therefore He does not make mistakes.
Once you have looked at your outside appearance, remember that God did not just create your outward being, He created your inmost parts. Think about what God loves about your personality, your talents, and your dreams. What gifts and talents has He given you? Are you using these gifts to glorify Him? Have your insecurities and negative thoughts about yourself held you back? Have you focused so much on what you CAN'T do that you have forgotten what you CAN do? Satan wants to use our negative thoughts to keep us from serving God fully.
I encourage you to practice his activity at least once a week, and let it transform you over time. Keep a journal to track your progress as you see yourself less like an ugly creation and see yourself more as God's creation - a creation that brings God joy.