Someone told me I was beautiful today. She said there was something about my smile and the way that I articulated myself when I spoke. She told me I am bold and full of confidence. She told me that I was enough because God was enough. She told me that I was created in God’s image and that the likeness of Him that I carried seemed to light up the room. She told me that my freckles danced with every smile. I smiled on the outside, but on the inside, my head hung down in disbelief because I did not feel like those words held any truth. As I looked to the eyes staring back at me in my broken mirror, all I could do was smile at the girl who handed out compliments in the form of bright yellow and hot pink sticky notes. I put on my red lipstick, filled in my untamed brows and walked with her words whistling in my ears. With each step, I became that person she spoke so highly of.
“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Genesis 1:27
This month on the “Tuesday Topic,” we’re discussing self-image. A lot of us walk around like we are so full of confidence, but on the inside we see an image of a person we do not want identify with. So many women are in competition with one another to the point that they are actually tearing themselves down. They cover up behind pounds of makeup, extensions, and fancy clothes and create this outer shell of manufactured self-acceptance.
At one point in my life, I literally depended on sticky notes to get me through the day. I posted these notes with scriptures, affirmations, and words of encouragement all over my house, my car, and my purse. I would find these notes stuck to my children and crumpled up or torn in random places. I’d dust each one off, unfold them and place them back in their designated place.
Yep, I was broken. So much so, that I felt that a few sticky notes would literally keep me together. I truly broke out of that place in my life one day when I realized that my encouragement was within. God did not create me in broken pieces but he created me as this whole person with a whole purpose. He created me in the likeness of His own image which is an honor. I got tired of piecing myself together and acting as if everything was fine while not really dealing with how I felt about myself.
You are okay!
I’m saying all of this to say that we must be able to get to this place in our lives as women where our smile is purely a smile and the words “I’m okay” are just that, not two words masking an inner scream. When we look ourselves in the mirror, we must be able to look at ourselves the way that God sees us. In love, grace, and compassion. It took me to fall a few times and literally lose some hair to realize that I absolutely love this woman I see in the mirror. I realized that I was hand crafted by my created and what I might have seen as a flaw was His imperfect perfection. I’ve literally just gotten to the point where I can go out in public without filling in my eyebrows. Yes, that is a true accomplishment for me. I’ve learned to embrace my insecurities over time and turn them into what I love the most about myself. Many women deal with issues of self-image on a regular basis and it’s not an easy hill to climb.
“Before I knew you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you. I ordained you a prophet to nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5
While dealing with my own issues on how I saw myself, I realized that I needed to make sure that my daughters did not have the slightest opportunity to feel the same way I did. I’ve learned to not only speak life over myself, but over them and to them as well. This world outside of our household can be an ugly place and we must make sure that our daughters are equipped for what’s out there. My daughters know that they are beautiful both inside and out and that they are intelligent and loved. We write each other love notes and whisper compliments in each other’s ears. We play dress up and makeup artist and have a “girl’s night out” every weekend. They know that they are the most beautiful girls in my world. They know that they are capable of doing all things.
My shadows saved me
I watch how my oldest wants to be like me. She dresses like me and follows my every step. These girls are part of the reason why I love myself so much more. They see me in a light that I would not normally see myself in. They are my shadows and follow my every move. They encourage me and find beauty in my flaws whether I’m “dolled up” or dressed down. Who knew a 4-year-old and a 7-year-old could teach me so much about myself?
What do you see when you look at your reflection in the mirror. What is your perception of yourself. How can you change that perception? What do you do to encourage yourself each day? Let’s talk about it in the comments.