When the floor tells the story...


...standing in the mirror, nitpicking at the 5th outfit of the day.  Examining every dimple, roll, and wrinkle of this aging body.  Mustering any bit of energy to tell myself the truths I had learned so long ago…. Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful; I know that full well.”

I’d memorized it, written it, and even declared it as my “life verse.”  But standing in the mirror once again, I found myself not believing it.  I still felt disgusted at the size of my hips and embarrassed that my six-pack abs now resembled a waterbed mattress. GAHH!!! Back to the closet to find something—anything—that will make me feel skinny and beautiful.   “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made…I’m made in God’s image…I’m beautiful….” I would tell myself over and over.  Yet, by the time this scenario had played out, my floor  was covered in clothes and my soul covered in shame.  “How could I have gotten this way?  What did I do wrong? I’m such a failure. If only I had the discipline to stick to a diet, or the motivation to workout more, then I wouldn't be in this mess.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!?!”

Years of this cyclical behavior continued, only to find myself deeper in a hole of negative body image and mourning for the body I once had.  I knew all the Scriptures to tell me otherwise, so why wasn’t it working?  Now to top it off, I feel I have failed as a Christian, too!

My daughter is an artist, able to draw or paint anything you put in front of her.  But she does with her art what I do with my body—stare at it, pick at it, look for the flaws. Out of frustration one day because it wasn't "perfect," she was ready to destroy a piece of her work.  I said, “Honey, that is really good. Everything you draw is so beautiful.”  She looked up at me with skeptical teenager eyes and said, “You have to say that. You’re my mom.”   And it hit me--that’s EXACTLY what I’ve been saying to God all these years. “God, you have to say nice things about me. You’re my Father.”

Just like my daughter didn’t trust my words about her creation, I didn’t trust God with his. I realized, after all these years, my focus wasn’t supposed to be on the words of the verse, but on the ONE who spoke them.  I had made the verse about me, when, actually, it is about the all-powerful God who spoke all things into existence. I didn’t believe the verses because I didn’t trust the God who said them.   I would try to muster up the belief I was all these great things, when that was the problem right from the start--making something about me that wasn’t about me at all.

It’s easy to do isn’t it…..use Scriptures to feel smart and beautiful and to boost your self-esteem? Slap a verse on a situation and hope to be comforted for the time being.  But too often, that’s just a bandaid  on an outward issue, when what's needed is open heart surgery to fix the real problem.  When I stand in the mirror, picking out flaws, feeling the shame because I don't have the body I once had—my focus is in the wrong place.  And if my focus is on me, I come out of the storm battered and beat up,  destroying anyone who gets in my way.  What if--INSTEAD--we stood in the mirror and sang praises to God? What if we told HIM how great and wonderful and mighty HE is?  What if we took the focus off of ourselves, and placed it solely on the only one who deserves all praise?

Is it true that I’m fearfully and wonderfully made? Yes. For sure. Is it because of anything I have done or deserved?  Absolutely not.  The reason I can find comfort in Psalm 139 is not because of what it says about me, but because of WHO said it.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, 
since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  

2 Corinthians. 4:18   

You Might Also Like


Popular Posts

Blog Archive