It was the sort of story told with a bit of a laugh, because crying is just not going to help. A friend was sharing about an incident she experienced when she took her 95 year old mother shopping for clothes. Her mom’s mind is not as keen as it once was, and I know it is often difficult for her to be reminded of this when they face situations together. As she escorted her into the dressing room, her mom was startled by her own reflection. “Who is that lady, and what is she doing in here?” she asked. She then went on to complain about how rude it was for “that stranger” to be in there and, in an effort to understand where “she” came from, peered behind the full length mirror. “Momma, that’s you” my friend replied. Her mom was reluctant to accept this truth and continued to try a get the “other lady” to leave. After a lively debate about the “other lady” she eventually accepted her reflection.
I was immediately struck by how easily I understood the mindset of her elderly mother. While I have not looked for the stranger behind a dressing room’s full length mirror….I HAVE certainly been startled by her appearance. I have stood alone in a dressing room, unable to ignore my full refection. “Who is that woman? When did she get here? What happened to the woman who used to look back at me from the mirror?” I ask myself. The “other lady” looking out at me from the mirror can sometimes be discouraging.
My honest reflection is useful. I can use it to adjust my attire, fix my appearance and even find impetus and encouragement in achieving health goals. My reflection can also be a source of self-criticism. Sometimes, as women especially, we see our reflection and focus on the way the world sees us. Instead of seeing the ME God created and continues to form, I see my faults and weaknesses.
As I stand before the dressing room mirror, I can almost picture it….Satan hurling criticisms at me, each thought tossed atop me, like a discarded undergarment, weighing me down, until the pile completely encumbers me.
I call these lies the “discarded UNdergarments”, you may recognize them:
“I am UNworthy”
“I am UNacceptable”
“I am UNsuccessful”
“I am UNinspiring”
“I am UNfullfilled”
In Christ, these are all “UNtrue”. In Him and by His grace I am worthy, acceptable, successful, inspiring, fulfilled….
Today, I am reminded and challenged to appreciate the “other lady” in the mirror. She is not a stranger, nor is she evidence of all that is wrong with me…no, that unexpected reflection before me is a testament to the grace of God.
Through her faith in God, that Jesus is His son, that He died for her sins and rose from death…in this, she has eternal forgiveness of her sins. She is imperfect, yet through Him made whole. She is weak, yet in Him made strong. She is not without hope. That “other lady” is more than a reflection of my fallible flesh.
Every day, let us throw off the lies that discourage and distract us. Each time we see our reflection, may we see ourselves as God sees us….forgiven and full of His grace.
“While we look not at things which are seen, but at things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18