Broken Mirrors & Empty Frames
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV
I struggled for years with my physical appearance; my reflection in the mirror, so much so that I avoided looking in them at all costs. Except for getting dressed in the morning, I made a conscious effort not to look to my right or left if I happened to pass one.
BC (Before Christ)
Growing up, my sisters and I spent many summers at my grandmother's house in Michigan. It was hot and humid, but we were used to it living in Chicago. One particular summer, I spent most days inside the house, which had no air conditioning, instead of going out to play. For some reason, the onslaught of the enemy on my mind was fierce that summer. I didn't realize that was the issue because I didn't understand such things, yet, because that was before I found Christ (although I was going to church regularly). One day my older sister came into the house and scolded me, again, for always staying in the house. She often asked me why I wasn't going outside, and I would just shrug her off. On this day, she had been sitting on our porch, talking to a young man who lived in the neighborhood. While they were talking, I had to go outside for something and then went back into the house. When she came inside to scold me, she said, "See, Sharmayne! I told you, you need to go outside more because Craig (I don't really remember his name, so I made one up) saw you and said who's she? And when I told him you were my sister, he said he didn't know I had another sister!" There were six of us girls, no boys, and he just assumed there were only five, since that's all he saw. The saddest thing was, and my sister didn't know it, I was secretly happy he didn't know I was a sister because I believed people thought I was an embarrassment because of the way I looked when compared to my sisters. I also believed we were always being compared. I often questioned why God would place me in such a beautiful family. I didn't want Craig, or anyone else, to say, "Why is everyone pretty except her?" That's how crippled I was from believing the enemy's lies that there was something wrong with the face God created me with.
AC (After Christ)...Right?
One day, a few weeks after my sister died at the tender age of 41, I went to her house to help gather and box up some of her things. My brother-in-law said I could also take anything I wanted to keep as a memento. As we were going through everything, I was in awe at the number of pictures, framed, in boxes, in photo albums, there were. There seemed to be hundreds, of course, I’m exaggerating, but only just a little. These were pictures of her and her family and friends on trips, out to dinner, at camp, you name it. She was smiling or laughing in every single one. So much so that it made me smile as I literally lived through those moments with her. She looked so happy, and I know she was because she would tell me about some of their adventures. My sister had lived her life to the fullest. It might not have been perfect, but she made the most of every opportunity and never stayed cooped up in the house. I went to help pack things up, believing it would be a very sad task, but instead, I was so happy to see those pictures and remember her spirit. Then it hit me. I realized there were very few pictures of me out in the world. In fact, I had put a lot of energy into dodging the camera, and many I did take, I really didn’t look happy in them. At that moment, in my sister’s house, I realized my problem. I was not walking in the victory I claimed in Christ (See "I'M DONE" Blog). I was still looking in man’s mirror, not God’s. Still believing there was something wrong with the face I saw; with the way He created me. This affected my ability to truly have a good time at different events because in the back of my head, I was hoping I wouldn’t encounter a camera. Then, if someone did happen to catch me and snap a pic, I hoped they wouldn’t show anyone so they wouldn’t see my, what I was convinced was a terrible looking face. This was back in the days prior to cell phones that take pics so you couldn’t see them before sharing them.
Once those things came on the scene, if I agreed to take any pictures with anyone, I always demanded to view it before it was saved. Most times I would delete it if the person let me hold the camera to check. It was that deep for me.
Always Remember the Victories
I began thinking about my sister who lived her life and loved taking pictures, loved capturing memories, even after her stroke and cancer had left her paralyzed; the medications had changed her appearance, taken her hair, with regrowth more than once; sometimes so weak and tired she didn't want to do anything; but she still smiled for pictures. So, I made a promise that I would always take pictures. Mark every event I could with them. I decided I wouldn't look at any pictures after I took them (most times...haha) and would tell the photographer that I trusted them to post what they thought looked good. I decided to walk in victory and not be left without photo memories of the full life in Christ I had chosen to live.
I'm learning that we must always remember the victories God brings us through as He walks with us on, or to, the road that leads to Him. Sometimes we start to lose our footing without even realizing it. The enemy wants to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants us to be distracted and forget how far we've come, forget our commitment to trust in the Lord with every step. But God always takes us to a point that jogs our memory, so we remember where we are and whose we are. He and His angels guiding and encouraging us along the way.
"Hold up my goings in they paths, that my footsteps slip not." Psalms 17:5 KJV
"Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; So that my feet did not slip." 2 Samuel 22:37
Love Letter Truths
I've put together some reminders from God's love letter (the Bible) to us that help me when I'm tempted to forget my victories in this area. Perhaps they will encourage you or someone you love.
CLICK BELOW FOR SOME LOVE LETTER TRUTHS
Jesus loves you!