After having a week of feeling generally off--off schedule, off my game, off balance, off kilter--I have been looking forward to the "Then Sings My Soul" Saturday meme. This really fits my niche, picking a song that speaks to me and writing about how it touches my life so that you can experience it too. But there was some pressure in my own mind to find just the right song...the one that really fit my mood and would allow the Spirit to speak through me, and not for me to just blab about. I think I found it...and after checking out many different versions of it as a video, I chose this one.
The song is "Mirror, Mirror" by Barlow Girl. If you have teenage or tween-aged daughters, you owe it to yourself to check these girls out! They are sisters, and they are the Christian alternative to girls like Britney and Lindsay. Now mind you, I'm 30+ and these girls have only been around a couple of years (okay...maybe 5), but I was drawn to their music because the first song that I heard of theirs on the radio had a mean guitar riff. (I hate to admit it, but I have a major rock streak running through me!) My daughter also fell in love with them, and that is a major plus for me.
Below is the YouTube video (not the band's original video) of "Mirror, Mirror". I like the pictures and the lyrics being present together, and this particular version makes me want to cry. I believe it must have been originally done for teen girls battling with body issues--cutting, eating disorders, mutilation, makeup issues, etc. If you have small children, you might watch the video before you let them watch it. None of the pictures are terribly graphic, although there are several of girls who are so thin you can count their vertebrae and ribs, and one showing a girl who is bleeding. But please, if you aren't familiar with the song, watch it all the same. The message of the song far outweighs these quick clips!
I can't speak for you, but I CAN and WILL speak for myself. I hate the mirror most days. I rarely have a day where I pass the mirror and feel good about myself. It just doesn't happen. The mirror reminds me of everything that I do not like about myself--my weight, my acne, my nose, my chest, etc. The mirror distorts what is real. (Okay, my self esteem or lack thereof partnered with Satan's jabs are what really distorts what is real, the mirror only makes all of that more tangible.)
It is so easy to spend too much time in front of the mirror in the morning trying to make the reflection into something that I'm happy with. But who is there telling me that what I see is not beautiful? How did it happen that the mirror became so powerful?
I don't know. But what I do know is this: I am NOT alone in my struggle to accept and like what I see in the mirror. I am not the only person who attempts to change what they see so that they can accept it. I am not the only woman who wants to cry when she sees herself in the mirror from time to time. I am not the only woman who criticizes herself when she looks at the reflection thinking: If only I could lose 15 pounds; if only I were three inches taller; if only my nose were thinner; if only, if only, if only....
But God has made each of us unique. In Psalm 139 it says:
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it. (vs.13 & 14, NLT)
"And how well I know it?" Yes, the Psalm writer reflected on God's intimate knowledge and creation of him and was amazed, but better than that...he says he knows it! This is a person who is not looking in the mirror and questioning what they should change so that they like themselves. He is marvelling over the complexity of his being, created by God.
Today, do you know that God made you MAH-VELOUS? When you look at your reflection in the mirror, can you stop from criticizing what you see and instead embrace the wonder of what God made you to be? Can you love yourself the way that God made you?
Father, remind me gently and repeatedly just how beautiful I am, not because my hair is perfectly coiffed, my teeth are precisely straight and white, my skin is blemish-free, or my clothes are top name brand, but because You love me and created me. Each time I want to tear myself down in front of the mirror, Father, remind that physical beauty is fleeting and subjective, and instead give me deep reassurance that I'm becoming a woman of Your beauty from deep within. And as You reassure me of these things, give me the strength and the boldness to remind my sisters of their beauty and to encourage them to find eternal, internal beauty from their relationships with You. In Jesus' name, AMEN.
Verses to check out:
I Peter 3:1-6
Song of Solomon 4:7