We often hear that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” often referring to the opinion of the person who is “beautiful.” But when we are held by Christ, beauty is in the eye of our Savior!
This is Miranda’s story:
“LORD, you have seen what is in my heart. You know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know what I’m thinking even though you are far away. You know when I go out to work and when I come back home. You know exactly how I live. LORD, even before I speak a word, you know all about it.
When I was 16, I had an abusive boyfriend, and he was abusive in every aspect. I would have to say the words hurt the most, even more than the punches. In the relationship I felt like I was worthless, unlovable, unwanted by anyone…including him. He eventually dumped me, but the scars kept seeping.
“You are all around me, behind me and in front of me. You hold me safe in your hand. I’m amazed at how well you know me. It’s more than I can understand.
After the break-up, I felt like I had to give myself worth and value…so I dove into work. I was in 4-H and FFA [Future Farmers of America] during this time, but being a member wasn’t enough, I had to be in leadership. I became the president of 4-H and then in leadership of the FFA chapter. I showed rabbits competitively and did well, but that wasn’t enough. I became first in the state of PA [Pennsylvania] and that wasn’t enough. I became first in the United States, but that wasn’t enough. Then I did with two breeds, then three breeds, then four breeds. It just still didn’t feel like enough.
“How can I get away from your Spirit? Where can I go to escape from you? If I go up to the heavens, you are there. If I lie down in the deepest parts of the earth, you are also there.
I played the clarinet, and I did well, but again, that wasn’t enough. I then played my way to first chair, however, that still wasn’t enough. I was in marching band in my high school, and I did well, but it wasn’t enough. I then became head drum major and was in charge of the band, but again, that wasn’t enough. I now found myself over-committed, with a schedule that didn’t allow myself time to breathe. I held a 3.2 gpa [grade point average] and was in multiple honors societies, so my school work didn’t suffer, but I still felt unfulfilled and unhappy.
“Suppose I were to rise with the sun in the east. Suppose I travel to the west where it sinks into the ocean. Your hand would always be there to guide me. Your right hand would still be holding me close.
I eventually got into college and completely crashed. I tried to continue my full plate while I was there, but I never actually dealt with anything that I had lingering in my past. The abuse and the hateful actions were still festering, and I only started dealing with them when my life slowed down a bit…to the distress of my roommate. None of this made me feel any better about myself…it was all just worthless, like the clanging of a cymbal (and trust me, at this point I knew what that sounded like).
“Suppose I were to say, “I’m sure the darkness will hide me. The light around me will become as dark as night.” Even that darkness would not be dark to you. The night would shine like the day, because darkness is like light to you.”
I had a bunch of relationships at this point that all ended in the same way…where I felt completely worthless and used, and they moved on to someone better, prettier, more accomplished. My life was dictated by the ways others saw me, and I paid no attention to God. My value, my abilities, my love all needed to come from and be rooted in Him [God] for ANY of it to make sense.
“You created the deepest parts of my being. You put me together inside my mother’s body. How you made me is amazing and wonderful. I praise you for that. What you have done is wonderful. I know that very well. None of my bones was hidden from you when you made me inside my mother’s body. That place was as dark as the deepest parts of the earth. When you were putting me together there, your eyes saw my body even before it was formed. You planned how many days I would live. You wrote down the number of them in your book before I had lived through even one of them.
As my relationship with the Lord got stronger, the image I saw in the mirror got prettier. I wasn’t seeing me in the mirror, but Christ’s reflection.
“God, your thoughts about me are priceless. No one can possibly add them all up. If I could count them, they would be more than the grains of sand. If I were to fall asleep counting and then wake up, you would still be there with me.
So the next time you look in the mirror, don’t see yourself, your scars, your past, your face. See the image of Christ you show people each and every day in your smile, the grace you walk with, and the love you show because of the love you’ve been given. You’ll be surprised how much your image changes.
“God, see what is in my heart. Know what is there. Test me. Know what I’m thinking. See if there’s anything in my life you don’t like. Help me live in the way that is always right.”
And help us all, Lord, to see ourselves how YOU see us.