photo © 2009 Kevin Gessner | more info (via: Wylio) I see beauty all around me. I find it in painted sunset skies and majestic mountains. I recognize it in the joy-filled eyes of the poor. I discover it in the authentic sharing of hearts.
I see beauty all around me. But I can't see it in the mirror.
My self-image---that picture inside my heart of how I view myself---has long been distorted from a lifetime of feeling not enough. No matter how hard I try, being good/smart/funny/pretty enough has always felt far beyond my reach.
Looking back over the past few years, I can see, as if in slow motion, how that belief was reinforced even more.
My husband's 18-month affair with my friend shouted that I wasn't desirable enough. When he left me after ten years of marriage, I heard that I'm worth leaving more than I'm worth fighting for. And when he told me on his way out that he didn't love me and probably never did, it reiterated that I'm not valuable enough to be loved.
The fragile remains of that picture in my heart loudly shattered into a million pieces.
I am not enough.
Slowly God has been restoring my heart and, with it, the picture I have of myself.
I know He wants me to see myself as beautiful, but the reality is, it remains a daily struggle for me.
Like Alabama in the aftermath of its tornado, all I see in my reflection is the broken, messy, ugly devastation of my life. And I can't help but question how there can be beauty in all this rubble.
God responds by lovingly and gently showing me.
As I hear from people who've found hope and strength from hearing my story, I get glimpses of the ways He's making life out of my brokenness.
But I know God doesn't only want me to see the beauty in how He's using me. He wants me to see the beauty that's in me.
If I'm being most honest, that part is probably going to take a while. Possibly a very long while.
I know a healthy self-image will come solely from staring long and hard into Jesus' face. I catch my true reflection only when I see myself in His eyes.
It's there I see that I am enough because He is enough.
It's there I see that I am desired, valued, and fought for.
It's there I see that He recklessly loves the beautiful mess that is me.