I have my days when I would rather not look in the mirror, but those days are less than what they used to be.
As I continue to share my mother's writings/stories in this blog, I see so many parallels with my own life. My mother had her own story about a mirror and the reflection she saw in it one day.
My story took place in Nashville, TN. I remember the day we were going to start recording the music for my album, "Inside Things" there in Nashville. We planned to start with the song, "Wonderfully Created". I had written this song thanks to a teenage girls' slumber party booking (yes - that was unusual) and our theme was from Psalm 139, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made".
We were planning to start the week of recording with that song. I got up early and had my devotions, meditating in the Psalm to prepare my heart for recording. This led to a challenging conversation sparked by the voice of God when he asked me to thank him, out loud, for making me so wonderfully, just like David did in that Psalm.
Our conversation went something like this:
God: "I want you to thank me for making you so wonderfully, just like David did here in this passage."
FD: Hesitation. "Do I have to do it out loud? Can't I just think it?"
God: "No, I want you to say it out loud."
FD: More hesitation. "But I don't want to."
FD: (Knowing how Adam and Eve must have felt when God asked them why they hid. He KNEW why! But he wanted to hear THEM say it). "I guess the truth is, if I say it out loud, I feel like I have to mean it and now that you ask me to do that, I realize I don't feel like I'm wonderfully made—no offense to your craftsmanship, but I don't!"
God: "Why don't you like how you're made?"
FD: "Well, I don't like my teeth. They are crooked and when my mother offered to have them corrected, I took it as an insult to my looks and it hurt me. I wish now I would have taken her up on her offer. When I get my pictures taken, I hate smiling with my teeth because I'm embarrassed by them. Not to mention the massive underbite I have and how it makes my jaw stick out."
God: "I know all of this about you. But you ARE wonderfully made. Do you think you could begin to thank me out loud for making you?"
FD: (Knowing within my heart that God only asks things like this of us because he intends to help us and has more work he wants to do on the inside, I responded.) "I will certainly try...with Your help!"
God: "I'd be glad to help!"
From that moment on, I began doing just what he asked. I still have many days when I struggle, but he has begun to help me change how I think about myself.
Years later, you can see why reading the following story from my mother's life hits home with me!
From Bertha Heisey's story:
"One night that same spring, on April 1, 1947, myself, Paul and Dougie (my son) were in our car with my brother Chester, his wife Norma and their son, Charles, who was about Dougie's age. Paul was driving and we were almost home. I was sleeping with my head resting on Paul's shoulder and Dougie was on my lap (this was before child car seats, airbags, and seat belts). We were within sight of our destination, but Paul must have nodded off–and we hit a concrete bridge.
No one was killed, but our new car was greatly damaged and my face was changed forever. Earlier that same day, I had had an interchange with my mother. I was at my mother's house passing in front of the hall mirror—I looked in the mirror and said, within hearing of my mother, "I wish I looked different!"
My mother said, "Oh Bertha! You be careful what you wish for!" Well, the car accident that happened later the same day, left me with my front teeth missing and a jaw broken in 5 places and indeed, I did look different—my jaw was permanently rearranged. The injury was complicated and the healing of my jaw was a drawn-out-process, taking months to complete the surgeries and dental work. A special bridge plate with two new front teeth had to be specially made to fit my mouth, which I still wear.
But my mother never said a word to me again about what I had said when I looked in the mirror that day. And that's something I appreciated about my mother. She lived such a good example. She could have said when I came home from the hospital—"Now Bertha, see what happened!" But she never said another thing to me about it. All down through the years I have grown to appreciate her more and more."
So back to my original question. How do you feel about yourself?
What are some beautiful traits that you could begin to focus on, instead of the ones you don't like?
Everyone has something beautiful about them! What do you adore about yourself?
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
I know that full well.
Click on the video to hear the song "Wonderfully Created."