I saw myself walking through a hall of mirrors, each mirror showing something different about myself. Curious, I began to look into each one. In the first one I looked skewed and blurry. I squinted my eyes and inched forward, but it didn't matter the angle, it didn't reflect me. Within the mirror, I saw a happy and carefree little girl with bigger dreams than her little heart. Discouragement crept into my spirit, as I could no longer recognize this girl.
Hoping to find an answer, I looked into the next mirror.
But in this mirror I see what I fear people might think of me captured in a whirlwind of confusing, yet convincing worries; "Do they think I'm a mess? Do they think I'm weird? They must think I'm a snob or that I don't care, or that I care too much." I realized that in this mirror of swirling thoughts I would only find myself worried over things I didn't know to be true or not. So I quickly rushed to the next one. I began to grow a little impatient.
In the next mirror I see an imperfect image. Shattered here and there, and broken. It represented my aches and pains, my excuses, my holding on to the past or present that is not helping me become a better me. As I looked into this one, I began to become even more confused and even more worried. I moved on.
The next mirror was darkened. It represented my fears realized. I saw so many worries, both big and small. I saw the question marks in my future, whether it was the future of the next ten minutes, or the scary time long ahead that I didn't know about. I began to feel a sense of urgency and anxiety.
I began to assess each mirror more quickly, picking up the pace as I looked into each one, never completely liking what I saw. Each image of myself was one that just didn't measure up.
Some mirrors portrayed me as not the ideal weight I should be, in some I had too many wrinkles, too many gray hairs, and I saw myself as ungracefully aging, whereas in others I was too young and incapable, in some I was deemed impure, either by my own choices or as the victim of anothers'.
In some mirrors, I wasn't enough for what society defined as acceptable, and my achievements seemed to laugh at me. Some mirrors had horrible words people had spoken over myself, some of the words maybe no one had said, but I had said them about myself, words with weight to them that sunk my spirit. Words like ugly, disgusting, miserable, ungrateful, lost, stuck, fearful, stupid, worthless, to name a few.
I saw another mirror with chains on it. In my heart I knew it would have a terrible reflection to face. I knew I had to look into it, even if I didn't want to. In the mirror I saw myself bleeding. The blood trickled from where I had tried to harm myself... and I knew it reflected the condition of my self-loathing heart.
I looked back at the long hall I had traveled through, discouraged. I looked up to see only more mirrors. I didn't think I could bear to look into another one. I was surrounded by them and I began to feel so defeated and crushed by the weight of pressure I felt. Each day I would leave the hall feeling more exhausted and discouraged than the day before.
Every day I would wake up only to face the same hall of mirrors. Sometimes they took on different forms and some days more mirrors were added. Hopeful, I would glance at the new ones curious to find out if my resolution could be found within it, and still look into the old ones to see if perhaps their version of myself would be different. They always failed me. Desperate to find a solution, I tried to cover up the person they portrayed. In different seasons, some that lasted longer than others and some ongoing, I hid myself within fashion, makeup, perfectionism, relationships, a slew of addictions, love of money, excessiveness, depression, unhealthy mindsets pertaining to food, trusting in anything and everything that could cover up what the mirrors portrayed. I wanted to show everyone a better reflection of myself, but it seemed that the more I tried, the more I was at a loss.
I couldn't change anything about my perception. I couldn't run and hide. I could only face my disappointment every day and felt like I was running in circles, constantly incomplete and lacking. I was SO weary and tired from the journey. I caught a glimpse of another mirror at the end of the hallway with a light shining from it. I knew it didn't have ANY answers, it would just be like all the other mirrors. A tear began to trickle down my face. I could feel my face becoming warm with the steady flow of them. I felt lost. I felt confused. I felt betrayed. I felt so broken. My heart seemed to be in a thousand pieces. And I didn't know where to turn or who to look to. Everything I had trusted seemed to have slipped through my fingers. I couldn't even trust in the lies I felt were truths because I couldn't distinguish the truth about myself from a lie anymore.
I had allowed the mirrors to skew the image of myself. It's like their untruths had leaked into my heart and the core of my being and my thoughts had become a thousand lies along with the abandoned pieces of my heart. I began to give in to my tears and just weep. I found myself weeping for what seemed like hours, every once in a while, looking again at the hall of mirrors I had just come from, hoping to find some relief, but not seeing any help at all. I truly felt like a lost cause. I wasn't sure who I was anymore.
Somehow, through this trial and wrestle, through my sadness, I thought again about the one mirror at the end of the hallway that I kept ignoring. I tried to convince myself it would only disappoint me as each of the other mirrors had. But I couldn't stop thinking about it. Subtly, I began to feel hope again. A glimmer of light fell upon my heart and urged me towards it, to continue my journey. The mirror was displayed on a beautiful vanity, at the end of what had felt like the journey of a lifetime. This mirror was different. It had a place for me to sit and rest if I would take the time to look in it, unlike the full bodied mirrors that demanded me to stand upon my weary feet and give them my full attention. Thoughts flooded me again about how this mirror had nothing for me, which peaked my curiosity. I hadn't looked into it yet, so how did I know? I had only assumed because of previous misconstrued judgments. And if it had nothing for me, then why did my heart feel so drawn to it? And why was there such an opposition against it? I just knew I had to look... I knew it had to offer me something, anything better than what I had previously found in the hallway fading behind me.
By this time, I was crawling. I brought myself to the light of this vanity and took what I thought would be just a quick glance. My glance became a fixed gaze. In this mirror, I saw the truth. Even when I tried to look away, I couldn't because the words within it now lingered in my spirit. My heart was captured.
Each time I looked into it, I was brought to a deeper understanding that the mirrors behind me could never define who I was if I didn't let them. I realized that I didn't have to look at them anymore, yet that even if I did, this mirror would always be here to graciously remind me of the truth of who I was.
I finally saw myself as clear as daylight, as astonishing as I was ever meant to be in the first place. I saw my reflection through the eyes of my Creator. He looked right through the image I had perceived of myself, through my eyes, through the previous mirrors, to my heart, and into the very core of the real me.
I knew instantly the depth of love He had for me by choosing to die in my place on the cross meant my complete restoration in knowing Him. I realized that every beat of His heart was for me, every breath that He breathed from before time itself had begun was for me. It sunk in deep that it was He who had numbered every hair on my head and that even the sand on the seashore couldn't outnumber His thoughts towards me.
I began to realize that He was my Father, my Friend, my Beloved, my care taker, my life giver, my grace, my hope, my peace, my healing, my joy, my confidence, my bravery, my strength in each and every weaknesses, portrayed so readily by the mirrors behind me. I began to believe that He knew the prayers I would pray and the thoughts I would think before even I knew of them.
I began to understand that within the free will of my choices was a wonderful romance that He was just waiting for me to grab a hold of, because He had created me for a relationship greater than any I had ever know or dreamed of, which was to be known by Him and through Him and for Him.
I began to find more and more meaning each time I looked into it, a purpose and a reason for being, a God who created me with a love and compassion bigger than I could have ever imagined, and that He had a destiny for me that was greater than my own plans and hopes, and that He was worthy of my trust.
I was now captivated by the image of myself in this mirror, an image no longer tainted by critiques or insults, but one that was becoming a reflection of Jesus, much like the moon reflects the sun. So now, with each new day He blesses me with, I run past the other mirrors as quickly as I can. I now sit down to look into this mirror of truth, over and over and over and over again... and I will never look away. I will allow the mirror of truth, God's word, to continually heal and wash over my soul.
Unfiltered Heart Vision:
Within my small space upon this earth, I have begun to realize a few things; I had allowed the mirrors this world offers to skew the vision of myself. The more I am filtered by the world, the more unclear I see myself. The filters of this world leave me looking hazy and misconstrued, and not my true self. But the more I am filtered through God's word, the clearer things become of who I am called to be as a child of His Kingdom. I have realized just how desperately I need the filter of truth to show me who I am and to become unfiltered by the world.