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Friday, April 17, 2009

Upon Reflection...


Ugh. Why do they have to have mirrors in here?

There’s no way I can make it through this. Little Miss Skinny Winny is right in front of me in her ‘lil piece of material disguised as FIT to wear in public! Now I get to stare at BOTH of us in the mirror. YUCK! You’re too out of shape, Laura. It’s disgusting.

Yes, I actually have these thoughts sometimes…and last week in my aerobics class, they were running rampant through my head. My attitude read, I used to be “one of them,” you know. Well, with the exception of the skimpy clothing. But now? Now I am a red-faced, hyperventilating, under-confident, thrumpy, almost-forty something somebody.
Obviously my body wasn’t the only thing struggling with a much-needed workout. My spirit was too.
Praise the Lord He spoke straight through the booming music and into my heart by the time class ended. He reminded me that with Him, all things are possible. That NOTHING is too hard for Him. That He wanted me to persevere and love these people while I’m at it. That He’s more concerned with the state of my heart than the image in the mirror.

My attitude had been placed into submission with my Savior, and it was a good thing. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been prepared for what would happen next. As I entered the ladies’ locker room, I walked straight into an older teenager with a perfect body in her teeny tiny bikini. She smiled at me big and said, “Hi.” I looked straight into her eyes, smiled and said “Hey there” back. I made my way to my locker and grabbed my things, because I certainly was not changing my clothes in there now.

As I was about to leave, teeny weeny bikini girl’s (let’s call her “TWBG” for short.) friend came out of a draped dressing area in absolute distress. “I can’t do this!” she said to TWBG.

“You look great, Jody!” TWBG said back, “You do, I promise.”

Then the unthinkable. TWBG involves ME.
“Ma’am (ugh), tell her great she looks.”

The mommy/discipler in me took over. I forced myself not to look down at her body, but straight into her eyes instead. I thought, Okay, if you tell her not to worry about it, she’ll think she looks bad. If I tell her she looks good in it, I’m feeding the wrong part of her.

“Sweetheart, you are so beautiful. Don’t you cry now, okay? God has made you such a beautiful young lady.”

What I wanted to say is, “What are you two young things doing running around in skimpy bikinis? You need to cover up now, you hear!?! Got a t-shirt in that locker?” Maybe in a future locker room counseling session.

My heart broke in two as I watched Jody go over to the sink, look in the mirror and rinse her tears. I wanted to continue our conversation, but the Holy Spirit restrained me. As the two of them left, saying their polite goodbyes, I sat down on the bench and prayed, crying silently in my soul for this girl, for today’s generation, and for the woman in our aerobics class fussing in the mirror over her body just an hour earlier.

Oh wait, that was me!

Are you ever “that me” or “that her” in the mirror?

It may not be your appearance, or your weight, or your age. For some of you, it’s your talent, your spiritual giftedness, your domestic abilities or the lack thereof. Maybe it’s your personality, your spirituality, or some other stark reality.

Why do we do this? Talk down to ourselves, compare ourselves, wish ourselves away?

Blame it on the media, the devil, “the flesh,” the evil end times, whatever—but what matters is what God has to say about us, and what HE tells us to say about us.

He says to think on “what is true,” (Philippians 4:8a) and to “take captive every thought,” making it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5b). He says He is more concerned with what He sees in our hearts than what we look or act like. (1 Samuel 16:7b)

Here’s a little bit of Truth:

You are beautiful to the King. (Psalm 45:11)

You are His perfect creation. (Psalm 139:13)

You are radiant when you look to Him. (Psalm 34:5)

You can live life to the full if you believe Him and not the enemy. (John 10:10)

You are dead to the old flesh, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3)

You are better off not to compare yourself to others. (Galatians 6:4)

Ladies, I could go on and on. This is not about whether or not you should lose weight or improve on yourself, or about getting rid of strongholds or habits.
If you don’t understand God’s perspective of you and begin to think rightly on it--the Truth of the matter--then you will lack the power and strength that you need to tackle needed changes or sin struggles anyway.
Look to Him. Seek His face. Dig into His Truth.

Pray for change in your thinking about who He made you to be.

And I’ll meet you there.

"Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of His face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him.”
2 Corinthians 3:16-18, The Message


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12 Comments:

Blogger Denise said...

Speak it sweet sister, such powerful truth. I love you.

April 17, 2009 at 1:00 AM  
Blogger Joanne Sher said...

Oh, honey - so much truth here. SO many need to hear this. Amazing.

April 17, 2009 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Patty Wysong said...

Laura, you packed a wallop in this! There's so much in here for all of us. Sooooo much truth that we know with our heads but struggle with accepting and clinging to in our hearts. Thank you.

April 17, 2009 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

LauraLee, I wish I could share this with every teenage girl I pass on the street. We do need to focus more on what God says about us than what the world our our own thoughts say. We are beautiful in His eyes and He delights in us! Awesome teaching, my friend!

April 17, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Sherri Ward said...

This is a very good reminder that God loves us no matter what we look like, and to be thankful for the Godly conscience He gives us.

April 17, 2009 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Hey Lauralee,

This was great. I'm going through the 50's body now, and have NOT been a happy camper.

I'm trying to keep my eyes ON JESUS, and not be so occupied with what I see in the mirror.

I want to see a reflection of HIM when I do look.

Funny, check out my post today, you'll get a good laugh!!

April 17, 2009 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Esthermay said...

Hey, Friend!

Ya' know -- I have been completely captivated by this Susan Boyle/Britain's Talent video that is all-over-everywhere --- There are so many spiritual applications in that video! There are devotional thoughts and teaching material for days!

Then I come and read your devotional here at the Cafe' and realize once again that everywhere I go,
I must see those around me through the eyes of God
. . . Hear them through the ears of God
. . . And love them with the heart of God!
This was beautiful and timely!
Thank you!
~es.

April 17, 2009 at 12:39 PM  
Anonymous Mary R Snyder said...

powerful post! How often I get so caught up in my own stuff!

Thanks for making me think and for helping me remember that I am His creation!

April 17, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Betsy Markman said...

Love this! I've gained so much weight this year, and I can hardly stand to look at myself in profile. I need to be reminded of God's perspective.

April 17, 2009 at 6:23 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

Thanks for this helpful post.
I'm making copies for my daughters.
(and one for me too!)
This is going on the frig!

April 18, 2009 at 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Lesley-Anne Evans said...

You are always brave enough to speak about the yucky real life stuff and the life-changing God truth in a way that is never judgmental and always encouraging. Thanks LauraLee.
Lesley-Anne

April 18, 2009 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger LauraLee Shaw said...

Thank you all so much for the encouragement. I am continuing to pray the Truth will set many ladies free in this area. Including myself!

April 18, 2009 at 1:17 PM  

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