This mirror is one of my favorite things in my house. I found it one day in the barn at my parent's house and asked if I could have it. They said sure and that it had been in the barn since my grandpa built the house back in the 70's and came from their other home before that. It definitely wasn't the most loved item, with dirt engrained in the wood and smeared across the glass so you couldn't really see your reflection and paint chipped away. I was going to paint it a different color, but once I cleaned it up, I realized I liked how it looked...paint chips and all. It made a difference once you could see your clear reflection in it.
For some reason, I've always loved mirrors. It's a weird thing and I don't know why, but it's a thing for me. So a mirror that actually came from my family and means something and looks cute in my house...jackpot!
Anyway...for some reason this image of a dirty and smudged mirror has been in my head lately. So often we think of ourselves like we're looking at ourselves in a dirty mirror, we can't see ourselves clearly and we can't see a true reflection. We don't see ourselves the way God intended. I think truly knowing where our identity rests, loving and accepting ourselves, engaging in healthy relationships, becoming self-aware, and dealing with our issues helps that mirror become more and more clear, so we can truly see who God created us to be.
This is a lesson I've been learning a lot about the last couple years. One reason I love life is because it's a journey and I feel like there's always something more to learn about others, about the world and about yourself! We need to love ourselves so that we can love others well and we need to continue to uncover who God created us to be and live into that identity. I think at some point in life we start building up walls, we start hesitating here, or ignoring those feelings there because we're scared to be who we truly are. We get caught up in what people think of us, we get caught up in being perfect and we get caught up in being who we think the world wants us to be...at some point we look in a mirror and it's so smudged and dirty, we can't see ourselves and who we truly are.
For me, this journey of uncovering who God created me to be, of loving myself, of holding myself to a standard of grace and not perfection, and finding my identity in the fact that I am dearly loved has not been easy, but it's worth it. I've realized too that sometimes we need others to help us "clean off our mirror." A lot of the time we don't actually see ourselves the way others see us or believe in ourselves the way others believe in us so sometimes we have to borrow that belief and accept that help from others.
For a long time I stared into my mirror and it's like all I saw was dirt and imperfection and smudges, but then a friend would come along and remind me where my identity should come from...and she took a rag and wiped some dirt away. Then another person came along and encouraged me and affirmed who I am and that's who God created me to be and took a rag and wiped a few more smudges away. Then another person gave me an opportunity to show that I was capable, even if I didn't believe it myself, and they took a rag and wiped away some dust.
My people coming around me helped me see myself more clearly. They helped me pick up my own rag and wipe away all the dirt and smudges so I could see myself clearly, so I could truly see who God created me to be.
It may just be me, but this has been a process over and over again for me. Sometimes I forget and the mirror gets a little cloudy, but God seems to always send someone with that rag in hand to speak some truth until I remember it myself.
I hope we can all be mirror cleaners for others...may we only speak truth so that others see themselves clearly.
I want you to know that even if you don't see yourself clearly right now, you matter, you have value and you need to start seeing yourself with love and grace. Sometimes we can't do it by ourselves and we have to borrow that truth from others, so here I am, telling you this truth, you are dearly loved, you were created on purpose and you are meant to be who you truly are...let me get my rag so I can come clean your mirror.