|I was in the sixth grade when I first ventured into the House of Mirrors at my hometown county fair — a mere 12 years old. My friends and I ran from booth to booth, suckered into paying good money to play rigged games. For hours we gave cash to various carnival characters, in hopes of winning a silly prize or a cheesy piece of jewelry we’d never wear.
But of all the sideshows at the carnival, the House of Mirrors captured my attention.
We walked through maze-like halls, giggling at the distorted images. Short and stubby. Tall and lanky. I looked at the various versions of myself and tried to decide which I liked best. Deep inside, in a place no one knew existed, I longed for another version of me. I did not like the one I knew best.
I now realize women all around the world grow up with a distorted view of who they really are. They look into the mirror and see words that don’t match the truth about who God created them to be.
They look into the mirror of value and see the word worthless.
They look into the mirror of success and see the word failure.
They look into the mirror of intelligence and see the word stupid.
They look into the mirror of competence and see the word inadequate.
They look into the mirror of acceptance and see the word rejected.
They look into the mirror of confidence and see the word insecure.
They look into the mirror of comparison and see the word inferior.
They look into the mirror of performance and see the words not good enough.
They look into the mirror of sufficiency and see the words not enough … period.
Many women live in a house of mirrors, believing distorted interpretations of who they are — and the devil polishes that mirror of deception daily.
I know the House of Mirrors well. I grew up there. Lived there for years.
For decades, feelings of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy held me captive to a “less-than” life. I was misshaped by others’ words interpreted by a needy little girl who just wanted to be accepted and loved.
You might expect me to say, “But then I met Jesus and all my insecurities miraculously disappeared.” Oh, I wish that were the case … but that little insecure, lost girl grew up to become an insecure Christian woman. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-30s that I began to look into the only mirror that really matters: God’s truth.
The Bible says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,” (Romans 12:2a). Eventually, an older woman in my church told me it was time to renew my mind with the truth of who I was, what I had and where I was (my position) as a child of God. She encouraged me to make a list of my true identity. I’d read those verses scattered throughout Scripture before, but when she encouraged me to cluster them all together, God began a new work in my mind and heart.
You are a saint. (Ephesians 1:1)
You are chosen. (Ephesians 1:11)
You are dearly loved. (Colossians 3:12)
You are holy. (Colossians 1:22)
These truths were right there on the pages of my Bible in black and white, and a few in red.
You are reconciled through Christ’s life. (Romans 5:10)
You are justified by Christ’s blood. (Romans 5:9)
You are free from condemnation through Christ’s death. (Romans 8:1)
You have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16)
You can do all things through Christ. (Philippians 4:13)
I knew the verses were the infallible Word of God, but I felt rather squeamish hearing them, reading them, believing them. But I had a choice to make. Was I going to believe God told the truth?
I decided that although the verses about my true identity as a child of God felt uncomfortable, I was going to believe God. And that’s what I’m challenging you to do today. Let’s decide to silence the inner critic holding us hostage. Let’s silence the lies stealing our confidence and look into the mirror of God’s truth. After all, God’s truth is the only “mirror” that matters.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I tend to believe the lies from my past rather than the truth of Scripture. Help me renew my mind with Your truth and see myself as You see me, no matter how beautiful it may be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.