For years I squinted at my reflection trying to believe I was beautifully and wonderfully made for the Bible tells me so, and then one day my mother got cancer and I realized, it’s not about how you view yourself. It’s about how you view life.
As women, we suffer from an extreme case of Guilt, and many women believe the guiltier they feel, the better a person they are, but it’s a lie. All it’s doing is preventing us from effectively loving our children. Guilt makes us wallow within, versus allowing us to invest in others.
And sometimes it takes something as hard as cancer to learn what we had in the beginning: An identity defined by something other than the past.
When we believe we are loved, everything around us becomes, as Ann Voskamp says in One Thousand Gifts, grace. A hand-wrapped present from the father of the heavens, and once we start believing this, then, and only then, can we look in the mirror and see someone who deserves that gift.
And it’s in this love that we find our true calling. A calling that rises above weight and numbers and dress sizes. A calling that says we are made in God’s holy image, and what does this mean?
It means, we were created to give God a face.
Maybe this is done in the way you serve a customer at Wendy’s, or through the way you mop floors or fold the laundry, or maybe it’s in the way you splash paint on canvas.
However you do it, you are an extension of God on this earth. You are made to reflect his beauty. I believe that if we were to truly realize the identity we had in Christ, we could move mountains. We could show such extravagant mercy and compassion and gentleness, we would die for one another and to ourselves, while creating masterpieces of music and art and literature because we wouldn’t be.
Instead, he would. God would be, within us.
I’m giving away a copy of my new book today, Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy, co-authored by Dr. Dena Cabrera, and foreword by supermodel Emme.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
Giving birth produces life in more than one sense. It’s the baby powder, milky-breathed spirit found in the softest limbs you’ve ever felt, and it’s the respect a man feels for his wife as he watches her give up her body for another.
And it’s the deep-rooted soul satisfying feeling of knowing you were born for more than the mirror. That you were born to see the face of God in your child, and to know, you yourself are a miracle.
I want to give you this book. Tell me one thing you love about yourself and you'll be entered in the draw.
Otherwise, you can order it through the book’s website, here: www.mominthemirrorbook.com.
Emily Wierenga is a mom to two beautiful boys, wife to a handsome math teacher, and author of Chasing Silhouettes: How to Help a Loved One Battling an Eating Disorder (www.chasingsilhouettes.com) and Mom in the Mirror: Body Image, Beauty and Life After Pregnancy (www.mominthemirrorbook.com). To learn more, please visit www.emilywierenga.com.