When you look in the mirror who do you see? Do you recognise the person looking back at you?
I recently had a conversation with a young woman and jokingly asked her what she would do if one day she woke up and did not recognise the person looking back at her from the mirror. Her response broke my heart. Sadly she said “Mrs. D, that happens every day.”
This loss of identity she attributed to the demands and expectations which people have of her. She laments her right to be herself, doing the things which please her and most importantly, doing them because she wants to. What can she do about this situation? There is much that she can do about taking back control of her life and being herself again.
For one thing, I complimented her on how beautiful she was, how fluently she spoke and the fascinating blend of being demure yet exhibiting confidence at the same time. These characteristics I told her lent themselves to the obvious conclusion that she was well bred and well educated. This only begged the question of why she felt the way she did? Why could she not recognise herself in the face of the beautiful, intelligent young, woman looking back at her in the mirror?
We had a long conversation and here are a few things we discussed:
The Bible tells us that before we were born, before even any of our ancestors were born that God knew each one of us and called us by name. He knows the number of hairs on our individual head. Our identity is found in God who created us. The colour of our skin, our intelligence or lack thereof does not make us who we are. We are, simply because God is. As varied as our faces and characteristics are, we are all made in the image of God our Father. The next time you feel like you do not belong, remember whose you are.
I reminded her that no matter how she felt, what others said or how they saw her, she was fearfully and wonderfully made and that God loved her just as she was. He is not condemning her. He is just asking that she recognises that she has faults and that he is encouraging her to lay them at His feet and let Him do for her what she cannot do for herself – make her the person He knows she can be. You see, Mankind is only at its best when we let go and let God
We are nothing without God. Trying to please everyone so that they can like us or that we can fit in is an exercise in futility. Therefore, asking God for the strength and grace to do His will, and to put Him first in our lives, is the only way to enhance our efforts to meet people at the point of their need and at the same time, fill some of the needs in ours.
Ok, placing God first is great, but what about me the individual? When do I start doing the things that I want to do just to please me and nobody else, just me? The Bible tells us that we are not our own, we are bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus. Our life is not to do with as we want, but to live so that God can be glorified in it. Therefore, it is not about what pleases you but what pleases God. This is what matters in life, and as sure as day follows night, you will find that by living to please God, your pleasure in the things of life will increase.