"Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely." 1 Corinthians 13:12
How many times a day do you look in a mirror? Think about it for a second. 5? 10? 20? How much time do you spend in front of your mirror? To be honest, I spend more time than I would like to admit. Ever since middle school days, I have had an obsession with my face. Thoughts like "do I have any new acne? How is my hair? Why is there another mole?" run through my head when I stop to study my appearance. I also have a habit of smiling in the mirror whenever I pass by one, and I think I will stick to that because it is a happy feeling to see yourself smile. There was a time though, when I did not want to smile in the mirror. My face looked different from the way it looks now (thanks to an 8 hr jaw surgery few years ago), and I was not proud of my "profile view" in the slightest. Perhaps I will write a blogpost someday on how this situation affected my worth and identity, but right now I want to focus on the outward appearance. Currently, post surgery, I love smiling in the mirror, taking pictures, and all the other things that girls do to reassure themselves that they are beautiful. But wait, why do we need reassurance? Well, because for most of us at some point in our lives, we received a clear message that we were not beautiful and therefore unworthy of attention, acceptance, and love.
Whether these lies entered your mind during a negative experience at home, school, church, with friends, in some other way, Jesus knows and He cares. He understands the hurt you have been feeling for however long because people lied about Him. They did not understand His beautiful mission, character, and deep love for them. Jesus understands your need for reassurance, and He has given His life so that you can walk freely with the knowledge you are a beautiful, unique, and dearly loved daughter of the King and Creator of the universe. How am I so sure of this? Because God tells us in His word. Take the above verse for example. The Bible reminds us that we see things imperfectly. Have you ever had a cracked mirror or phone screen? Kind of hard to see clearly, right? That's how our view of the world, each other, and ourselves is....cracked...unclear...imperfect. But, when Jesus comes back to take us home, we will see everything clearly, and I'd like to suggest that we can start to see clearly when we recognize and accept Jesus' unconditional grace and love for you and me. Right now, we can only partially understand, but Paul tells us in this verse that God already knows us completely. Jesus sees you. He sees completely...clearly...perfectly.
Recently, I was at a small group study, and one of the other young ladies was handing beautiful roses to all of the attendees. As I sat in my chair and listened to the presentation, I couldn't help but admire my rose. It was so gorgeous! The little lines down each petal, the accompanying scent, and the bright pink were just so captivating. When I got home to put the rose in a vase, I decided to take a picture of it. Then, I wanted to try taking a picture of it and me in the mirror....and that's when it hit me. When I look into the mirror, I see me. With all of my flaws, imperfections, and marks of living in a sinful world. But when Jesus looks at me, He sees a young lady as beautiful as this rose. He sees someone with potential, with gifts, positive character traits, willing to grow, and a desire to know God more. My goal is for Jesus to see a reflection of Himself when He looks at me. I want God to look at me and see Jesus in front of me just like this rose is in the forefront of the picture. How about you? What does your reflection look like? The next time you stand in front of a mirror, I challenge you to take a moment and ask Jesus to be in your heart and shine out to everyone you meet. Thank Him for creating you and for caring so much about you that He died to save you. And then, smile, because you are a precious treasure in this world!
"Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life." Isaiah 43:4
Alissa Tanguay is the host of "Carved to Beautify," and enjoys photographing fresh flowers, among other things! She has a deep passion for helping young women see the truth about God's love for them.