I love a full-length mirror. Let me re-phrase that. I’m addicted to full-length mirrors. I’m not sure I could go through life without one. Or three, as is the case in just my bedroom and bathroom – not to mention the other two that are in my exercise room and guest room.
For me, a long looking glass is a crucial piece in my beauty routine. How else would I be able to see that my backside is covered in dog hair or that my clothes really don’t look good or that my pantyhose have a run or, God forbid, that my slip is showing? (Yes, sometimes a girl still needs pantyhose and a slip!)
Much to my frustration, I spent a large amount of last month away from home and without a mirror that allowed me a full view from my hair to my shoes. Thankfully, I had already tried on all of my clothes at home – in front of my trusty looking glass. But that still didn’t allow me to know if something had gone wrong in the mean time.
Sadly, the lack of full-length reflection was just one of the many things I was less than happy with last month. A full calendar is often a happy calendar, but September’s busyness had me rushed and harried and harping. Many happy memories were made in those 30 days, but a large amount of spending with a distinct lack of finances had me anxious and cranky and complaining. A lack of time alone with my husband had me lonesome and frustrated and fussy. By the end of the month, I was thoroughly exhausted and entirely overwhelmed.
And more than a bit bratty.
I complained, I whined, I pouted, and I blamed others for my bad attitude. Sadly, I even traveled to and began the Sisters’ retreat with my heart full of deep frustration and self-pity.
Interestingly, the cabin at Horn Creek, where the retreat was held, was one of the places that didn’t have a full-length mirror. That’s why I was rather surprised and embarrassed when God held one up directly in front of me and showed me my heart, dark and selfish.
It was early on Saturday morning and my roommates had gone to breakfast. I stayed back in the room since I had a class to teach in an hour or so and wanted to prepare. I moved my computer and class materials downstairs into the small, cozy living room and began to set up. It was chilly so I cranked the furnace up and sat down to read through my notes. My eyes blurred. I stood up and said, “OK, God, we gotta talk!”
He spoke. “Oh, yes, we do.” He stood a large, glaring full-length mirror in front of me. He pointed out how I had prayed for His strength and then gone on in my own strength. How I had sought His grace just to reject it. How I had cried out for guidance yet thought I knew a better way. And here I was to teach on a sure-fire way to hear your Shepherd’s voice!
At first I did what I had gotten good at: I fussed. I whimpered. I rationalized. But what I saw in the mirror was ugly and undeniable. I took one final, good, hard look, and I was undone.
I cried. I confessed. I repented. And then I rejoiced in God my Savior as He restored unto me the joy of His salvation (Ps 51:12). Communion was scheduled for Sunday morning, but I was to leave Saturday afternoon, so my mom had given me a packaged communion to-go. (One of the sweetest gifts I’ve ever received.) After seeking my Father’s face, I partook of the elements and communed in His presence.
Sisters, our God is ever faithful to our souls! His kindness – and His swift discipline – is born of His love and a testament to His grace (Romans 2:4; Heb 12:6; Prov 3:12; Rev 3:19). Do not despise His chastening, ladies (Heb 12:5; Prov 3:11). He is opening our eyes to our need for Him. His full-length mirror is His full-on grace, for His power is perfect in our weakness. Therefore, let us boast all the more gladly about our weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in us (2 Cor 12:9).
He is our loving Father, shaping us and molding us skillfully into the women He created us to be: His ambassadors in a dark world, in His name and for His glory.