In searching for significance, the mirror didn’t hold the answer I so deeply desired. Actually, the reflection was quite dull.
The wrinkles. The grey hair. The softening muscles. The growing belly.
The sad eyes staring back at me knew none of those things, if improved, would lead me to inner peace and yet, I yearned for all these things to change. The image in the mirror is a reflection of that outer exterior. I wanted to reflect my significance, my worth. I’d talk to the mirror and say all the right words. “You are worthy. You are good.” I’d walk away from my reflection with a bit more confidence only to find myself there again later, having a ‘re-do’.
If only one could find freedom in the mirror.
One day, at a women’s retreat and at the prompting of some friends who said they had found freedom in the Bible, I committed to a daily reading of the Word with this small group of fellow Christians online. I’d had revelation in some of my own personal reading time and I thought that was the end all of the Bible, occasional revelation, a sort of hit and miss type thing. Over the years, I’ve struggled with the Bible being an outdated book that certainly couldn’t pertain to my own detailed quest for life’s answers.
I’d read enough to know there was a slew of stories in the Bible, but I had no idea of their connection. The Old and New Testaments seemed like two separate books to me. One too old to truly relate to and the new one, vague and mysterious. So, I made the committment to read daily, completely oblivious to how my world would soon be rocked.
The first few months were hard! Mostly, because I compared myself to my friends. I wasn’t as smart as them. I didn’t hear from God like they did. What seemed complex to me, was simple to them. I hadn’t expected this and when it was a consistent ‘thing’, I had to fall back on my committment and just keep going even though I really just wanted to quit.
The obedience it took was startling. Life was busy and sheer perserverence was required.
One of the women suggested that I pray each morning before reading. My prayer was that I would have my own revelations and that the comparison thing would stop. And I prayed for a desire to read.
I’d get my tea and my Bible and then I would pray with my hand on the words. Shockingly, instead of revelation, I received this freedom to question. Sometimes my share of journaling on the discussion site was a long list of questions! The group would direct me to commentary where I could dig a little deeper. And then I had to decide what I thought about it. Sometimes I would agree, other times I wouldn’t and a lot of the times, I simply just didn’t know. Little by litte, I started having my own revelations and conversations with God as I read.
Those questions led me into a place of surrender. My heart opened and so did my mind.
I found myself wandering in the wilderness and receiving manna each day. I found myself relating to the Israelites headed out of slavery and toward their Promised Land. I found myself facing giants and fighting to claim that land. I found myself crossing waters that He had parted and believing promises that were right there in the Word. I found myself in the belly of a whale not wanting to do the thing that God was telling me to do. I found myself worshipping idols that I never knew were idols. I found myself betraying friends and receving their forgiveness. I found myself about to be stoned by public humiliation and yet, somehow they’d all walk away not able to condemn me.
I found myself sitting at the feet of Jesus asking questions.
I found myself not in the mirror of self realization or outward beauty.
I found myself in His Words.