I remember those days vividly. Beauty danced with the beast – and light, with darkness. Through it all, I learned a valuable truth: Beauty is not skin deep.
You read that right. Let me tell you why.
We had just brought our baby boy home for the first time. He was born at only 36 weeks due to complications from toxemia. His 5-pound-nothing frame seemed too frail to even hold, but he was strong and healthy. Praise God! We adored his floppy, under-developed ears. The cartilage in his ear lobes hadn’t developed yet. It made me laugh when he’d sleep on his side and his ears would fold flat against his head. I would reshape them back to form and he’d smile at me as though I was his world. His gummy smile melted my heart. I whispered to him, “You are beautiful – perfect in every way. I love you with all that I am.” I never knew my heart could love so deeply.
Still, such loathing haunted me. Self-loathing.
You see, I also brought home a new body. I remember standing in front of the bathroom mirror for the first time. Who was this person staring back at me? She doesn’t look anything like me. What will I look like when this surgical tape is removed – once the swelling finally goes away? My body was still severely swollen and overweight more than 40 pounds from the toxemia.
My reflection? Imperfection.
An old demon named Bulimia taunted me with ways to “fix” myself – at least my weight. I stood over the toilet bowl contemplating his voice. But another voice whispered to my heart, “You are beautiful – perfect in every way. I love you with all that I AM.”
My Father’s words saved me from the enemy’s lies.
We are made in the image of God!
For too long I defined myself with mirrors. But God saw me just as I saw my baby boy: a perfect creation. My son had imperfections – but he was not imperfect. He was perfect in every way. I saw that. I needed to see it in myself. I looked into my reflection and proclaimed:
Mirror, mirror on the wall – you don’t know me after all!”