I was super elated to find wedding pictures tucked away while cleaning out some drawers. Immediately, when I saw myself, I noticed several things: I was much thinner, much toner, much younger, and much prettier. I did enjoy looking at other family members to see how much everyone has changed. Do you notice something, though, when you look at a picture? We only see the outward appearance, right? This outward appearance is what we judge. “Oh my gosh, I wore my hair like that?”
It never ceases to amaze me how Jesus can use a child’s innocently-honest wisdom to open our eyes to something He wants us to see.
Racing downstairs, I couldn’t wait to show my 9 year old daughter how her mommy looked long before she ever came along. I started showing her several wedding pictures as she quietly watched my facial expressions and then viewed each one. After I went through several pictures, she said, “Mama, can I tell you something, but I don’t want you to take it the wrong way?” Gosh, this is a deep question coming from my child.
I answered, “Well, ok, sure you can.” Of course, I was also dreading what she may say- oh, I know she is going to make fun of my hairdo!
She looked up at me and delicately shared, “Mom, you were pretty back then when you got married, but, you know what?”
I asked, “What?”
With a big smile, she answered, “You were pretty back then, but you are prettier today. I hope that doesn’t hurt your feelings, but it is true.”
At first I felt confused. Then, I thanked her because maybe she was trying to make me feel good about myself.
Later, I pondered her wisdom shared with me. Then I allowed Jesus to reveal what she meant. See, just like Jesus, my daughter isn’t looking at the outward appearance of me being ten pounds lighter with less wrinkles. She is looking at my heart. He is looking at my heart. She is looking at a Mom who is prettier because of the wisdom I have obtained through the trials and tribulations of life. He is too. Yes, many more gray hairs and wrinkles tow along with this wisdom, but she sees a mom who has a caring and giving heart. She sees a mom who makes mistakes and says, “I am sorry.” Together, my children and I pray, praise, give, bless, rescue, hurt, grieve, rejoice, and so many other qualities and with each one, we experience beauty growing in these situations and in our lives.
I believe we should take care of ourselves because when you feel good about your appearance, you are more approachable and more confident. People gravitate to approachable people. But, stop comparing yourself to others. Be the best you, not the best her!
So, look in the mirror and allow Jesus to whisper, “You are more beautiful today.” Then tell yourself, aloud, all the reasons Jesus wants to remind you of this truth!