This painting by Norman Rockwell is titled “Girl in the Mirror” and appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on March 6, 1954. The little girl is around ten years old and sits looking at herself and thinking… what? Is she comparing herself to the beautiful movie star on the picture in her lap? Is she wondering about what she will become and if she will measure up? Is she fearful because she’s leaving the little girl years behind and facing the daunting task of becoming a woman? I don’t know what she’s thinking. But I can tell by the look on her face in the reflection that whatever it is she is thinking about herself, it falls short of meeting her expectations. Over the years, this image has become one of Rockwell’s most respected paintings. I think it may be because it lays down a truth that we can all understand. We all know what it feels like to look at ourselves in a mirror and long to see something other than what is looking back at us.
Most of the time, taking a hard look at ourselves is difficult. Maybe we scrutinize our physical selves in the mirror and walk away worried about wrinkles, gray hair, or pant size. Or maybe we venture deeper and take a look at our emotional or spiritual selves and we come away knowing we still hurt over past issues, we still long for relationships to be reconciled, or we still regret that circumstance. We stay there just long enough to tell ourselves that we are a complete mess and then we try to re-enter our lives and pretend we don’t view ourselves that way. We do our best, we juggle the various responsibilities in our lives, we often feel defeated at the end of the day, and we tell ourselves it’s us. It’s because we aren’t talented enough or smart enough or whatever enough. We’re just not enough.
You know what? I say no more. I’ve been honest that I struggle with feeling unworthy. Some of you have reached out to me to let me know you feel this way, too. My heart is broken over connecting with people like this because I know how painful those feelings are. I know how it affects our days and nights. I know how it bleeds into our marriages, our parenting, our friendships, and our relationships with God. I know how it limits us and how it shuts us up and tells us to sit down. Believe me, I know. So let me say this here and now… if you struggle because you never quite feel that you are worthy of love – God’s or anyone else’s – know that you are DEFINITELY not alone in those feelings. It’s an unfortunate thing to be bonded over, but friends we are all in good company. Outstanding company. Our group is filled with beautiful, talented, successful, and amazing people who feel just like we do. Lacking. And I believe there is something better for us.
So I’m going to make a commitment to you. I am going to do my best to regularly write about things that are helping me stand firm on a foundation of worthiness. As I share things about my life and my family, I’m also going to share things about what I’m learning about trusting in my worthiness. If I’m learning anything that can be useful to you, then I want you to have it. And I hope you will do the same for me and for the rest of us. Let’s share what we’re reading and what we’re listening to and what God is teaching us. Let’s walk this together and talk it together and grow together to believe in our worth. Friends, everyone wins when we get better. So let’s get better. Because while I respect Rockwell’s portrait, I don’t want that image to be me and I don’t want it to be you. I want us to look into the mirror and smile because we know the reflection looking back at us is gloriously, beautifully, undeniably worthy of love. Imperfect? Oh, yes. Broken and scarred? Definitely. Confused, troubled, anxious? True too many days. But gloriously, beautifully, undeniably worthy of love.
For now, I’m sharing music. The link below is a song that I have adopted as my own because it illustrates so beautifully how God reveals Himself and His love for me as I learn to trust in my own worth. I love the beat and the melody and the depth within the lyrics. If you don’t have your own song right now, borrow this one of mine for awhile. Play it. Believe it. Trust it. Use it for encouragement. Look at yourself in the mirror and play the song and smile and tell yourself you are worthy. Nothing that has happened to us… nothing that we have done… nothing… can change the light within us. It’s in there. Peace!
You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt. (Psalm 139:13-14)