In a New Light

Pinch, prod, pull, poke, pick.

If we could today, I’m sure there’s one part of our body we would change. It’s the feature we immediately look at in the mirror and obsess about. Aesthetic perfection will ultimately tie our lives together and leave us feeling confident and satisfied.

I cannot tell you how many times I have been enslaved by this lie.

I become a victim instead of a strong, young woman claiming my identity in Christ. My focus shifts from others to myself. The countless hours I have spent in front of a mirror crying at my slight imperfections have robbed many days that would have otherwise been filled with joy. At the end of the day, all I am left with is self-hatred. If you dislike yourself, how can you generate the energy to love and care for others?

Vanity stakes her spot in my heart, polluting my body and mind. This narrow mindset leaves no space for truth. No one will be able to stand my presence without feeling drained from my neediness. If we don’t dwell on pure thoughts on our own, how can we sincerely accept encouragement and compliments from our friends?

In our vulnerability, we are left with the idea of transformation. It seems like something we need to go through in order for others to like us more. Soon we are consumed by wanting to change. We have an idea of who we want to become, so we construct a blueprint to achieve an outward appearance of success and beauty.

We blindly follow the advice thrown out in social media, magazines, and glamorized TV shows. Substance is traded for looks that marketing sells. The more we bury ourselves into this shallow world, the more we are deprived of contentment. Like a dog chasing its tail, your mission is futile and exhausting. For some reason, you and I would rather mimic current trends and social norms than to look into the nooks and crannies of our own hearts to really find what’s missing. We must buy more clothes, more expensive makeup, and get more likes on instagram to feel special. We need more people to like us! That’s what life is all about, right?

Insecurity fuels envy.

Fortunately, when you and I wake up tomorrow, people will not care about yesterday’s outfit, posted pictures, or the makeup we wore. It’s all so fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow.

The Lord knows our greedy hearts, and knows we strive after temporary pleasures. In His steadfast nature, He pursues us. He wants all of us, our whole heart, our whole mind, our whole body – and He will not relent until He has us. You will be broken by the standards of the world. You will lose your label of being the trendiest and the most popular. Someone new will always take your place.

In God’s presence, you don’t have to continue running after appearances. There’s not a reward He will give you for being the most beautiful or well-dressed. God numbered the hairs on your head before the earth even began. He knows what you can achieve and how special you are, because He looks at your heart. God will use your brokenness to draw you nearer to Him, because he wants so badly for you to know you belong to Him and Him alone.

When you come to Christ instead of trying to please others, you are radically transformed into a new creation. You are no longer obsessed with the idea of physical transformation. You will now long for spiritual transformation – for your soul to be renewed from the inside out. As we become more rooted in Christ, gratitude will fill our hearts rather than jealousy, insecurity, and comparison.

You my friend, were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). In Christ, you are no longer your own—He sees you as His beloved daughter made in His perfect image. He has strengthened you with His power, and your desires become His desires. No longer do you obsess about your imperfections or faults, you desperately long to devote yourself to the Lord. As a new creation, you are part of a promise bigger than yourself and your own struggles. You are part of the restoration of all creation.

The word of the Lord is constant, it can never be moved, shaken, or altered. When you begin to know Jesus, you will know you can rest in Him. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Lord will remain the same throughout all of your days.

“And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” – Isaiah 58:11

 

 

picture: https://68.media.tumblr.com/4a74b63e8b72bfa17c56049141efe945/tumblr_ojdb8tLV7C1smg72ko1_500.jpg

Copyright © 2016 · All Rights Reserved · Melissa Carroll

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