Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Mirror

Fifteen or so years ago, I prayed that God would direct my prayers for my future husband. A time of solitude led me to a list of ten character qualities, plus one verse:

Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart—I Samuel 16: 7

Now that I know the one my heart loves, I see the beauty of God's direction. When I first sensed God leading me toward this verse, I assumed that it meant that my Mr. Wonderful wouldn't look the way I might have pictured him. It's true that my lean, blond Dutchie embodies love differently than the tall, dark and handsome ideal of my single days. But the greater lesson, I think, has been accepting Niels' love and appreciation for my appearance.

A few years ago, shortly after my head injury, I lost a lot of weight. I was looking good, the best of my adult life. I wasn't physically healthy, of course. The weight loss was the result of my brain burning mad calories trying to reconstruct all the broken and twisten neurons that got scrambled up when I knocked my noggin. My doctor warned me that when I started getting better mentally, the weight would come back. And it did...and them some. Since then, it's been a battle: if I focus on the number on the physical scale, I tend to overdo things mentally and end up worse for wear.

Today was a rather depressing day on the scale. I hit one of those numbers a girl just doesn't want to see. It's never a pretty number, but being six weeks away from My Wedding Day (note implied perfection therein), it's even more sobering. Who wants to be at their all time highest weight when one is nearing their day of the pretty white dress and immortal pictures?!?

Niels is perhaps the most secure man I have ever met. We were talking about self-image a few months ago and he shared something with me that is just one of many reasons why I love this man. He reminded me that, as Christians, our job is to be God's mirror, internally. That is, our character is to reflect Christ's character. Those around us should feel God's love through our love. Even if we feel down, dirty, ashamed, or not quite good enough, we can know that we are enough in God's eyes. The Truth is what is real, and the truth is that as Christians, we are made perfect, not through anything we've done or become, but simply because we are His.

In the same way, Niels said, as my husband, he will be my external mirror. No matter what the world says about our value being tied to our weight or shape or size, Niels is the mirror of truth of my external beauty. And as his (soon to be) wife, I have become his standard of beauty. That doesn't mean I should start looking for modeling gigs because Niels thinks I'm beautiful, but rather, I can fully embrace my identity as a beautful woman, because the only one whose judgment of physical beauty matters to me judges me to be beautiful in his eyes.

I would still like to be a size 8 bride, but even though that won't happen, when I walk down the aisle on July 29, I can't imagine feeling more beautiful. I will secure in the incredible unconditional love and acceptance Niels has offered me.

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