So, as I was scrolling through my various social media today, I couldn’t help but notice something. All day I’ve been thinking about it, and I finally decided to write it out before bed, so that I’m not up all night. This is a long one, so bear with me, and if you make it all the way to the end give yourself a high five– I would.
One of the projects I did this year in school was a monthly newsletter for my students. It had important dates, reminders, motivational quotes, the learning focus for the month; I worked really hard on it each month. I even got creative and used colored paper for certain months, like green for March and orange for October and so on. Every month I would be so excited to print them off and divide them up to pass out, and every month I would be disheartened that students crumpled them up, made paper airplanes, or just threw them out. Sure, there were kids who read them and appreciated my effort and took them home to their parents, and regardless of the amount of them that were tossed out I still plan on making them for my future classes. Once, though, I was upset by the ones being thrown out and I asked the students how they would feel if something that they worked on and created and were proud of was neglected and tossed in the trash. They didn’t answer.
Recently, Brian and I were gifted an amazing starter camera for us to learn photography together. So far, Brian has learned all about aperture and ISO and I have learned that nothing is sacred and Brian will take candid pictures of me whenever he gets the chance. It was frustrating at first to look at the pictures. Look at my acne, my hair is funky, I’m not sitting up straight. I didn’t even think to appreciate how he sees me and loves me. Here I am doing the same thing to myself that I try so hard to convince my girl friends and my girl students not to do. I hear things all the time, “let me see that picture” and “oh no, delete that”. I’m always so confused, especially by my middle schoolers. Love yourselves, you’re awesome! why can’t you see you like I do? Yet, 24 hours after receiving this awesome camera, I found myself literally saying the same things to Brian, and I’m snapped back to my insecure high school self. Overly editing every picture before I post it. Making Brian confused because he sees me in a way I didn’t see myself anymore. I had worked so hard to learn to love myself, especially after I found my relationship with God, and here I was, throwing it all away. Tossing it in the garbage.
To tie this all together, at some point today I had a thought that wouldn’t go away. I remembered the frustration I felt every time a student took my newsletters and discarded them, and I couldn’t help but think of how upset it made me. To have something that I created, and put time and effort into, thrown out. I feel like this is how God must feel everytime we think something bad about ourselves, or say something self-deprecating. Genesis 1:27 says that God created us in His own image, “male and female, He created them.” How frustrated He must be that He put so much thought and effort into each and every one of us, just for us to throw it all aside.
But I want you to know about self image is that you are created to be you. Each one of us has the unique thumbprint of God. Psalms 139: 13-14 says, “for You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” Say that to yourself; you are fearfully and wonderfully made. So let people take candid pictures; stop seeing those imperfection you put on yourself. See yourself as God sees you, and thank Him.