Halloween is just around the corner. Want to hear my most embarrassing costume? Billy Graham. Yes, me, a fourth or fifth grader chose to dress up as Billy Graham for Halloween, arrayed with a suit coat, “Hello, my name is Billy Graham” name tag, and a Bible in hand. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the lovely mullet hairstyle didn’t do anything to help my already quirky self. But you know what? In that moment, I was 100% okay with myself
Today, I worry about my appearance and how others view me. Many times I feel like I’m the only one dealing with “this” or the only one who could possibly be struggling with “that.” Unwarranted fears, illogical perceptions, and irrational thoughts of how I “should” be weigh heavily. Is my appearance good enough, is my parenting good enough, are my kids good enough, is my marriage good enough, is my writing good enough? These are things I ponder each day (and sometimes even dwell upon).
I think it’s time to stop trying to be perfect and start being real. Turn off the “am I good enough” thoughts and embrace the truth that I am made in God’s image, quirks and all. Take off the mask of perfection and just be me.
When I begin to see myself in God’s image, I will also begin to look at others through the same lens. I can’t just embrace the fact that I am made in God’s image … I’ve got to realize we are ALL made in His image.
When I look at myself in the mirror, do I see a reflection of God's image or do I focus on things I feel I fall short in? Even more, do I look for the image of God in others or do I see their imperfections, limitations, and odd behaviors?
I’ve noticed this more since I've become a parent. Kids are strange. Kids can be embarrassing. I came across this quote the other day by Sarah Ann Rogers: “My best bet is to trust that God, in His full spectrum of control and love, made my children the way that they are on purpose.”
Both of my kids have things they do that make me cringe—behaviors that are just, well, peculiar. They aren’t wrong and often don’t need to be corrected. But wow, how I can so easily be embarrassed.
What would happen if I stopped seeing these things as shortcomings but instead embraced the way God created my children? My kids are absolutely beautiful, completely precious, and one of my true delights in life. They are made in God’s image, He created them just the way they are, and He entrusted them to my care. Because of these things, I have to know that there is purpose in who they are and what they do, no matter how peculiar. (In the same regard, I have to trust that there is purpose in who I am and what I do, even when I feel "not good enough," different, or out of place.)
It doesn’t just stop with my children and myself, though. It’s my neighbors, my friends, those I go to church with, the parents of kids at school, people I see at the grocery store. I’m convinced we’ve all got something we are dealing with. Maybe it’s not something you can see or hear; maybe it’s in the inmost parts of our soul. Maybe we are willing to be open about it, or maybe we find ourselves hiding behind a mask of perfection. But, the things we find ourselves faced with don’t have to define us. Here are two truths I know and can cling to: God made us, and He doesn’t make mistakes. Because of these two things, how I look at others and even myself should be different.
As I go about my daily tasks, do I seek God’s image in others? More importantly, do I seek to find God’s image in me?
There is purpose in the way God created me. There is purpose in the way God made you. Quirks and all, you are a beautiful masterpiece of the Creator of the world.