23.1.12

constantly running to the mirror


"So," he continued, "the mosquitoes been biting lately?"

I gave a sickly smile (my hands reaching instinctively to my face).

"N-no."

He puzzled. I fled the scene.

This has happened before.

"Aww, Bethany, what happened to your face?"

It was obvious of course, the simple dreaded fact of growing up, but I never thought it was that obvious. That odd. Until a sweet, but curious girl timidly stated,

"You don't look like your siblings." She paused. "Except that you all have acne."

I froze. So it was obvious. I was doomed to be ugly for the rest of my life. I convinced myself I couldn't live like a normal person, unless my skin was as unblemished as normal people.

Did I really look like those photo shop ads, where it takes 5 hours and 12,000,000px of airbrushing to fix these "unwanted" blemishes? Everyone I knew took their senior portraits, and then took out the 'unflattering' spots on their faces. I didn't spend hours in the mirror putting on make-up which hid this unwanted defect.

I felt out of the loop. I had that disgusting stuff on my face, and I didn't hid it. What on earth do people think? Boy, that girl needs some pro-active. Oh, the days I wouldn't even look in the mirror (a frightsome task, especially in the morning).

I contemplated becoming a hermit and living on my bed for the rest of my life, or maybe I could walk around with my hand in front of my face? (in jest, folks...)

Comparing is never a great idea, because when you compare - you're not the other person. I know people who pine away and say, "I'd do anything to be in your family. Or be like you." I like to chuckle folks, but that statement leaves me hysterical.

Yeah, yeah, we all hear the verse in Proverbs 31 "Charm is deceitful..."

There's no accidents with God. Duh. Acne is a defect. One of those mess ups of some gland I forgot the name of in physical science. But what if I told you He planned you that way. Acne and all. Freckles. Toothless. Hairless? Short? Skinny? Lisping.

Oh, no. You state - you're growing hoarse. God never could've planned me to be ugly.

Who deems ugly? Those girls blessed with naturally curly hair, good looks, and charming smiles? May I offer a piece of advice, but normally the created does tell the Creator that the result of the work is ugly.

Read Psalm 139:13-14. It speaks for itself.

And when I finally got used to The Horrible Fact, and The Horrible Fact began to have some mercy and tone itself down, I began looking at other aspects in the mirror.

So there's this girl. She pretty, smart, good at speaking, a godly Christian lady, maybe even a missionary. But at any rate, this imaginary girl, full of grace and salted speech, is on fire for God. Completely Christ focused, serving Him in every possible way (she helps struggling girls, orphans, widows, unbelievers, the homeless, poor, the hurting...).

And there's this other girl. Rather plain, stupid when it comes to almost anything of worth, can't speak logically to someone without stuttering or blanking out. Calls herself a Christian, but she's not in Africa. Says "like" in every sentence. Obnoxious at times (translate: most of the time). Is known to sometimes be a hermit. Although she'd love to really serve Christ, she's stuck cleaning the toilet with the broken toilet bowl scrubber. She washes dishes while the dog licks the dishwasher. Cleans up Littlest Pets and baby dolls. And if she remembers, she'll make up her sister's bed and fold the laundry. The closest she gets to blessing her family is baking chocolate chip cookies.

I had myself convinced girl #2 is less spiritual than girl #1. Sure, Mom needs help with the home. Check. Sisters need lots of hugs and blankets. Check. Brothers need hugs too. Check. Everyone needs chocolate chip cookies. Check. But to dare call that serving God? You'd have to move to Zimbabwe to serve Christ. I mean, to TRULY serve Christ. Christ didn't want an army of toilet scrubbers, I daresay.

Actually, it's probably true that many of the people who serve Christ are professional toilet scrubbers. Be they in Zimbabwe or Wisconsin. I remember once asking my sister,

"How on earth can I serve Christ when I can't do anything?"

Her answer is better said like this:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - Colossians 3:17

And you think? What do you think?

11 comments

  1. Amen! I'd rather be a happy toilet scrubber, bo-bo kisser, baker, second "mama" then anything else in the world if that's who God wants me to be.

    And hey... don't let acne get on your nerves. I have had it and gone through the same *cough* hermit age and found that really, it's just another trial God has puts in our path to shape our character.

    And for the record- I've seen your picture and you are truly pretty.

    Gabby

    http://ambitioushomemaker.blogspot.com/

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  2. I agree. God doesn't need us to go overseas to serve Him. Our mission fields are here...helping other teens, encouraging other believers, helping in the quiet ways, and simply living a life honoring to the Lord.

    -Carli

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  3. Sometimes when we feel so disheartened God shows us that He really cares (not like He hasn't) and gives us a boost of encouragement.

    It not what's on the outside, but what really matters is what's on the INSIDE.

    Love you!

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  4. And girls, may I suggest looking at a knife as a mirror is not such a good idea. ;)

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  5. I've been thinking along similar lines lately. :D

    Its easy to see my life as "un-big" compared to the missionary's and gospel singer's or the pastor's. But I definately agree that you don't have to be "on the front lines" to be used of God - He uses big sisters, cleaning ladies and house wives too. :D

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  6. I am SO a follower now hands down. YOU ARE A FANTASTIC WRITER and hilarious at times. You are a beautiful you, no lie.

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  7. I've felt the same way at times,almost as if I can't serve God if I spend more time at home than any other place.But I've also learned that God has given every single one of His children a platform,whether it be big or small and it's up to us what we're going to do with that platform.We can mope around and wish that He would have given us something bigger to work with or we can work with what He HAS given us and be grateful.How can God trust us with the big things if we can't first be trusted with the small things?

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  8. @ Bethany: Yeah, I don't think looking "in a knife" as a mirror is the greatest idear!

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  9. Oh, wow. I didn't know big noses and acne was the uniting Bergmann factor. Just watch my self-esteem plummet.........

    It's only contexts that seem grand. Missionaries and ministers probably do just as much toilet scrubbing, lunch prep and boo-boo kissing as the average girl. Minus the chocolate chip cookies.

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  10. Seriously, like that girl in the picture even needs to look in the mirror...

    Okay, okay. So I would expound, but everything has already been commented. Especially Kendra Lynne's "Amen, Bethany."

    <3,
    Allison

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Maira Gall