Looking at Ourselves through the True Lens

Most of the time I'm viewing myself through the lens of the world and I always come up short. There's always someone smarter, more talented, more funny, better at writing, skinnier, prettier, wiser ... always someone who has whatever it is I can't find in myself. But the problem is—I'm looking through the wrong lens. For us, as women seeking the Lord, there's only one lens that makes everything clear. His Word. We must learn to use it as a filter for what is true, what is real, what will last.

Last week I had to get my headshots updated. Can I tell you how much I *hate* doing that? All I can see in photos of myself is chipmunk cheeks and the way my stomach pooches out so I look a little bit pregnant {which I assure you I am not!}. Scott was doing the photos and all I could think was, “Keep your stomach sucked in, girlfriend!”

Later that night as he began showing me the 200ish photos he’d taken, all I could see was my too big nose and not flat tummy. Every flaw seemed magnified by the camera and I honestly just wanted to cry.

As I sit here typing the words, I know how small and vain and ridiculous it all sounds. I really do. But the truth is, that’s the truth: I look at myself and I can only see what’s wrong.

Most of the time I'm viewing myself through the lens of the world and I always come up short. There's always someone smarter, more talented, more funny, better at writing, skinnier, prettier, wiser ... always someone who has whatever it is I can't find in myself.  But the problem is—I'm looking through the wrong lens. For us, as women seeking the Lord, there's only one lens that makes everything clear. His Word. We must learn to use it as a filter for what is true, what is real, what will last.

It’s not just my body, some days it is everything. Evvv. Reee. Thing.

I’m not as good a writer as her. I’m not sweet and kind. I’m a terrible friend. I’m the worst mother. I’m an awful wife. The list goes on and on …

Maybe you have a list too?

Maybe you put on the mask and answer, “Fine,” when inside you are wondering if you’ll ever get over all these middle schoolish insecurities.

Girl, I feel you. I get it. In fact, I’m right there with you.

So what are we to do? How do we beat back the crazy pack of lies and fears and insecurities?

A long time ago {you know, in the early 2000s} I read these words from my mentor {who, to be fair, has absolutely no idea who I am but it must be said her words and books were a catalyst for everything else God has led me to do},

When we view ourselves through the lens of God’s Word, we better understand God’s love for us and the worth we have in His eyes.

Elizabeth George, Loving God with All Your Mind

This is the deal, y’all. Most of the time I’m viewing myself through the lens of the world and I always come up short. There’s always someone smarter, more talented, more funny, better at writing, skinnier, prettier, wiser … always someone who has whatever it is I can’t find in myself.

But the problem is—I’m looking through the wrong lens. It’s like when I took Casiday to the eye doctor for the first time this summer and the optomotrist pulled down that huge machine with all the lenses and asked her which looked better, “One or two … three or four.” I could tell immediately when she found a lens that made everything clear.

Learn to Use the Right Lens

For us, as women seeking the Lord, there’s only one lens that makes everything clear. His Word. We must learn to use it as a filter for what is true, what is real, what will last.

{And let me promise you, that tiny Scarlet O’Hara waist will NOT last!}.

One of the ways I’m working to stay focused on what is true is by identifying the words God says about me.  For example, in Isaiah 43,

Now this is what the Lord says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.

I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you.

For I Yahweh your God,
the Holy One of Israel, and your Savior,
give Egypt as a ransom for you,
Cush and Seba in your place.

Because you are precious in My sight
and honored, and I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you
and nations instead of your life.

Isaiah 43:1-4 HCSB, emphasis added

Here’s what I did this morning, I wrote out the those truths, marked them up in one of my journaling Bibles so I could go back them time and again.

Writing out what God says is TRUE about me.  HCSB Illustrator's Notetaking Bible.  Isaiah 43:1-4

Maybe you need to write out some truth too.  Do it! If you aren’t sure where to start, try Isaiah 43. Make it personal, say it aloud, memorize it. The only way to correct our vision of ourselves is to use the true lens, the Word of God.

The only way to correct our vision of ourselves is to use the true lens, the Word of God. Click To Tweet

Here’s to seeing clearly!

xoxo,

Teri Lynne

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Most of the time I'm viewing myself through the lens of the world and I always come up short. There's always someone smarter, more talented, more funny, better at writing, skinnier, prettier, wiser ... always someone who has whatever it is I can't find in myself.  But the problem is—I'm looking through the wrong lens. For us, as women seeking the Lord, there's only one lens that makes everything clear. His Word. We must learn to use it as a filter for what is true, what is real, what will last.

2 Replies to “Looking at Ourselves through the True Lens”

  1. Dear Teri,
    I am still laughing about….your….a long time ago! Since I was born in 1953, my perception of a long time ago is quite different than yours.
    When I first found your blog, I looked at the picture of you and perceived a beautiful, graceful, sincere young woman whom I choose to follow. Her wisdom and grace is expressed in her writing in such a heartfelt manner that I feel I know you. You touch the lives of those who know you and read you, and do it without pretence.
    I will pray for you that you will begin to see yourself the way God sees you and the way others see you. If the Lord should tarry and you grow old here, it will be important to have that perpective. Be happy about those chipmunk cheeks, people with them show fewer wrinkles later in life.

    Love and Blessings,
    Linda Darlene

    1. You are so kind, Linda. Thank you for your words of encouragement. Some days, I think, we all lose sight of who we are in Him and it is a grace to have someone come alongside to remind us.

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