“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV).
When I look in the mirror, I struggle to love the reflection.
I notice extra fluff and I’m tempted to blame Covid. When lockdowns prevailed, I asked the Lord—PLEASE—give my life back. In the constant motion of my busy schedule, the extra weight didn’t pile on. I wasn’t thinking about food as often. And I wasn’t pouring through cupboards to find baking projects to create (and eat) with my children.
When restaurants opened again, I plunged in as my fave local spots served patrons al fresco. But when the gym received the ‘open’ manifesto, I struggled to re-establish that rhythm. Plantar fasciitis reared up in my left heel when medical offices boasted closed signs and, as the weight piled on, so did the ugly voice of the enemy.
When the world turned upside down, did you pray for God to restore your life like I did? I’m grateful He didn’t answer that prayer. He untethered me from the idol of busy-ness, demonstrated my identity in Him, and is walking me towards food freedom.
He demonstrated a new normal.
My identity was fragile. I began to realize my worth was not in all of my doing (at a ridiculous pace). My worth connects to my being in Christ. Abiding in His vine of truth infused my new normal with healthier boundaries and realistic expectations.
I took a closer look at the word abide in John 15:5 and discovered depth in the original Greek. It carries a sense of waiting. When I slow down, and infuse myself with His Word, the ugly voice of the enemy becomes fainter. I’m not perfect at this, but I am improving.
When the enemy says, “Look at that double chin” I respond with, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
When the voice in my head states, “You’re ugly” I respond with, “God says, You are altogether beautiful, my darling” (Song of Songs 4:7).
Upon hearing, “You’re the biggest person here, you don’t belong” I respond with “I belong in my true home, a room prepared in my Father’s house” (John 14:2-3).
We are not what appears in the mirror. Let’s abide in the Lord, infusing our hearts with His Word, and take on a new normal: the identity He purposed for us. Let’s deflect the voice of the enemy and see in our reflection who we truly are: His.
Lord, we praise Your goodness and love. Thank you for creating us in Your image and that You see the righteousness of Christ when you look upon us. When we peer into the mirror, we confess that we focus on the physical and not on what You see. Please help transform our thoughts to reflect Yours. Amen.
Jennifer Elwood hosts the Refuge Podcast and Bible Study Community where women cultivate their faith in the shelter of God’s Word. This Yakima, WA resident is a lover of Jesus, wife of Tom, mom of three, and bonus mom and grandma. She’s a travel fanatic, coffee addict, and enjoys nerding out on Biblical context when studying the Bible. Going to Israel for the first time in 2015 sparked her desire to write and she has not stopped since. She’s author of Counting Up to Christmas: Twenty-Four Gifts from the Gospel of Luke and Counting Up to Christmas: The Companion Cookbook.