Photo by Thiago Matos
Seeing the Truth in My Reflection
In jail, you have a shiny metal plate attached to the wall above the sink in your cell. If you are lucky, it is not too badly scratched with graffiti. I don’t recall spending much time in front of it. Other than a few minutes, when I would attempt to scrape the plastic, usually dull, single-blade razor over my face, I had no reason to stare into it. I never thought of myself as someone who was self-reflective.
Maybe that is part of the game I play with myself. I tell myself I am not smart enough, nor insightful, nor that I could ever figure out who I am. What does that even mean? Why would I ask those questions? Or, maybe I just didn’t care. I wasn’t good enough and would never be. Why would I look in the mirror? I only saw me. Imperfect. Flawed. It’s not that I thought of myself as a bad guy. I am not. I just never thought of myself as good enough.
I never excelled at the academic or athletic levels of my brothers or friends. It took me forever to get a degree. I have no special skills. My parents never told me they loved me. So, why would I want to reflect on that? I would instead just work harder. Do more.
Perhaps that is why on Day 28 of Freedom I am house-sitting in another town. I found a way to do something. People tell me not to worry about doing anything; just take my time to adjust being back. I told myself that it made sense. Enjoy the God-given freedom. But that was just to mask the fear of trying to figure out what the hell I would do now. My purpose, my means of proving my worth was stripped away from me.
So now I have filled the next four months with travel. I found a way to do something while I wait for the Lord to lead me. But I’m not good at waiting. So an internal struggle wages furiously. Am I now doing what He is leading me to do? Or, am I once again trying to prove I am worthy? I believe God pulled me out of that jail a few weeks early, avoiding court, to show that He is in control and I am worthy of His love.
He has a plan for my good and His glory. I don’t want to mess that up like I have believed I have always done in the past. I made decisions without seeking His will. And now, here I am, back in the world, knowing better, but can I act better? I know I should consider everything in prayer, yet I jump into things quickly. I tell myself that it feels like the right thing to do. It must be God leading me! Or, is it my pride and stubbornness?
I never thought of myself as being self-reflective. I never felt I was good enough. Until now. I am beginning to see the truth. God loves me. He loves me enough to put me where I have had to change my thinking. And because I know God’s greatness, I know He didn’t create me as a failure. I am beginning to accept that I am good enough in His eyes. He has put many wonderful, supportive, loving people in my life to show me that.