Mirror Mirror full of lies ~

Because the King wasn’t able to be near His daughter, He wrote her letters. He took great effort to appoint men of valor to deliver His words to her.  “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!”  But because her heart had been lied to, His words of love bounced off her without ever piercing the shell.

As she grew she found that His words of love no longer simply bounced off of her heart, the poison ran deep in her and she began to become bitter.    “How beautiful you are and how pleasing, O love, with your delights!”  her Father would write, “Yeah right.” was the response of her heart.

The poison began to seep into her letters with her Father – “Oh Father, why am I like this?”  “Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?”  Not understanding that her Father was explaining her value to Him, the daughter wept.  She felt surely that her very own Father was telling her that she had been created for nothing more than common use.  What princess wants to be seen as common?!!

Where…how was your understanding of beauty birthed?  Mine was born in a closet – my Grandfather’s closet – where I was hiding from my brother in a game of “Hide & Seek.”  There, at the back, I found a stack of pornography as tall as I was.  While I waited for my seeking brother to find me, I perused the stack and pondered on why my Grandfather would have such things.  Later that day I asked my Grandmother.  She pooh – poohed me and told me that Grandpa just liked to look at the ladies in there – he thought they were beautiful.  Had I been older and wiser, I’d have heard the bitterness and frustration in her voice.  Instead I heard “Gospel Truth.”

As a little girl, I can remember twirling before my own Dad and asking him, “How do I look?”  His answer was “You look okay.”  And it never changed.  It was always, “You look okay.”   (As a side note, that is what he told me moments before walking down the aisle to be married, as well.  Not that I asked – because by then, I knew better.)  It wasn’t too many years after finding my Grandfather’s stash of porn that I found my Dad’s, as well.  It explained everything to me – it explained why I would never be anything better than “okay.”

I spent my youth aching to rise above “okay.”  All the other girls around me were beautiful.  I knew that – I had eyes, you know.  I, on the other hand, was….common.  The pain of this was revealed in my quick responses and verbal volley ball.  If someone remotely attempted to give me something that even hinted of a compliment…I would respond with a snappy retort.

The first night Jeff and I went out, he leaned over and said, “You are very beautiful.”  I leaned back over and said, “And YOU are very good for my ego.”  He looked like I’d slugged him.  He told me later he was absolutely gobsmacked – girls aren’t supposed to respond to compliments like that.

That comment – that brush off – was the beginning of a pattern we developed for a while.  He would compliment me – I would respond in some form of snappy wit – slipping quickly to scathing.  This pattern didn’t last for long, he simply stopped complimenting me.  This, sadly, (but not surprisingly when we consider who the father of lies is) coincided with the beginning of our having babies.

Now, I am not one of those ladies who do cute pregnant.  I do HUGE pregnant.  With our 5th someone stopped in a parking lot and asked if it was safe for me to not be in a hospital.  With our 3rd, our pediatrician, who had been in practice in excess of 20 yrs at that point, came and took my picture because he’d never seen anyone get so large. When I got pregnant with Danica – they told me I wouldn’t need maternity clothes until I was 16 to 20 wks pregnant.  I was 8 when my clothes simply wouldn’t fit any longer.  I think we’ve got the timing of my beginning to look pregnant down.  I believe it’s about 12 minutes after conception.   🙄    To go from tiny (like size 2 or 4) to HUGE in 12 minutes made for a few tears – not all of them hormonal.

(To be continued……  Please, feel free to share your story, as much as you feel comfortable.  I have a suspicion when we get to the bottom of all this, we’re going to find there are some pretty common threads.)

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Comments
15 Responses to “Mirror Mirror full of lies ~”
  1. Krina says:

    I am nodding right along thus far … may need awhile to unfold my own inner voice onto the screen however …

    Krina

  2. April says:

    Well, from the very rotund sister with the Mom-chopped bangs who was sneaking cookies into the pockets of second-hand sweats, I hear Truth in every line you write. I think living with these lies has been pressing (PRESSING) on me lately — in fact, just tonight. I’ve a feeling you’re going to help break it all loose, dear. But I don’t know if I’m ready…

  3. Javadawn says:

    April, I’m not going to lie to you – this battle has left me crushed. I am seeing the fruit of it already – but it was BRUTAL. I can’t tell you how many mornings I woke up and spent in tears. I can’t tell you how FEW words I was even able to speak. My heart felt as though it was being pulverized.

    THIS is the issue I wrote and asked for prayer for that I would remain on the altar until the work was done. Every inch of my frame wanted to run from the pain.

    Having said that – I beseech you, PRESS IN, HOLD FAST and ENDURE. We are called to be women strong in the Lord. I will pray that you will find His arms strong to hold you near and you will also find the strength to remain on the altar as well.

    Krina – Father started this process in me nearly 2 months ago – it’s taken me this long to write. The pain, the work was so deep I was left without words. And not just no words about this issue – it was as though as the Lord was removing the “cancer” the lies had left in my heart that I had NO words at all. Blogging was horrid. I couldn’t communicate anything – not what was going on in my heart – nor anything else. (I won’t even discuss what date night became like!!!!!)

    May He receive the glory – while you receive the good as you go through this process, dear ones. I will be praying for you!

  4. Mrs. Nehemiah says:

    Thank you
    we need this
    Mrs N

  5. Michelle says:

    I have to start wearing maternity clothes almost immediately too; just because I’m so uncomfortable in regular clothes. As to the issue of beauty, I had TWO dads who regularly told me how pretty I was. My response? “You’re my dad, you HAVE to say that.” To this day, I do not think myself especially beautiful, in fact I still think I’m pretty dorky-looking, with one exception. John makes me feel pretty. When I’m with him, I feel pretty and I believe that in his estimation, I am pretty. (Just like he is handsome to me.) That’s enough for me. I try to present myself as attractively as possible, but if I am never attractive to anyone besides John, that’s o.k. with me.

    The only other One I want to be beautiful for is my Heavenly Father and that is a whole different kind of beautiful. Someday I will be beautiful because He is the source of all beauty and He is making me beautiful.

  6. Susan PA says:

    Your story is very moving. I don’t have the SAME story, but there are definitely similarities. That sense that “I’m not pretty,” is VERY strong. My husband gives me a compliment, and while I don’t brush it off verbally, inside, I KNOW it isn’t true. As far as seeing “compliments” to me in the Bible, nope. Don’t see that.

    I know what you mean about doing BIG pregnant. Every time after the first. With my #2, I was weighing and measuring myself at the time. My weight stayed exactly the same at first after I got pregnant. One week after conception, my waist was an inch larger. The next week, it was two inches larger. Weight still the same. I went into maternity clothes at 2-3 months. With my third, I was repeatedly asked if I was having twins. (I would have loved twins, but just one good-sized baby, a lot of water, and a lot of fat.) (Even one of my midwives told me I looked six months pregnant at my postnatal visit. Sigh.) (Now, five babies (plus miscarriages) later, it’s just the fat. Sigh.)

    Anyway, I am reading with devotion.

    Susan PA

  7. deborah says:

    thank you for sharing, dawn. being s*xually abused at an early age (3) and being introduced to porn at about the same age….well, it leaves it’s mark. follow that with 3 step-fathers who never NEVER told me i was beautiful and boys who ‘knew’ what to say…well, that leaves it’s mark as well. so many share the same story but, PRAISE GOD!!, grace reigns and wounds heal. there is hope!

  8. whimsy says:

    Oh Dawn!! You cannot even imagine how bad I need to hear this.

    My story is very similar. I almost think that the women (in my family) “acceptance” of porn made it worse. I mean, it must be OK and right or they wouldn’t put up with it ya know?

    I was the ugly duckling who “blossomed” (except for the boobage that I am still waiting for) around 16. Boys noticed and I knew how to get their attention. They quickly reinforced the notion that my value was proportional to my ability to make those “magazine dreams” come true. If I was unwilling, I was pushed aside for someone who was. I learned to play game much too well.

    This has hindered me in more ways that I can say.

    I look forward to this discussion with baited breath.

  9. mamashortcake says:

    Is it really fair to send a pregnant woman who is already struggling with her emotions through all this??? SIGH… I am still around, just quiet these days. My computer time is *much* more limited now, which was a needful thing. I am listening though (and still reading our book).

  10. myderbe says:

    I bought the Jesus Storybook Bible for our family (I’ll probably blog about it). And one of the things I absolutely LOVE about this children’s Bible is that the author reiterates over and over again (is that too redundant?) that people are lovely because God loves us and people are beautiful because God loves us and sees us as beautiful. Her account of creation describes God as a doting Father exclaiming, “You look just like Me!” She describes Leah as a woman nobody wanted but whom God chose as the mother through whom the Rescuer would be born. She writes that people don’t have to be beautiful in order for God to love us; we become beautiful because He does love us. Just like Leah did.

    Oh, I want this message to sink into my daughters. I follow up our reading with questions — “Why were the people lovely?” “Because God loved them.” “Why are we beautiful?” “Because God made us in His image and He loves us.”

    Oh, I want the Truth to be so rooted in them, so drilled into their brains, so running through their veins, that they won’t fall prey to the Lie that they must compete with the fake women in magazines and movies.

    Thank you, Dawn, for talking about this. We women need to talk about this. And Christian men need to listen in and understand.

    I think some Christians preach about the danger of pornography because it can influence men to deviate into sinful practices, but I don’t even hear many Christians speak of the horrible ways pornography affects girls and women and the way the enemy uses it to undermine God’s love for us, or our belief and hope in God’s love for us. So, thank you.

  11. javadawn says:

    msc, Oh honey, I’m so sorry – maybe this isn’t something you should hang out for. Maybe you should only pop in on Mondays? I know how I got when I was pregnant and I’m not too sure I could have handled all this.

    Jenn, thank you. Thank you for the wonderful way of looking at beauty that you share – and thank you for the support. Porn and beauty and the way the two become entertwined and allowing one ground causes damage to the other….it’s just so painful to me. And I truly fear offending others when I share re: this. I truly fear offending my Lord more – and I felt this was what He has asked me to share….. (Oh Lord, may I be hearing You right!!)

  12. Holly says:

    Dawn, you have done such a good job of sharing your story with us. Thank you for doing so. Thank you, friend.

    I hate pornography. I hate it with a deep passion. It stole much from me, as well – from childhood on.

    It has such a hold on men in our current day. It is evil! Deceptive! It gives men a standard for attraction that no real woman can possibly live up to. Men who are in bondage truly need deliverance from this – it is not to be conquered in the flesh – but in the spirit. Blessedly, deliverance IS possible.

    And yes – oh what it steals from a little girl, from a woman….it steals from her marriage, it steals from her relationship with God, it steals from who she was to become.

    I have considered blogging on it – as well – but have been waiting for a prompting from the Holy Spirit. I will link to this early in the new week – after Easter.

    Dawn – I’m furious over what your pastor told you…so many pastors are deceived, as well. The stats are horrible. Horrible!

    I agree so much with you that a woman can not allow this in her home. She has to draw that line. Porn opens the door for so much evil to take root – in the lives of our sons and daughters! It is not innocuous, not boys just being boys. It is a strangling sin, that so easily besets.

    Thank you for your encouragement to women to stand firm, to be strong, to fight for purity in their men, in their marriages.

    Whew! Now you’ve got me stirred up. I’ve actually *quite* an invisible person – and often happy to be so. But I’m very technicolor on this.

    And p.s. I’ve always known you had an *image* problem. When I first asked you to describe yourself to me – you called yourself very plain. When i met you – I couldn’t understand that. You are not plain. You have been looking at yourself with worldly eyes, Dawn, pain-filled eyes. You’ve looked at yourself through scarred lenses – scarred by the men in your life but NOT lenses that accurately reflect how God sees you.

    It explains your phobia to cameras.

    Well, take it from me – friend. I love you and think you are beautiful. I always have – and I know that there are MANY people who do too. But most importantly – your Father sees you as so beloved, so treasured, so beautiful…because you look like Him!

  13. javadawn says:

    Oh Holly, do I have a camera phobia?? I hadn’t noticed. (ROFL)

    Thank you my friend. I treasure your words as precious.

    As for the porn. I believe that the Lord is raising up a new standard in regards to this. I believe we’re about to see a new wave of men set free from this horrid, vile thief. By His grace, it will be before they have allowed the thief in the door to steal much more!!!

    To the King and the Kingdom!

  14. mamashortcake says:

    Dawn,

    Now I know why you never sent a picture after I sent one of our family, and after you all got a new camera!!!!! You are so ONERY!! 😀 😀

    BTW, I have a story in all this too..not my DH, but from the past, and a story about how the Lord has been dealing with me on the image issue lately as well, though it has been from a different angle – it’s still the same struggle. I don’t know if I’ll have a chance to write more about it or not, but I *do* appreciate you writing about it. Blessings and enjoy Resurrection Day!

  15. Crystal says:

    OH Dawn I could have written these words myself if I had half the talent that you do! I had a lump in my throat the entire time that I read this post! I could relate to every part of it. From not believing in compliments to seeing my dad and my grandpa and my uncles porn collections wondering WHY they look at naked people. From when I was VERY young I was only valued for my looks. I was always the “pretty sister”, the “thin sister”. I was never told I was good for anything else but my looks.

    My uncle gave me the nick name of Jugs when I was in middle school because my breast were very large. It made me feel gross and perverted and like I should hide them. I started to wear bagging clothes and walk hunched over. I always felt ugly and fat and disgusting. I didn’t want people to look at me but at the same time I was dieing for attention and I wanted boys to tell me I was beautiful. And at the same time when they did I didn’t believe them.

    I have lived this way for nearly my whole life and it has tried to come between me and my husband. It’s not very often that I believe a compliment my husband gives me. I reject them daily either out loud to him or just inside I say, ya right!

    I get so sick of it because God has set me free from these lies and I still choose to believe they have more power over me than God.

    OK, off to read more!

    I am loving reading these Dawn!

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