WHat You See in the Mirror…

•May 5, 2013 • 4 Comments

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1 Corinthians 13:12- “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

All I can say is that it has been quite an incredible 20 hours. On Friday, New Life Community Church did its yearly “Women’s Encounter Retreat”. This retreat has been committed to inviting women to begin the process of healing in their lives as it’s related to past hurts or present problems. They begin with worship and music, having teachings on generational bondages and strongholds, and learn how to forgive and release those who have wronged us.

Now, I have gone to this sort of retreat before with New Life since I have been at this church for 15 years. The two men in the picture are Pastor Mark Jobe and Pastor John Palmieri, older brothers/fathers in the church who have watched me grow over the years. Behind me is Pastor Mark Jobe. He knows a lot of my story and I see him as a dear uncle. During the retreat, Pastor Mark asked if anyone would like to volunteer to do a demonstration of looking in the mirror as he guided them. No one had any idea of what he was going to do. All we saw was a very long mirror. I barely understood exactly what Pastor Mark was doing but I immediately jumped up without hesitating to be a volunteer. I had no idea what I was doing and this is what happened….

There were 3 pastors standing up in the front. Pastor Mark asked Pastor Danny Lopez to represent my earthly father. He told me to tell him how his relationship with me has affected me. So, it began. I confessed to my “dad” that he had been dead for 10 years now. And, I just discussed how angry I was at him for abandoning me and the reason why I have feared dating men. Basically, everything I wanted to tell my earthly father, I had the opportunity to do it in this exercise. When I was done, Pastor Mark had Pastor Danny hold the mirror up to me. Then, Pastor Mark said the unthinkable, “Now as a result of your relationship with your dad, look at yourself in the mirror and talk to that person. How did you see yourself?” Man, This was difficult to do. I had to gaze at myself in the mirror while looking at my pimple on my cheek and the scars I incurred on my neck from a surgery I had a couple years ago. While looking at myself, I said, “I have hated you. I thought that you were unlovable. You have had many identity issues as a result of your relationship with your dad. you’re unworthy of being pursued…” I began tearing up because these were lies I had believed about myself for so long. After a while, Pastor Mark had me to turn to Pastor John. He represented God the Father. He encouraged Pastor John to speak to me as if he was my heavenly Father. As Pastor John was speaking in the place of God the Father, I teared up a bit more. He said things like, “You’re a beautiful person, you’re funny. I knew you before the creation of the world. Even though you can’t do back-flips anymore, you will again in heaven…” Standing there, side-hug holding Pastor John while he spoke truth into me as if it was coming from the very mouth of God (which it was!) was powerful! I sensed some scales fall off of my heart a bit and some walls being crumbled in my heart.

Right after that, Pastor Mark had Pastor John hold the mirror up to me, while Pastor Mark stood behind me. He said, “Now, that she has heard what her heavenly Father believes about her, how then will she see herself?” I starred in the mirror, gazing in my own eyes while the figure of Pastor Mark was behind me. Then, he began to speak all the truths of who I was in God. “She is a daughter of the King. She is loved. She is a woman of worth and a woman who has DESTINY!” At each word, the hardened parts of my soul softened. All I could do was tear up, put one hand to my face, and raise my other hand to the Lord being thankful that only the way God sees me is the most important perspective. There literally was no dry eye in the room of over 280 women at this retreat. As I did this, the pastors began tearing as well, and Pastor Mark placed his hand on my head and gave me a hug. Afterwards, Pastor John gave me a hug too.

I don’t know what it was but this encounter was a timely one. I guess the Lord was telling me that He will NEVER abandon me. Christ was showing me through my older brothers in Christ that I am lovable and worth something. Afterwards, I spoke with Pastor John and I admitted to him how even though I did not have a dad in my life, God was overwhelming me with fathers throughout my church family and ALSO causing me to grasp to Him as my TRUE Father. It is so true that what you see in the mirror is a result of much of the parental relationship. BUT, when we begin to see ourselves more and more in the eyes of God, we then will be able to like and love ourselves. As the Scripture says above, we are already FULLY KNOWN by Him. We only see just a little bit right now of how God changes us, BUT in the perspective of Heaven, it’s A LOTTA’ bit. 😀

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