I can still picture it like it was yesterday…this group of young women at the beginning of their Battle for the Heart journey. Holly Mackle seemed to shrink back in her chair as she meekly said, “So I wrote a novel.” Those 5 words were a death blow to the enemy who had been feeding her lies about her talent and her worth. Holly’s THIRD book, Same Here, Sisterfriend, launches on April 17 and it will literally have you laughing out loud while giving you grace for even your worst days. This is not the same woman that I met just a few years ago. She is a woman with a powerful voice and a fierce love for Jesus and others. Enjoy this chapter from Holly’s new book and get your discounted copy by using coupon code WELLSPRING20.

– Dana Smith, Women’s Equipping Coordinator

I have a very prominent nose.

It’s a recognizable nose, as in you can spot it at one hundred yards in profile.

Yes, it used to bother me, and yes, I kind of like it now. I don’t know what is happening to me as I age, but I sure could have used a bit of this self-acceptance in the mid-nineties. (I also could have used the knowledge that a romper for school pictures is a regrettable decision, but who wants to dredge up the past.)

Let’s just say I’m learning to embrace my nose.

This nose and I have a long and marred history, photographic or otherwise. I asked our wedding photographer to avoid catching me in full-on profile. If my students looked a little bored, I would catch my nose in the projector’s shadow and pretend to have frightened myself. When my husband would tickle me, my common giggling retort was, “If you break it, don’t expect it to come out on the other side looking the same.” But nowadays, until I see myself in a photo, I kind of forget about it.

I feel fairly zeroed in on the lessons I long to teach my girls about beauty, and none of these past responses about my nose reflect them.

What do I do with that? As they face the body image attacks that are certain to threaten their own self-image, how do I give them strength?

what we’re really saying is, “Don’t remember I was here.”

There is a photograph of my girls and me on the wall in my office. That day we were all messy-haired and still in our pjs, just filling time until Daddy got home. I decided to get out the camera because the lighting in the den was just so. In that moment I remember thinking, These are just for fun because we look gross. I, with my message of the beauty of how God sees us, almost didn’t take the shot based on our appearance. I almost missed it. It hangs in my office as one of my most treasured possessions and I almost missed it.

How many times have I been with women I love, and when the camera comes out, so do the excuses?

“Oh, I don’t want to be in this one. Y’all go ahead.” It’s a decision usually based on temporal and external circumstances such as weight, outfit, hairstyle, you name it. They’d make comments about themselves they’d never think or say about other women. But in the end, their decision not to be photographed kept them out of the memory. Sisterfriends, when we say no to a random or

Confident in your identity

spur-of-the-moment picture, what we’re really saying is, “Don’t remember I was here.” This is far deeper than a body image issue. This is about presence, contribution, connection in friendship, and family identity. This is saying no to our heart’s deep desire to be in the moment and part of the moment based on extra pounds or regrettable bangs. This is telling God that, in spite of what He says about us in the Bible, it can’t possibly be true that we bear His image.

Ick.

As a woman who has put her full hope in Jesus, God looks at me and sees His son. I want to see me the way God sees me too. Covered, surrounded, sheltered, and enveloped in Christ’s mighty love—that’s the only frame of mind from which to decide whether or not to get in a picture.

This is about presence, contribution, connection in friendship, and family identity.

There’s another photo in my husband’s office. It’s of just me, in a posed school picture from a year I taught Spanish. I remember the day it showed up in my mailbox in the teacher workroom. I laughed and thought, Why did I wear that? And What’s with the funky thing my hair is doing? David loved it and it’s been in his office ever since. That picture is almost ten years old, and guess what? When I look at it now, all I think is, Gosh, I look so young.

So here’s my point:

sometimes giving yourself grace means getting in the picture, acknowledging your createdness, keeping your eyes on the present moment and the future memory to come . . . all while embracing the flaws. It’s a good spot from which to make a decision. Jump in the picture, friends. But know, if you and I are racing to get in position, get ready for me to beat you by a nose.

 


One Step Further:

  1. How is God calling you to see yourself more as He sees you?
  2. How is God calling you to see others more as He sees them?
  3. What do you need to repent of and surrender?