Based in Frederick, Maryland, Digital Ink & Parchment is a blog by Alexandria Pallat. Her posts explore the integration of faith in every day life.

Reflections

Reflections

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I’ve completed the blending of my foundation, making my complexion more even than it already is. I’ve colored my eyes and darkened my eyelashes. I’ve scrunched and fluffed and run my fingers through my growing hair. I look at my appearance in my small bathroom mirror. The thought “this is as good as it’s gonna get,” like Mia from The Princess Diaries, whispers through my mind. I sigh, resigned. . . . . . .

When I look in the mirror each morning, I do not see someone I am proud of. I see a disappointment. A disappointment to my husband, my family, and myself. I would like to clarify—I do not see a quitter; I think they are different. I just feel overwhelming disappointment in myself.

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately. Perhaps that isn’t a good thing. Then again, perhaps it’s an opportunity for God to teach me more about myself and my capabilities.

I’ve been disappointed I didn’t see this coming. I’m disappointed I was stupid enough to make decisions I did. I’m disappointed I’m stupid enough to beat myself up over things I cannot change. I’m disappointed I didn’t do everything I could earlier. I’m disappointed I didn’t stand up for myself at work. I’m disappointed at my expectations. I thought things were better than this and they turned out differently.

Most of all, I’m disappointed I’m allowing negative thoughts to once again take root in my mind. Lately, I have felt deep within me that things are changing. The anxiety and depression are getting to me more, and I’ve felt powerless to stop them or even slow them down. And I’m disappointed in that powerlessness and that I don’t know why I'm feeling this way.

. . . . . .

Driving back from an appointment, reflecting on things both “good” and “bad”, I was struck by a phenomenon in front of me: a rainbow.

The clouds had been thick and a little dark, but it hadn’t rained. The rainbow was a perfect half-arch, coming from a perfectly fluffy white cloud, against a darkening light blue sky, in front of after-hour commuters. As I was marveling at this image, I felt a gentle whisper on my spirit: I promise.

Scientifically, a rainbow is caused by the refraction and reflection of the sun’s rays with drops of rain. In mourning, especially for a pet, we are often given the Rainbow Bridge poem, which tells of a beautiful place where the pet rests, yet reflects on the human they miss. In the Bible, the rainbow is a symbol of a covenant, of God’s promise to an individual or group of people (take Noah and humankind after the flood).

I was hit with the need for reflection when I saw this rainbow, but a different type of reflection than I have been doing. I felt compelled to begin reflecting on the good God has done in my life, on the promises He has made. There have been times I have not been certain if I have heard Him making promises, or if those things were just me stubbornly saying to Him “this is how it’s going to be.” I suddenly realized I needed to begin actually thinking about those times and asking God for guidance to again show me the promises He has made, to remind me, since I have gone off track.

That rainbow, to me, was a sign that He hears me, and He is working and will keep His promises.

. . . . . .

I’ve come to the conclusion I’m disappointed because I have not been expending my mental energy the way I should. I’m disappointed because I am allowing the enemy space in my head to take over the reflections of the good God has done. I am disappointed because I have not been reflecting on God’s word or work enough.

I am unhappy with my reflection because the enemy has control of it right now, and I need to give that control back to God. I am unhappy with my reflection because I have allowed myself to be so burdened by negativity and the enemy’s screams that I haven’t chosen to look deeper for God’s whispers.

I want to change that.

. . . . . .

Have you been unhappy with your reflection? What’s one thing you do to boost your self-esteem?

What have you been reflecting on? Have you been giving the enemy too much power in your reflection? How can you change that?

What are the promises God has spoken to you that you need to reacquaint yourself with?

Lost and Found

Lost and Found

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