Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chapter Four: The Eye of the Beholder

Written By: Teresa Criswell
Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

I awoke to a memory.

Just as the little girl in the beginning, so I was. I knew how beautiful I was. Yet, the devastating memorable moment when it all changed, the moment I entered my kindergarten class.

The mirror I looked into was shattered. I looked into the distorted object which reflected the hurtful insults. My peers did not see beauty in me and in turn I allowed them to become the “eye of the beholder” in my life.

I must say, I remembered that day so vividly. The transition was unfair, for I was a princess at home, yet when coming to school for the first time, I was suddenly different. I did not realize how different until that very moment.

I remember the first insult that was hurled at me, as they pointed their fingers, “Ewwwwww, Chinese.” As the kids said it, they pulled their eyes in a slanted position and laughed. I remember just wanting to crawl into a hole.

Almost immediately I allowed that day to mold me into an insecure, resentful young girl. I began resenting my own mother who is Korean and thinking to myself, “I’m made fun of because of her. I wish I was light haired and had light eyes.” I remember wanting to be of no part of my culture whatsoever. I thought to myself, “My mom ruined my life.” Of course, that was a lie, but this is what started forming in my little mind.

I could no longer hear the compliments of the people who loved me and whom I loved, for I did not hear confirmations outside the home; I only heard the opposite. I was focused on the negative insults hurled at me almost daily as a little girl. I fought back with mean words, which did not help my situation or anyone else’s. Of course as a child, this was and is hard to comprehend.

So I interrupt this memory and ask you a question…who is the “eye of the beholder” in your life? Is it you, your peers, your spouse? Or is it Almighty God, the One who created you? If the eye of the beholder is you, then this could be a detriment if what you see is of despair. I believe this issue alone affects our relationships with our family, spouse and sadly enough even our own children.

We need to step back, wake up and pay attention to what we are saying about ourselves; especially when in the presence of our children. We need to listen to ourselves and know that our children observe our self-destructive comments and will most likely turn on the heels of the lie we have spoken over ourselves and believe it for themselves.

Our children are so much more aware of life than we give them credit for. So many times they are aware and sensitive to our feelings, more so than we are. They will often wonder, “Why is mom sad?” “Why is mom upset?” “Did I do something to make mom feel that way”?
The negative words we speak over our lives, we have received as gifts, when they were not intended to be received at all (Proverbs 18:21).

Who knew that the enemy would not have to use his own weaponry…but we could commit self-sabotage on our own lives to demoralize and even defame who God says we are.

Have you ever heard yourself talk about who you are as a person? I have caught myself cut down on many areas of who I am and in turn defame the person in whom God created.

We have actually believed that we have a ‘right’ to say these awful things about ourselves. What and who gave us this right? It is not God, because we are to live our life to glorify Him, not ourselves. How does it glorify God when we say the opposite of what He says about us?

It is evidently clear that this does not glorify God because with our words and actions we say with great ignorance that The King of kings ultimately made a mistake; which we know ~ He cannot lie nor does He have the ability to make mistakes (Numbers 23:19).
As it so eloquently is recorded in Isaiah 29:16 (New Living Translation), "How stupid can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you. You are only the jars he makes! Should the thing that was created say to the one who made it, “He didn’t make us”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”?”

When I read this scripture I was astounded at the same accusation I unknowingly had towards God. Me, being the clay, judging God, the Potter, as if to say He knows nothing about what I am, when He is, The Great I Am!

Isn’t it amazing how we think we have it all figured out? God is so merciful, no wonder he says, “My mercy is new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23). The mercy He has over us is actually for Himself, we become beneficiaries of that mercy as He is so patient over us.

Are you ready to live a life of True Freedom in Christ Jesus? It is readily available. Are we willing to fix our eyes upon the beautifully adorned mirror? If so, God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth is so lovingly, I would presume sighing with relief as The Great I Am says of you, “You have finally believed what I have said of you all along. My beautiful princess, you are adorned in My radiant love over you; for I Am enthralled by your beauty, you have finally looked into the mirror I see you in.”
(Referencing, Psalm 45:10 & 11).

You might even ask, “Why do you keep emphasizing beauty?” I believe it is the core of God’s creation throughout the earth. He is the Author of True Beauty. I keep emphasizing beauty because it is emphasized every day in front of our eyes wherever we go. However the beauty that we have been exposed to has been through the impure, sadistic ways of the world.

Personally, I lived a life of “please approve of me.” I would conform to anything you wanted, sadly, no matter the cost. If it cost my family, okay, as long as you accept me. It was a sad and misconstrued way of living and I lived it.

In fact, I would not even call it living, but existing as a life with absolutely no purpose. I didn’t live on purpose, I lived as though every choice I made was an accident. I lived a life of looking into the mirror and not realizing that there I stared into the eyes of a precious spirit whom God fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139).

When your eyes meet your reflection in the mirror, do you catch a glimpse of a precious jewel that the world does not yet know about? As you look into the mirror do you see a glimmer of hope? Do you see a woman who has filled herself up with lies and now realizes that it is about time she knows the truth?

What is the truth? You are a woman of strength and might. Your Father is the King of kings. He with passion and pleasure lets the kingdom know that you are His daughter. He bids you to come so that the world may see what has been violently kidnapped from them. You have something that they never knew they needed until they laid eyes upon you. There is something inside you from the Lord that must get out! Your gift is not to be hoarded, but to be graciously received by others.

God desires to deliver us from living the counterfeit life and delivering you into the life you were meant to live; the authentic life, revealing His majestic, glorious beauty!


  1. Teresa, I am floored that you were insulted at that tender age! When I first saw your picture on your other blog, I thought, my gosh, this girl is positively gorgeous! It's strange how some people react to ethnic diversity. I think the Asian and Mexican women are the most beautiful women in the world! I often wished I had that heritage.

    I was made fun of for other reasons. It was years before I discovered God, and even more years to discover that I was not a mistake - He had every single one of my features in mind when He made me. It has been a long road to get to this place.

    This book is so important! I pray it finds its way into the hands of every woman who does not recognize the beauty that God instilled in her...

  2. Teresa, there is so much depth in this chapter.
    Words hurt...words pierce and sometimes the cruel words of children leave a lasting wound on our hearts for years. It grieves me to hear those hurtful words that were hurled at you. Yet I rejoice that the Lord pursued your heart and showed you just how beautifully and wonderfully made you are ...and in His image.
    I thought the same thing Deborah did when I saw your beautiful picture. God has given you outward beauty as well as a beautiful heart and soul...filled with light and love.

    I related to so much of this, especially:
    "I would not even call it living, but existing as a life with absolutely no purpose. I didn’t live on purpose, I lived as though every choice I made was an accident.I lived a life of looking into the mirror and not realizing that there I stared into the eyes of a precious spirit whom God fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139)."

    May we grab hold of His image and live authentically for His glory!