Accepting the Girl in the Mirror
by The Duggar Girls
One night a few years ago as I was putting my retainer in my mouth at bedtime, my sister Johannah, then probably five or six, asked what it was. I told her it was something I slept with to help keep my teeth aligned now that I didn’t have to wear braces anymore.
“Can I wear it?” Johannah asked.
We Duggars do love to share a lot of things but, thankfully, dental appliances aren’t among them. I smiled and told her no, it was made just for me and it wouldn’t fit her mouth at all.
Thinking about that conversation later reminded me that we can’t conform ourselves to other people’s molds. But we try sometimes, don’t we? It’s inevitable that human beings, particularly teenagers and especially teenage girls, go through times when they may try to remake themselves into something, or someone, they’re not. Every girl has a tendency to compare herself to other girls, noticing how they dress or style their hair, how much they weigh, how they talk, the words and phrases they use, and how guys respond to them.
You may think that kids like the Duggars, who are homeschooled and don’t watch TV or read secular magazines, are immune from feelings like that, but we’re not! We’ve experienced some of those same negative feelings about the girl in the mirror that you may be feeling right now or have felt in the past.
All of us have gone through times when we’ve felt we needed to lose weight. And we’ve all looked at the girl in the mirror and sometimes found things that just didn’t seem to measure up.
Are you going through a time in your life when you’re being critical of the girl in your mirror?
Giving Power to Others
For many years, I (Jessa) couldn’t care less about what I wore and how I looked. I was the typical happy little Duggar kid, filling my day with homeschool work and playing with my siblings and friends.
But life changed for me when I was about twelve or thirteen. Whenever I was around friends outside our family, I became very quiet and self-conscious—really insecure about the way I looked, dressed, and acted.
I had friends who were really beautiful, and whenever we were together I compared myself to them and always came up lacking something. These critical feelings caused me to have a mistaken view of my friends and myself—thinking they were perfect and I wasn’t. I felt so ashamed and awkward that I couldn’t even talk to anyone about my feelings. I felt overwhelmed and stuck in that negative mind-set.
But if we’re upset with that girl in the mirror, it means we’re upset with God for how He designed us. We may start to think He messed up when He designed us or even that He doesn’t love us. And that leads us to put our confidence and trust in someone else—such as a teenage peer who somehow gains a more powerful influence on our lives than God.
If that’s where you are right now, we’re here to help you see yourself through new eyes—God’s powerful, love-filled, encouraging, and forgiving eyes. We hope to convince you that God loves you more than anyone else in the world loves you and that He has a unique plan for your life. We’ve learned through firsthand experience that when we make Him the priority in our lives and seek His way and His approval, He will fill us with a humble confidence that gives us inward strength and makes us immune to the sometimes-harsh judgment of others who don’t have our best interests at heart.
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