The Reflection in the Mirror

I used to hate mirrors.

I avoided them as often as I could. I would get ready in the morning for school—squinting and inwardly criticizing my reflection and then I would avoid looking again until the end of the day.

It wasn’t the mirror I hated, really. It was the reflection.

It was me. Because all I could see was imperfection.

I spent a lot of those teen years wishing I was taller, curvier in some places, thinner in others. I longed for my boring brown hair to be less wavy, for my skin to be clearer, for more beauty.

I wanted to be beautiful. But, really, I wanted others to think I was beautiful.

It wasn’t just outward approval I longed for; I wanted to be liked. Loved.

But it’s a futile journey-this self-loathing and it leads to ugliness that runs deep.  And no cosmetic magic makeover can ever repair the broken reflections. We won’t ever be enough in those mirrors.

People spend millions of dollars in lotions and potions and peels and injections trying. It’s artificial.

“Until you are convinced of God’s incredible love for you, you will continue looking for replacement love everywhere,” Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself through God’s Eyes.

I found true love for myself and mostly others when I accepted God’s great love for me.


I put away the mirrors that compare and contradict and condemn and I traded them for something pure and holy. I may never understand its depths, but in that deep pool of unfathomable love, I saw myself as a reflection of Christ.

It changed everything for me.

The overwhelming, ever-present need for approval lessened. I realized it was okay to be unapproved by others because I was preapproved by God. Nothing else required. Just like I am.

I remember the first time I saw a picture of myself and thought, “She is pretty.”

It was startling because I realized that she was me.

I was being transformed from the inside out.

I still had the same unruly brown curls and average face, but I saw a different reflection.

And it had absolutely nothing to do with what I looked like.


I dare you to trade in the mirrors in your life that crave approval. It’s time to exchange them for always-sent preapproval in God’s eyes. Love Idol by my friend Jennifer Dukes Lee will help you find the acceptance we long for. I loved this important book and you will too!


Today, she is graciously giving away two copies. Please leave a comment to be entered.

And if you really want to know how God feels about you, click here now.


    • 1.1


      I was blessed by this. Looking for approval by others has been an long enduring disappointment in my life for years that has created a deep empty pit in my soul i realize more day to day that only God himself can fill and heal that pit. Thanks for sharing. ~Manda

  1. 5


    Ahh, a friend of mine has been blogging about this – every post is striking and convicting and encouraging — this book holds a message that I definitely need to hear! Too often I try to gain approval through Achievement – when really, all I’m achieving is another rusty piece for my crumbling kingdom.

  2. 8

    Jodi Ellingson says

    Wow! From what i read put tears in my eyes! This reminds me of my 12yr old daughter, she struggles daily with herself, and alot is the soceity that we live in, you see young girls dressing like they are 20 and wearing makeup. I think this book would help her and myself with self esteem and confidence and to that she is gods beauty!

  3. 11

    Tina says

    God’s grace has allowed our oldest three girls (24, 20, and 18) to grow up knowing they are beautiful inside and out (without make-up and fancy clothes). They each have their own very unique earthy style.

    Our new challenge will be to instill the same sense of beauty in our 8 year old daughter~~she goes off to school every day hearing and repeating, “I am beautiful (inside and out), I am smart, I am important, and Mommy and Daddy and Jesus love me.” I pray she believes the words.

  4. 14

    Lorena says

    This is exactly what I need! For 11 years I have struggled with a family member making me feel inferior than her. The good that has come out of this situation is that it has drawn me evencloser to God because I know He loves me unconditionally. Even though I tell myself every time I have to be around her in a family gathering that only God can judge me, it is still painful to know that my own relative will criticize me regardless of what I have to say or think. I can’t get past her not approving of me marrying her brother simply because I am from a different culture and grew up with a different religion than hers among other things. now she even takes it out on my kids and that hurts even more than when she acts like I don’t exist. I would really like this book, because this is something that might solidify my feelings about just accepting that not everybody is going to approve of me and that it should be ok because if God is for me, then who can be against me?

  5. 18

    Maryann says

    Sounds like a book a lot of us need to read. The description really spoke to me…which has me thinking now…

  6. 19

    jacinta sawyer says

    Wow I love that saying about I don’t need to be approved by others because we are preaproved by God. I am going to write that on our toilet(where all important sayings go). My daughter 12 needs to learn this as much as I do! Thank you.

  7. 20

    Rhonda says

    I can’t wait to read this book! I have two daughters and three young granddaughters. This is the message I want them to hear.

  8. 22

    jan says

    I would love to read this book. I know in my mind I am a child of God and Loved by Him. I struggle at times knowing it in my heart! Sounds like a book I need to read.

  9. 25

    Andrea says

    That sounds like a great book that all of us need to read. I know that I struggle with wanting to be more important or better in other people’s eyes…and I especially want to stop seeing every little imperfection that no one else but me even notices.

  10. 27


    Great post, and much-needed today. I feel one of my greatest weaknesses has always been my vanity. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  11. 30

    Mary J says

    As a 30 year old woman I still struggle ugh …I hope I win , If not the book is going on my shopping list!

  12. 35

    Connie Taylor says

    This book sounds fantastic. As a mother of two girls, one who is now a teen, I think this is definitely something I need to read!

  13. 37

    Laurel says

    I felt like this post was written for me today! I needed to read this, thank you! And I would LOVE to read this book!

  14. 40

    AVA says

    Thank you for this very poignant message. I needed it this morning. Always nice to have a new perspective to use for myself but also when teaching my youth girls. Thank you

  15. 46

    Kathryn says

    I just really love your blog! I am also finding that loving The Lord has led to accepting myself as wonderfully made by the Heavenly Father. I have started to leave the house without makeup for the first time since eighth grade….leaving without my mask to hide. My husband says I look beautiful. My girls say I look way prettier without makeup. I feel free and peaceful without hiding. I know it really hasn’t a thing to do with the makeup….it’s The Lord shining His light in my life. And it shows from the inside out! Thank you as always for encouraging women and mothers in a personal relationship with Christ and living it out. Thank you also for the giveaway! God Bless You!

  16. 49

    Bethany says

    I think this is something most every female struggles with. It looks like a good book, can’t wait to read it one way or another!

  17. 50

    Deborah Golden says

    I really needed to read this. The approval of others is something that I struggle with so much. Thank you for sharing! I would love to be able to read the book!

  18. 53

    Sis says

    Every woman in this world needs a book like this can’t want for it to come out my god bless every one toady

  19. 55

    Michele says

    I feel myself being transformed this Lenten season. I’ve really enjoyed reading all of these Love Idol posts!

  20. 56

    Allison Rowe says

    I really want to be an example for my one year old daughter 😉 I want her to find her worth in Christ and nothing else!
    “Charm is deceptive and Beauty is fleeting, but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

  21. 57

    Nicole says

    This is what we all need know!!. Thank you thank you and thank you so much for reminding me who I really am and what I have to worry about. As all the ladies who commented here I would love to have that book too!

  22. 65

    Courtney L. says

    God is working on me! This post today, then something I read by Holley Gerth yesterday – “There is one deepest fear. It’s that we won’t be enough; Friend, it isn’t true. Hear words of grace instead… You are enough in Him because He is enough in you.” I know there are so many who struggle with being accepted, being enough. Praying that our hearts are filled with His truth – we already ARE enough! Would love to read this book! :)

  23. 66

    Brook says

    I pray that this is something that my daughter (and myself) grasp! We would love to read this book and learn steps of transformation from the inside out!

  24. 67

    Heidi R says

    Wow! What a great article! This really hits home for me as I always struggle with the person that looks back at me in the mirror.

  25. 69

    Sarah says

    “I realized it was okay to be unapproved by others because I was preapproved by God.”

    Such truth and needed often as a reminder. Thank you for the opportunity to win, sounds like a great read!

  26. 71

    Tara says

    The people pleaser in me has a hard time not letting other’s approval drive what I do/how I feel. Would love to read this book – thanks for the chance!

  27. 73

    Shahmoon says

    I’m raising three girls and in this world where women are constantly encouraged to feel that their outward appearance is ever enough, I desperately want them to rely on their worth coming from God alone!

  28. 74


    Ugh. I still struggle with this. Reminding myself not to be a slave to acceptance. Now I will add that I am preapproved. :) Look forward to reading this book!!!

  29. 76


    I will read this book whether I win it or not .( but would love to win it, of course).
    I love the way that you write and I thank you so much for your transparency.
    Blessings on you,

  30. 78

    Jill says

    I would love this book for me, but more importantly for my little girl. Jr. High is so hard and she is struggling so much! I wish she could see what a beautiful girl she is!

  31. 81

    Maggie Behny says

    I really want to & will read this book. It couldn’t come at a better time, I think, with all women are dealing with in this society of “never being good enough”. Raised 3 daughters & finishing up with the 4th…wish this book had come out much earlier, like the 70s! Thx

  32. 82


    What a beautiful idea! We’re having a daughter in a couple of months and this very thing is what terrifies me the most. I’d love to read the book!

  33. 85

    Kim says

    Seems like I’ve searched for approval my whole life and I’m still searching. I feel like the curtain of lies is being lifted a little each day though. Maybe this book could speed it up:-)

  34. 88


    I can truly connect with you on this post. I was always very insecure as a teenager and often felt I was not good enough. That feeling followed me into adulthood and many bad decisions were made due to the feeling that I should just settle. I never felt truly worthy of many things. Thank God, he has changed this feeling and I know that I am “worthy”! Thank you for your blog. I also will read the book whether I win or not!

  35. 95

    Diane says

    What woman wouldn’t benefit from this book? We always seem to want to find worth in someone else’s eyes, forgetting that we do have that worth in Someone’s eyes.

  36. 96


    Wow! just found you after someone share a link on FB about 9 Things We Should Get Rid of to Help. Can’t wait to read more. We need more strong women of faith to lead themselves, their homes and set an example in their communities and around the world. Can’t wait to read more.

  37. 98

    Tara says

    This is truly something I need right now in my life…struggling!! Would love to be the lucky winner. Thanks so much for the chance :)

  38. 99

    ginny kroll says

    As an over 60 woman, I realize how many love idols I had that were holding me back from my relationship with God, so I would really like to read this book. The messages are loud and clear!

  39. 103

    Mark says

    I have a wife and 2 young daughters. For me, they are the 3 most beautiful women in the world. It makes me so sad that they do not see themselves the same way. Perhaps this book will help! Thank you for the important work you are doing for God’s daughters everywhere!

  40. 104


    I.Want.T0.Read.This.Book!!! All my friends are doing it… lol Can’t wait to dig in to this great message and movement! Thank you, Jennifer-PS I was first introduced to you through my friend Lelia when she guest posted on your blog… Then I forgot to subscribe to you and then suddenly there you were with this awesome message. Thanks again!

  41. 105

    Mandy says

    I struggle so much with looking to others for approval instead of embracing the identity I have in Christ. As a teen I went through abuse and battled bulimia and despite now being in my 30’s some of those scars are still so deep. I look to men to tell me I matter and get trapped in this cycle of promiscuity, guilt and shame, over and over. I want to find peace with myself.

  42. 106

    Melissa D says


    Oh oh oh oh oh.

    I have no words. Just – this is almost too hard to read. It is a message that is needed so much, and that makes it so hard.

  43. 108

    Heather Wray says

    At 14 years old, I felt unloved, unworthy and not beautiful. For me.that was almost a lethal combination. I am now 36 and raising 3 children. 2 of which are very strong, indepent young ladies. I try daily to encourage them where they are and love them in a way that they will see the beautiful girl they are on the inside.
    I often hear the negative self doubt creep back into my own mind, but try to push it away.
    This topic is so important today and for our ladies of tomorrow. That you for being vulnerable and sharing your struggles.

  44. 115

    Kim Porter says

    Should I win a copy of this book, yes, I’d be grateful, but just wanted to let you know what a blessing your posts are to me. Thank you so much.

  45. 116

    Christy says

    Wow, great post! It’s horrible what pressure the media and everyone around us puts on women to be beauty queens, instead of affirming that they’re enough, because that’s how God made them. Thank you for reminding us of that.

  46. 118

    Halee says

    I can totally relate. When I was a teenager, I was always striving to be prettier, never did I think I was pretty enough. And now, after just turning 30, I look back at old pictures of my teenage self and long to be that beautiful again. I am learning to embrace the beauty of my 30 year old self, because in a blink I will be 40, probably longing to look like I did when I turned 30 😉 I would love to read that book!

  47. 123

    sarah jackson says

    I would love this! I turn 30 this year and am a mom to 2 little ones, so it’s a trying season physically. I’d love the encouragement!

  48. 124

    juli Vrotney says

    Sounds like a good book we all should read…it is so easy to put things or thoughts,ideas as being more important than God..and make them into idols.

  49. 130

    Becky Prasek says

    I just love your blog, it is so real, relatable, and inspirational. Thank you! And thank you for the chance to win this book. It looks like a topic that I could very much relate to.

  50. 133

    Jayme Jeane says

    Love your blog, I forward it to my Bible study group all the time! Would love to win this book, especially with a daughter that needs to know that God is the one that matters and He made us beautiful and just the way He wants us.

  51. 134

    Amy says

    I would love to read this book. I’ve just recently lost 35 pounds and got wayyyy healthier. Then I picked myself apart when looking at a picture of myself because of the 15 pounds that I still need to lose. I want to see myself through His eyes but it’s so hard. Also, I don’t want my two tween daughters to have to inherit this self-loathing from me. Thank you for writing about this. I think we all do it. God Bless, Amy

  52. 136

    Terrie C says

    Until my mid-thirties, I suffered from I’m not pretty enough, etc. I knew God loved me and Psalm 139 became my go to to remind me what He thought about me. I finally came to the point of acceptance and peace about it. Then in the last few years, I found my self comparing myself to other women physically and spiritually. I struggle to shed that perception because it focuses my attention on me instead of Him, but I know HE loves me unconditionally. I would love to read this book.

  53. 138

    Cynthia says from others has always been my god and my God is slowly healing me from it. Thank you

  54. 142


    I’ve always struggled to see myself as God sees me, to feel like I’m enough. Over the past few years, God has shown me more and more what it means to truly be His. I’m really looking forward to reading this!

  55. 143

    Barbara Claunch says

    I am a pastors wife and run across so many ladies who feel this way about themselves. Before I gave my heart to God I too felt this way but Jesus has a way of taking everything and turning it around for good. Would love to get a copy of this book.

  56. 149

    Jenn says

    After struggling my whole life with my body and appearance, (and infertility) my husband and I welcomed our beautiful son into our lives four months ago! Now, I realize my body wasn’t that bad before, but have a whole new battle beginning! This is definitely a book I will need to read! I pray daily for help accepting myself, but still struggle constantly! This post couldn’t have come at a better time!

  57. 150

    Hillary says

    This book sounds amazing! I would love to read it. Thank you for the opportunity to win a free copy!

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