Rene Taubensee

It was the lowest moment in my life.

I stood in front of a mirror and couldn’t stand what I saw. It wasn’t the physical image that repulsed me. It was the person I was seeing. It was who I had allowed myself to become. I felt worthless, abhorrent, and definitely unlovable. And I knew that I deserved to be miserable for the rest of my life.

It seems like a typical story. I had a horrible self-image. In fact I could feel it disintegrating around me. I needed to love and be loved. And, of course, I looked in all the wrong places, and made lots of bad choices.

I didn’t go to church as a child, except the summer I was four years old, when I went to Sunday School. My knowledge of God was limited to the Ten Commandments movie, and Jesus Christ Superstar.

And yet, despite the fact that my knowledge of God was so limited, I knew that what I was doing was wrong. It is amazing to me, as I look back on it, that while I didn’t know the "rules", I somehow knew what God expected of me. And I knew that I was at a crossroads. And as I looked in the mirror and recognized how needy I was, I said, "That’s it. Ok, God (and I wasn’t totally sure He even existed) You have to help me."

Shortly after that I went to a baseball game over Canada Day weekend. It was then I met Eddie. He walked in and I knew he was the guy I was going to marry. 11 months later we were engaged.

Right before we got married, Eddie said, "It’s time to start going to church." We had to take classes before getting married, and it was during those classes that I began a gradual awakening of my faith. God began opening my eyes to His Word, and to His love, and to all that He wants for us.

I struggled with the concept of forgiveness. I wasn’t sure I was lovable. And I wasn’t sure I could possibly be forgiven. I had felt so horrible, and so repulsed by that person I had seen staring back at me from the mirror. And occasionally I still struggle with guilt. I still struggle with wanting to be in control of my life.

But God’s great love forgives me, and still does. And His love reassures me. He loves me enough to have given Jesus to die for me, and I rest in that love. That’s the message of the cross – that God loves us and forgives us and claims us as His own.

There is a God-sized hole in our hearts that only God can fill. And when we try to fill that hole on our own, the worse we feel. It is God who is unchanging, and loves us unconditionally.

And now, when I look in the mirror, I see a whole new person. I’m still like everyone else….I still fall short so often. But I have learned that my self-image doesn’t depend on how I feel about myself, but on how God feels about me.

And He loves me.

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