The Eyes in the Mirror
by Cheri Hardaway

The face in the mirror stared at Sarah. She brushed, rinsed, swished, and spat. Still those probing eyes pierced hers with the question: Where is she?

She had to run. Her daughter needed to be chauffeured to chemistry class. Between delivery and retrieval, Sarah would fill her time with a trip to the grocery store. What fun.

Later that day, the face caught her eye again, this time reflected in the microwave. She couldn't shake those eyes. Or the question they held: Where is she?

Oops! The clock on the microwave demanded she leave immediately, if she wanted to be on time for the meeting.

After her meeting, she stopped in the restroom before running home to take the dog to the vet. Those eyes caught hers again: Where is she?

Smelling like Rover, Sarah returned from the vet's and rushed to answer the ringing phone. It was her daughter-in-law. Sarah scrambled to hook up the video cam so she could see her twin grandsons on the computer monitor while she and Mary chatted.

Hanging up, Sarah had only minutes to throw a meal together before Josh got home. After a quick bite, they would rush to the zoning meeting at the Civic Center.

Dashing for the door while Josh waited in the car, she checked her appearance in the mirror. There were the eyes again: Where is she?

No time to think about that now. They were late.

Home again, Sarah and Josh collapsed on their bed. She was exhausted. So was Josh. Or so she thought.

"Are you sure? You know we have to get up at 5:00 in the morning," she reminded him.

"I remember." He smiled playfully. "But I think you're beautiful..."

She didn't feel beautiful, but he always insisted she was. Her eyes had been tired and old looking in the mirror when she got ready for bed. Their relentless question was also getting old. Where is she? She wished she knew.

The alarm was obnoxiously loud. Time to get up and drive the five hours to see their other son, the one in drug rehab. There, he'd lost his desire for drugs and found Jesus. So even though it was a long drive, their visits were always encouraging.

During the drive, Sarah considered her life. Days, each one similar, had turned into weeks; weeks turned into months; months turned into years. In the early years of their marriage, it was diapers and play groups. Now it was chauffeuring and errands. She stayed busy. She liked her life. She was happy. Wasn't she?

Discontentment had surfaced only recently... with the accusation of the eyes in the mirror.

The epiphany came one afternoon in the local Wal-Mart as she shopped for the twins' birthday. Accidentally straying to the Barbie aisle, she reminisced about her Barbie days. She'd known who she was then; she was a little girl with a big dream. She wanted to be somebody... somebody important.

Standing there surrounded by Barbie's plastic, two-dimensional world, it hit her. She'd had a dream of being in the spotlight, yet had ended up only a mundane housewife and mom. The eyes were asking what had happened to that person she'd planned to become.

Sarah suddenly understood: God had a better plan than hers. Yes, she was simply a wife, a mom, a grandma, a friend... She wasn't a CEO. She wasn't "somebody" in the world's eyes, but she was in partnership with the Creator of the universe, shaping and guiding lives He chose to connect with hers. That calling gave her purpose, added a dimension of depth and meaning to her life.

Life with God was 3-D. It went so much deeper than mere externals. Sure, it was nice to be noticed. But life was bigger than being a Beach Glam Barbie or a Baby Photographer Barbie - the names had certainly changed over the years! There were more important things than Fashion Fever or Pom Pom Diva-hood. Real life, lived to the fullest, meant delving below the surface and seeing the real people underneath, caring about their hurts and their needs. She might not be important in the eyes of the world, but to those who knew her, she made a difference. Every life she impacted, touched her own life in return. Every heart had a story to tell, and the hearing of it made her life richer.

That evening the eyes in the mirror held no question. They were full of peace, contentment, and joy.

Knowing both the freedom of surrender and the pain of resistance, Cheri desires to bring God's hope to others suffering in life's deserts. She and husband Wayne have been blessed with four children and three grandchildren. Contact Cheri at [email protected]

Copyright 2007 Cheri Hardaway

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