The term “Mirroring” is actually used as a psychological concept to describe when a person subconsciously or unknowingly imitates the behaviors, gestures, mannerisms, or attitude of someone else.
The title of this blog entry is actually taken from my upcoming book, “Mirroring Effect,” which is set to be released near the end of March 2017. Overall, the book details a teenaged girl who loses her sister to suicide. While trying to figure out the reasons regarding her sister’s death, she gradually undergoes a shift or change in herself and image. She begins to mirror what she sees around her and ultimately becomes the very person she previously despised.
I had actually experienced the concept of mirroring, but just didn’t realize it until now. My blog entries don’t normally post until Sunday, but I had to get this one out now…
Over four months ago God had given me a specific task to fulfill. God wanted me to love someone.
Not just anybody- mind you.
This person, also deeply spiritual, had the most difficult personality I had ever come in contact with. This person had been the most abrasive, blunt, critical, condescending, and impatient person I had ever met. Don’t get me wrong, I could tell this person had a genuine love and thirst for God, but I knew this love endeavor would be challenging. And so I asked God, “How am I supposed to love [this person]?” And God replied, “I will show you how.”
So I immediately went to work in order to fulfill God’s task of loving this person:
1) Send positive thoughts (check!)
2) Send scriptures and words of encouragement (check!)
3) Actively and enthusiastically listen to the person (check!)
4) Invite the person to my church/ Attend this person’s visiting church (check and check!!)
5) Give gifts without expecting or wanting anything in return (check!)
Y’all, I love a checklist, so I happily marked off everything I thought I was supposed to be doing. I did everything I could to show love. And I thought I was doing a good job! Surely, the fruit of my work would be evidenced and seen within and by this person, right???
It seemed the more I loved, the meaner this person grew. The harder I prayed, the more difficult the situation with this person became. The more I gave of myself (becoming selfless), the more the person took (becoming selfish).
I didn’t know what was going on!
But what I did know- this experience was starting to hurt! Like testing, this experienced became extremely uncomfortable and painful. Never had I fought for someone that I actually did not like!
At one point, I even grew angry: “Why didn’t this person see or understand what I was doing?” Why wasn’t this person appreciative of the time, energy, and effort I put into loving this person?
And so, a feeling finally came over me- resolution.
I finally said, “It is finished.”
I prayed to God and then ended communication with this person.
The situation didn’t end with the person having an epiphany. The person didn’t eventually grow a change of heart toward me. In fact, at the end of the communication, even as I said “Goodbye,” the person was still harsh, brutal, and condescending to me. But it was finished…
Afterwards I talked to God. I had already learned that everything happened for a reason. I would always have the opportunity to learn from these lessons in life. I knew God would eventually bless me with clarity about this particular situation; He has always been faithful in the past. He had given me the task of loving this person for a reason. There was a reason for the pain I had to endure in order to love this person.
God will eventually explain everything in His timing. I trust and have faith in Him.
But the wisdom He did share today: This situation had been similar to the mirroring effect.
God showed me an image and in this image it was I, not this person, standing in front of Him. As if I was standing in front of a mirror, God- in the most gentle and loving way possible- showed me that I acted toward Him as this person acted toward me.
While God tried to love me, I had been stubborn. I had been impatient. I had been dismissive and critical. I had sought out my thoughts over God’s and yes, I had even been condescending to God.
I had been ungrateful and I had shown disdain when God had only shown love.
But the greatest thing God revealed to me: even though I ended the communication with this person, God would never end communication with me.
In fact, the only time the words, “It is finished,” had been uttered had been the moment at Calvary when Jesus gave His life for mine. In that moment when Jesus said, “It is finished!” my salvation for all eternity had been promised.
And so as I looked in the mirror, I saw what I truly looked like. In the mirror I saw my image: a person so difficult…so challenging…so unlovable and yet God looked at that same image….He looked at me- ME!- and saw someone He would surely love.
Y’all, I’m going to be transparent- as I write this I am consumed with tears right now. So I will draw to the end of this reflection with this:
Sometimes God puts people and situations in your life so you can see yourself more clearly.
I end with this scripture:
The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
~ Jeremiah 31:3
If it is in God’s will, I will conclude by saying, “Until next time.”