About a month ago, while we still had the money, we decided to buy a new camera. My original camera was six or seven years old, and though it still basically worked, the pictures weren't quite sharp and the shutter needed "help" opening all the way. Now, I'm not very good at spending money on myself...I have a hard time justifying it when there are so many "more important things", but this, I told myself, would not be just something new for me; it would be an investment for my family.
So, I've been learning how to use this new camera and my biggest problem is getting it to focus on what I want a picture of.
See that? You'll notice that the background is in crystal-clear detail. The flower in the foreground? Not so much. I aimed for the flower, and got leaves and bushes instead.
When you suffer from depression, it takes away your ability to focus on the things that are most important to you.
I moved around, played with the zoom, and tried again. With no better result.
Depression blinds you to the truths that are obvious to everyone else. You simply can not believe that you're a good person, wife or mother. Not only is everything you do "wrong", everything about you is wrong. How can anyone love you when you can't love yourself? And how can you love yourself when you know how ugly you really are?
So I gave it one last attempt. Instead of standing back and trying to focus from a distance, I got right up to it until it became as clear as a bell.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." In the midst of depression, all I see are my own imperfections. But when I manage to stop focusing on myself and turn my eyes to God, it's so obviously clear how much He truly loves me. I don't have to be perfect for Him. Jesus already carried the burden of perfection for me, because He loves me. And if He can love me in all my imperfection, why wouldn't I embrace the freedom to love myself? Because looking through His eyes, I am beautiful.