In fact, before digital cameras, the old joke used to be “If you want a good picture of Regina, you’d better have three rolls of film!”
The only reason people thought I take good photos is because they only see the good ones. And anyone close to me knows how super critical I am of every photgraph taken of me – and how adamantly I insist they remove most of them immediately.
So it was with trepidation I ventured out with the kids yesterday to try out Shannan’s new camera. Shannan is a camera nut. She loves photography and is quite good. She is constantly snapping photographs, and unlike me, is remarkably photogenic. I told the kids that I would take the photos, and perhaps try to be in a couple, but I was far from enthusiastic.
As I looked at the photos which contained me, though, I began to realize that they represented far more than a little photo shoot in the park.My life has been a long journey of going overboard trying to stay skinny, trying to stay ever younger looking, and yes, examining every photo so that all that the public saw was exactly what I wanted them to see.
As I studied the photos from yesterday, I saw for the first time (go figure) that I have aged a bit. My hair is thinner, I have crows feet, and I can most certainly not pass for someone in my 20s anymore. I have always secretly dreaded the day my daughter would become a gorgeous young woman, and wondered if I would be jealous of her youth. As vain as it might be, my main profile picture never would have made it to these pages without the magic of photoshop before now. It sounds irrational. But I was always striving to be someone…else. Someone younger and cooler and prettier.
But as I looked at the photos, I saw something I never saw before. I saw a woman who is truly, and honestly, happy. For the first time in my adult life, I love me. I love who I have become, I love my little family. And although I regret many choices I have made, I have forgiven myself…and Jesus has forgiven me. For the first time I can remember, I am comfortable being Regina, 45 year old single mom of two. I absolutely love looking the part. It is who I am, and I fought hard to get here.
It wasn’t until I let God show me who I was through His eyes…until I realized how treasured I am in His heart…that I was able to let go of everything and realize how beloved I am. Wrinkles and all. And it feels so good to see myself, at 45, and know I am beautiful because of who He has made me.