In His Image
At least the tears didn’t come till the seat belt clicked.
Pulling the family portrait out of its protective sleeve, I examined it again. Yep, that’s her alright. How did this happen? I am my mother.
Looking back now, the situation is laughable. But that afternoon staring at my own image through a hormone-skewed, sleep deprived, two months postpartum perspective was nothing less than traumatizing. I cried off and on for the rest of the night and began a campaign to grow out my hair the very next day.
Eight years and a few experiences later, it totally makes my day when people say, “You look so much like your mom.” Now I answer, “Thank you! Now, if I can just learn to BE like her.”
The other morning my preschoolers and I were looking at a picture depiction of the First Vision where Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.
“Look! Heavenly Father has two eyes. Do you have two eyes?”
Both children grinned and pointed to their eyes.
“He has two arms! Do you have two arms?”
They hugged themselves and rubbed dimpled hands up and down their own arms.
“He has a chin and a smile! Do you have a chin? Do you smile?”
Two blonde heads bobbed up and down, showing their smiles.
That morning, it struck me from the roots of my hair to the tips of my toes that, just like my sweet mother, I don’t want to just LOOK like my Heavenly Father, I want to learn to BE like Him, a little bit more each day.
“Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all people may “progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny.” Just as a child can develop the attributes of his or her parents over time, the divine nature that humans inherit can be developed to become like their Heavenly Father’s.”
So each life experience, joyful or painful, is tailored to that end — -to help us develop our inherited divine nature. We are created in His image with the potential to BECOME so much more than who and what we currently are.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave us this statement of hope: “If we persevere, then somewhere in eternity our refinement will be finished and complete — which is the New Testament meaning of perfection.”
And in the mean time, I will continue to look and try to be like my mother, a devout follower of Jesus Christ.
No more tears.