I was six years old and my mother had worked for weeks sewing the Halloween costume I asked for. Finally, the long-awaited day arrived. My mother dressed me in my full-length black witch costume, painted my face green, and topped it all off with a big, black pointy hat. I was so excited! I could hardly wait to see how I looked. After she finished the final touches and was satisfied everything was perfect, she let me lose to run to the bathroom where I took one look in the mirror and burst into tears.
Bewildered, my mother rushed to my side, “Sweetheart, what’s wrong?”
Sobbing uncontrollably, I stammered, “Mommy, I’m ugly!”
She didn’t remind me I asked to be a witch. She didn’t try to talk me into liking the costume she had worked so hard to create. She didn’t even scold me for the likelihood this would make us all late. I only remember her tenderly bending down to ask me one question. “Honey, what do you want to be?”
“A princess,” I sniveled as she wiped away my tears.
Performing a mental inventory of all her sewing and craft supplies, she looked back down into my tear-swept face, “How about I make you into a beautiful bride?”
To this day, I still don’t know how she transformed her black caped, green-streaked, sad little witch into a white-laced, blushing, flower-laden bride. But what puzzles me even more is why do we, as adults, still suffer with the same kinds of struggles? We spend our days trying to conform to the image society tells us is acceptable, and then we’re all miserable, each trying to live a life we were never designed for.
Deep, deep down, if we’re truly honest with ourselves, we all grew up with a dream of being a prince or princess, hero or heroine: men who fight for justice and protect the innocent, and women who long to be cherished and loved.
But somewhere down the road, we put on the masks, trying desperately to fit into a world that no longer resembles the one God intended for us. When sin poisoned the human race and the world and all that was in it, everything turned upside down. Right became wrong, and wrong became right, and only through the eyes of a six year old could we see that a little girl is just not meant to be an ugly witch, but rather a beautiful princess-bride.
When we look in the mirror and no longer know who we are, it is because we have forgotten in whose image we were created, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). It Is only when the mask is removed, that we can we finally see clearly, ” … whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away…[and]… there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord …” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18)
So take off your mask and embrace the person God has called you to be: His own beloved child. And if you are a child of the King, you truly have become His prince, you truly have become His princess … and that, my friend, is no fairytale.
© 2012 Shadia Hrichi. Used with permission.