I did not grow up going to church. As such, Halloween seemed a harmless annual opportunity to amass delicious chocolate treats. I will never forget one year when I was six years old. My mother worked for weeks sewing the Halloween costume I asked for. Finally, the long-awaited day arrived. Mom 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. Mom made some final touches and when everything was ready, she let me loose. I ran straight to the bathroom where I took one look in the mirror and burst into tears.

We Are Created in the Image of God

Bewildered, mom came rushing to my side, “Sweetheart, what’s wrong?”

Sobbing uncontrollably, I stammered, “Mommy, I’m ugly!”

She didn’t remind me that I had asked to be a witch. Mom 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.

What puzzles me more is why do we, as adults, still suffer with these same struggles? We spend our days trying to conform to the image society tells us is acceptable. Then we’re miserable, 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; women who long to be cherished and loved.

A World Turned Upside Down

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, the world, and everything in it, turned upside down. Right became wrong. 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.

Created in His Image

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 as a child of the King, you truly are His prince; you truly are His princess. And that, my friend, is no fairy tale.

If you enjoyed this article, you would love my Bible study, HAGAR: Rediscovering the God Who Sees Me, based on the beautiful story of God transforming the Egyptian slave Hagar into a beloved child of God.

Shadia is a passionate Bible teacher, author and speaker who has a heart for seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word. She holds a master’s in biblical and theological studies from Western Seminary and is author of several books and Bible studies.

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