Once upon a time there was a girl. She wasn’t too different than any other girl. Yet she thought she was, and so she acted like she was.
Other girls were pretty. She thought she was ugly. So she tried to hide whenever she could.
Other girls were fun. She thought she was boring. So she quit playing with others.
Other girls were smart. She thought she was stupid. So she quit sharing her thoughts.
She thought being ugly, boring, and stupid made her repulsive to people. And she tried even harder to disappear from everyone around her.
One day, she discovered she was invisible. No one saw her. No one heard her. She was happy, because now no one would have to endure her presence.
But she was also sad. As she watched people, she watched how they enjoyed each other and wanted to be around each other. And how they loved each other. She wanted to be wanted and loved. Yet, how could anyone want or love someone like her?
One day a friendly voice called to her.
“You can see me?”
“Yes. And I like what I see.”
“You can hear me?”
“Yes. And I like what I hear.”
“How can you like me when I’m so ugly, boring, and stupid?”
“Who told you that?”
“It’s what I see when I look in my mirror.”
“Where did you get that mirror?”
“I made it myself.”
“Can I look at it?”
“Yes, but be careful. Don’t hurt it.”
“It’s a lovely mirror. Strong, and well made.”
“Thank you. It took me a long time to make it.”
“I made a mirror, too. Would you like to look at it?”
“Yes, please. I’ll be careful.”
“Here. And you don’t have to be careful. This mirror won’t break.”
“It’s gorgeous. It’s so shiny; it looks like it is glowing! Who is that beautiful girl in it?”
“No, it can’t be. That girl looks nothing like the girl in my mirror.”
“No, it doesn’t.”
“Then that must not be me. You must be teasing me. Who is that girl, really?”
“That girl is really you.”
“But what about the one in my mirror?”
“Didn’t you say you made your mirror yourself?”
“Did you get any help?”
“Who helped you?”
“People around me. But mostly I did it myself.”
“Do you think maybe your mirror might be lying to you?”
“Lie to me? How can that happen? It’s a mirror. Mirrors always show what’s there.”
“Unless they are distorted.”
“You think my mirror is distorted? What about your mirror?”
“Oh, I’m sure my mirror is accurate. No one helped me make it, so there was no chance for it to get distorted.”
“Well, maybe my mirror is not distorted either.”
“That’s for you to decide.”
“How can I decide? Which one do I believe?”
“You can believe mine, or you can believe yours. It’s your choice.”
The girl studied her image in each mirror. She was familiar with the girl in her mirror, but longed to be the girl in the other mirror. She tried to focus on that second girl – the beautiful one – but each time, her gaze returned to her own mirror.
“I like your mirror better. But each time I try to focus on it, my eyes go back to my own.”
“You haven’t really decided yet. Wanting is not the same as making a decision.”
“I’m scared to decide. What if I’m wrong?”
“Trust me. I wouldn’t show you anything that wasn’t true.”
The girl studied both images again. In spite of the fear that seemed to consume her, she made her decision.
“I choose your mirror.”
As she held the new shiny mirror in her hands, she found laying aside her mirror was still hard. She knew it would take time to get used to looking in the shiny mirror instead of hers, but she had decided.
Little by little, as she looked at the beautiful girl in the shiny mirror, she began to think differently about herself. Maybe she wasn’t so different from other girls after all.
Other girls were pretty. The mirror showed her that she was pretty, too. So she stopped hiding as much.
Other girls were fun. She thought maybe she was fun, too. So she began playing with a few people.
Other girls were smart. She thought maybe she was smart, too. So she started sharing her thoughts with everyone around her.
She thought being pretty, fun, and smart was more fun than what she had been. She quit trying to disappear from everyone around her.
She found out… the new, shiny mirror was right.
And as she believed the image in that amazing mirror, so did the people around her. She was wanted, enjoyed, and loved.
She had one last thing to say to the one who gave her the mirror:
“Thank you, Jesus!”
Romans 12:3 TLB Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you.
Romans 12:3 ERV You must see yourself just as you are. Decide what you are by the faith God has given each of us.