Last night I watched a sweet little modern day fairy tale about a girl named Penelope (written by Leslie Caveny). She was born to a wealthy family who had a dirty little secret; it seems her great, great, great grandfather fell in love with a servant girl. This relationship brought shame to his parents until, feeling the reproach of his family he decides to marry a beautiful aristocrat instead. The pregnant servant girl was devastated and jumps off a cliff to her death. Her mother then puts a curse on the wealthy family, that every descendant born a girl would have the face of a pig until the day one of her kind learns to love her until death just as she is…The following generations saw only boys to the relief of the family, until Penelope was born.
Penelope grows up to be this lonely heiress who spends her life trying to break the family curse by finding a suitor from her family blood line. Men of her kind are plenty but when they take a look at her pig nose, they run away in disgust. One day she meets a handsome and charming young man who falls in love with her. Of course, as with every fairy tale, there is a problem…He is not of her blood line and so he refuses to marry her because he knows she would be robbed of her chance to meet someone of her lineage that can break the spell. Everything in Penelope’s life comes to a boiling point when she finally realizes that she doesn’t want to continue searching for a way out of her situation, but instead, she accepts herself just as she is. And that’s when Penelope’s life turns around. The spell is broken, she goes searching for her prince charming and they live happily ever after.
I absolutely loved this little story, not because it is a fairy tale and I am a girl, or because James McAvoy is gorgeous, which he is! But because I saw a significant message in it that resonates with women I meet with regularly; self confidence and the lack thereof. Many of us girls will believe all the negative things people tell us about ourselves and will live our lives in confusion, obscurity and loneliness when that is not what God intended for us. We are so much more!
Penelope was beautiful, wealthy, refined, gifted and kind but she couldn’t see pass her deformity. She lived her life consumed with trying to fix the problem instead of looking inward and loving and accepting herself as the amazing person she was. Many women live their lives just like Penelope, looking for a quick fix or looking for love in all the wrong places; oblivious to what is in them all along.
God created us with a purpose. He made us after His own image and placed us where we are for reasons that go beyond our family traditions, dirty secrets, lineage, or looks. We are His and He is ours, what curse can come against that? There is nothing on this earth that has been spoken over your life (be it by words or by actions) that could ever separate you from your creator and in any way, shape or form destroy what God has purposed for your life even before your birth.
No devil or demon could ever foil God’s plans for your life, but they will try. The world in all its wickedness and arrogance will tell you that you are ugly, unwanted, unworthy and broken. But God tells you, “look deep within and you will see my mark in you.” “You belong to me and I love you as you are!” David understood this when he said in Psalm 8:4-6:
Then I ask, “Why do you care about us humans? Why are you concerned for us weaklings? You made us a little lower than you yourself, and you have crowned us with glory and honor. You let us rule everything your hands have made. And you put all of it under our power.”
If you have not seen this movie, I hope I have not spoiled it by telling you much of the plot. I felt I needed to share this little golden nugget with you today. Please don’t forget that you are loved by the one who matters most and that everything you need in order to live a fulfilled and successful life has been placed in you by your heavenly father – it’s been in you all along!
I leave you with a scripture I find most inspiring on days when I look at myself in the mirror and see something other than what God sees. It is found in the book of Isaiah 43:1-4 (The Message translation). I love this translation and want you to pay close attention to the very last line. How awesome is it to be loved like that?
But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—because I am God, your personal God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.