“It never gets old.”
That’s what I usually say when it comes to the story of Cinderella—especially the most recent live action Cinderella starring Lilly James. There is something about the story that is at once magical, beautiful, and so inspiring I usually find myself tearing up at least once while watching it.
Now, confession, I do tend to cry in movies—but only during the sad parts. However, there are certain films that have the tendency to step outside of the screen and into my heart. These moments break down the fourth wall and pull at something innate in all of us.
Allow me to paint the picture for you. Cinderella, or Ella as she is called, is arriving at the palace. Fireworks are exploding in the sky, the musical score has reached its pinnacle and a gilded, glittering carriage stands at rest behind her. Ella stands in an exquisite blue ball gown at the bottom of a cascading staircase where at the top rests the palace—the place where she knows she will meet the man from the woods.
Just when the excitement is reaching its climax, Ella suddenly pauses as she gazes up the staircase—and doubt steals her confidence. She whispers, “I’m only a girl, not a princess.”
But then a surprising answer is whispered back to her, from none other than the footman who was only recently transformed.
He says, “And I’m only a lizard, not a footman. Enjoy it while it lasts.”
Tears formed in my eyes the last time I watched this movie. For a moment I felt as though I was hearing my own doubts discredited.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever thought, “I’m only a woman” or “I’m only a mother,” or “I’m only a wife,” or “I am only me,” or “I’m only ____________” you fill in the blank.
What we are crying out in our hearts is a doubt of ourselves and our abilities. We think we don’t matter. That we aren’t enough. And our gifts can’t handle the problems we face.
Well, how about we listen to the lizard for a moment? You see, he understood how amazing it was for him to be a footman. He understood the miracle and was reveling in it.
I think too often I become like Ella. I think “I’m only this” or “I’m only that,” but what if I looked at it in a different light. What if I rested in what the Lord has done for me? What if I say these phrases with a heart of wonder for all my life holds?
“I’m only a woman,” I might say, “and yet, look at all these people who love me. Look at the freedom I have.”
“I’m only a mother,” you might say, “and yet, I have these wonderful blessings in my house who look to me for love and guidance.”
“I am only me,” you can whisper, “an yet look at all I have done in this life.”
“I’m only a sinner,” we all can say, “and yet, the Lord loves me and died for me.”
You see, for that one small moment standing at the bottom of the staircase, Ella allowed all the doubt in her heart to take over. She gave into fear, wondering just how she was going to climb the steps, not knowing what would wait for her on the other side.
For a moment, she sees herself in her simplest form—just a girl.
We do that when we are fearful, we focus on ourselves in the smallest sense, convincing ourselves that we are nobody. It’s a self-doubt of the cruelest kind, a worry that takes over all other thoughts. But there is Someone whispering in our ear and telling us how treasured and beautiful we are.
No, it’s not the lizard. It’s the Lord. How many women has He used throughout history to change the world? What of Esther or Ruth or Mary? How about Tamar or Bathsheba? Couldn’t they have uttered the phrase, “I’m only a girl”?
And yet, God used them in profound ways.
I think we should listen to the lizard-footman instead of the doubt inside our hearts. He realized how special he was and chose to revel in the moment.
It might be a silly notion, but take a moment to think about that doubt inside that says we are not enough. What if instead, we take a look around and realize how amazing all of this is?
So let’s take that phrase and change it.
“I’m only a girl, not a princess, yet here I am loved by God.”
You are a daughter of the king—rejoice!
So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. –Galatians 3:26
©2018 Women of Warren, Warren Baptist Church