“Mirror, mirror, on the wall — who’s the fairest of them all?”
In the classic Disney film Snow White, the Evil Queen continually gazes into her magic mirror to be assured that she is the most beautiful woman in her realm. We know the story goes on to tell she is aghast that the reply to her question is no longer her but her stepdaughter. That’s not where I’m heading today, though. What I want to propose is that she was looking in that mirror to find her identity—in this case, the fairest in her land.
How do you find your identity? Is your magic mirror your accomplishments? Your spouse, your best friend, your boss? Or maybe it’s the size of your bank account. If you find your identity in anything other than God, then you’re very likely to be mired in negativity and find yourself stuck in feelings like sadness, fear, disappointment and discouragement.
That’s how I felt about my own identity. You see, I had come to a point in my life where I was looking at what I had accomplished and the people around me to find out who I was, and it just wasn’t cutting it. That’s when I turned to God and started to seek Him in earnest to find out just who I really am.
What He showed me was a little unexpected. He showed me three different visions of myself, each one in relation to one person of the Trinity.
I always saw myself as a child of the Father. In my journaling time He reminded me of the time in my life as a new believer when He took care of me and provided EVERYTHING for me. At that time I didn’t know better than to trust Him and He was calling me back to that place. He continually reassured me that He is with me and will never leave me. He brought healing to my heart by having me sit on His lap and soak up His love.
In relation to the Holy Spirit I pictured myself as a student sitting at a desk, paying close attention to my Teacher. This was the vision of me as a lifelong learner.
But the facet of my identity that I most needed to see was that of the bride. This is what He showed me:
I saw the Lord take my hand and tuck it under the crook of His arm. He was escorting me somewhere. It was to a bridal shop. There I saw three mirrors where I could look at myself. I was wearing Cinderella rags and I was barefoot. Someone came to me with a dress for me draped over her arms. The Lord was sitting nearby with His legs crossed and watching. At first I was too ashamed to put on that beautiful dress: I felt unclean. But there was a kind of chamber there, like the machines at TSA that travelers can step into. I stepped into it and it emitted some kind of mist or shower that came down over my head. When it was done I found that I was now wearing a tiara over neatly combed hair, an updo. I had on a shift or undergarment that was suitable for the gown and lovely slippers on my feet. I stepped out of the box and put up my arms so that the attendant could slip the dress over my head. I turned around and faced three mirrors while she fastened the zipper and a button at the top.
When I looked in the mirror on the left, I saw myself as the little curly haired girl of an old black and white photo, squatting in the grass at the park.
When I looked in the middle mirror, I saw a regal woman in white, with a scepter in her hand.
When I looked at the mirror on the right, I saw a student wearing one of those black robes that British scholars wear at universities like Oxford or Cambridge.
The Lord sat back and He seemed to be approving.
This is what I heard Him say:
Your identity is found in me. I am the mirror, mirrors. You have an outfit for every occasion. There are times you need to call on your daddy, Abba Father, as the little girl who totally depends on Him. There are times you need to see yourself as the regal bride and queen of my heart who has authority that is to be wielded with humility and wisdom. And there are times when you need to see yourself seated in the classroom or sitting with others at the feet of your professor, learning what your professor wants you to know. These are all appropriate for you. It is up to you to know which suits the occasion and to walk in that facet of your identity.
A few days after He spoke this to me, I found myself coming to Him to repent for my sin and failure in a particular situation. Yet I was still letting the enemy bombard me with all kinds of recriminations: I felt accused and guilty.
The Lord pointed me back to the three mirrors:
Is that any way for you to act? If you have seen yourself in the three mirrors, is that worthy or proper for any of those three Jessies? As a little child, my child, wouldn’t you simply come to me crying and let me hold you? As my bride and my queen, wouldn’t you summon the help needed and expect it to come? As my student, wouldn’t you chalk this up to a learning experience? It is not enough to recognize your true identity, it is fitting and right that you WALK in that new identity, head held high.
My response was to ask Him which of these identities points to my failings and my sin? I was surprised at His response:
All of them. It is not that in each of these identities you cannot sin or fail. It is how you deal with the sin or failing that is different. If the mirror you are looking in sees yourself as a worm, then you will grovel on the ground when you sin or fail. If you see yourself as a child, you will run to your Abba Daddy for comfort and correction. If you see yourself as a bride and a queen you will summon courtiers to help you; you will go to the King eye to eye and share your heart with Him for He will not reject you but forgive you. If you see yourself as a student who just received an “F” on your test, you will take a remedial class and take the test as many times as needed until you pass with the eye of your Teacher upon you. This is a fundamental shift in attitude. Today you saw a failing and you reverted to the old worm attitude but from now on I want you to start to practice the attitude of your true self, my daughter, my bride and queen, my lifelong learner. If you have these attitudes, every experience in life will mature you – not bring you down, but bring you up.
Since then I have realized that I can present myself to Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one or more of these postures when I am getting stuck in negativity. I can come and sit on His lap and let Him know that I have an “owie,” cry in His arms, let Him hold me and receive His comfort. Or I can come to the throne as Jesus’ bride and queen and, like Esther, ask Him to extend the scepter and grant my request, or summon the help I need, fully expecting it to come. Finally, I can picture myself in the classroom listening attentively to gain understanding for the future, chalking it up as a learning experience.
What mirrors do you want to look into when life causes you to question yourself, when the enemy bombards you with recriminations? I invite you to ask the Lord to show you the mirror(s) He wants you to look at and gain true perspective on your identity. I assure you that He will be delighted to do so—and you can practice gazing into the true self that God has created you to be.