My heart broke.
Lauren had the day off so we went to the grocery store and then to Pizza Hut to redeem her book-it coupon that was burning a hole in her pocket. She was sorely disappointed when she realized that all she received for her coupon was a pizza. I think she was expecting balloons and pony rides, or at least a prize box from which she could pick a super ball or plastic necklace. Nope, just a pizza. But that’s not the heartbreaking part, at least it wasn’t for me.
As we sat there and talked she complained about her swollen lip. She had a slight accident while sledding the day before and her top lip was red and swollen making the scar from her cleft lip surgery even more pronounced than usual.
She was very self-conscious about it, constantly checking in the mirror to see if the swelling had gone down.
I assured her that it would go away and look just fine by the time she went back to school. This didn’t satisfy her. I mentioned that it was right on her scar so it looked worse than it was. The minute I said that I saw the life drain from her beautiful brown almond-shaped eyes.
Her head dropped and she slinked out of her booth to crawl into my lap and weep.
“Mommy, why does my lip look like this?” she asked with tears streaming down her face.
With every mommy bone in my being aching I answered, “honey, you were born with a cleft lip and the doctor fixed it but it left a little mark but it will fade.”
“No one else in my school looks like me, NO one.” she lamented.
I held her tight and kissed every inch of her I could reach.
She calmed as I told her how beautiful she is and how special God made her. That she was also the only one in her class that came all the way home from China. This seemed to appease her for the moment.
As she climbed back in to the booth across from me I asked her to give me a great big smile so I could take a picture of her.
I know that not one of you looks at this picture and sees a “flawed” little girl, but you see her heart and passion and know that she is a precious gift of God.
I pray that you would remember this the next time you start to compare yourself with someone else. Think about how you wanted to convince Lauren that she is beautifully and wonderfully created by God…and look yourself in the mirror and say that same thing to your reflection.
The Father feels just as heartbroken when we compare ourselves and rate our own worth.
You are His daughter, He loves you.