by Dr. Arvis Murrell  

I love the movie Pretty Woman. I have seen this movie countless times, and each time I look at it, I get a fresh outlook on life. It’s like a modern upgrade of Cinderella. The story focuses on a young woman living a degraded lifestyle and a rich business man who offers to pay her to be his date at elite business and social functions.

 

In one of the scenes, Vivian, the lead character, struts into an elegant ladies’ boutique on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. Instead of being allowed to shop, she gets disrespected and ignored because she does not appear to have the necessary funds for their clothing. Although she had the money, she still leaves the store feeling ashamed and not good enough.

Embarrassed, Vivian goes back to the hotel. Later in the movie, after she has been groomed and coached, she returns.

When the sales associate goes to meet her, she reminds the arrogant clerk of her previous encounter and how she was mistreated. Arms loaded with shopping bags from other high-end boutiques, she tells the sales lady, “Big mistake! Huge!”

For me, it’s one of the movie’s best moments. I love to see the look on the sale’s associate’s face as Vivian walks out of the store with all those bags from other businesses. The scene teaches an invaluable lesson. We shouldn’t label people who look different from how we think they ought to look. We don’t know the plans God has for that person’s life and often judge someone before God’s transformation takes place.

I compare it to taking a cake out of the oven before it is completely baked. An undercooked cake may appear to be done because the edges are brown. But when we check it, the cake tester doesn’t come out clean, because it’s mushy in the middle. We don’t have to throw the cake away. We can just put it back into the oven and allow it to bake until it is done. Then we’ll have a delicious dessert, good enough to eat.

In the same manner, we can’t throw ourselves away because we don’t like what we see. We also can’t allow the opinions of others to stop us. We must respond like Vivian in the movie. If one shop closes the door, go to another store.

We can’t allow others to stop us from reaching our goals by dictating how we should look and what we should be doing. Our past doesn’t define us. We are just as good as the next person and can do better. Just because we once made poor decisions and lived a less-than-desirable lifestyle, doesn’t mean we have to stay in such a position. We can change and be used for a higher purpose.

 

A native Mississippian, Dr. Arvis Murrell is passionate about providing encouragement, strength, and comfort to shattered lives. She understands lifeïs struggles and loves to share her story of how God transformed her from brokenness to a life of wholeness.

She has served people in the mid-South for more than twenty-five years as a registered nurse displaying empathy and compassion. Her most recent nursing experience involves caring for those with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Arvis is also a Christian counselor who has helped thousands heal emotionally, particularly when dealing with death and divorce.

As a child, Arvis loved to read, sing, and play outdoors. She is married to Carl Murrell, Sr. and they live in Cordova, Tennessee. Together they enjoyed traveling and spending time with their blended family of six children.

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