(Pre-Post Warning: Major picture overload coming your way.)
*sigh* Our movie night was magical.
I have dreamed of putting on a night like this for all the little girls in my family, but didn’t know if we could pull it off. I was praying for no rain… and then we have this sunset that gives you goosebumps. The day was not without it’s kinks when it came to preparation, but the look of wonder on my little cousins’ faces kept me motivated.
See, I’m a little kid when it comes to Disney movies and fairytales. I am a staunch believer in big dreams, and stunning love stories. My heart does that whole flip-flop thing, and my tummy won’t calm down from all the butterflies that simply refuse to sit still. But sadly, I believe the vision of these beautiful love stories coming to pass in our own lives have gradually become clouded with cynicism in our present day. No, this night was for renewing hope, reviving lost dreams, and breathing a bit of new life into “the impossible”.
I’m not quite sure why and when it starts, but no one had to convince me I was a princess. I think I just believed it from the get go. With my make-believe wedding veil (aka white napkin) and my stunning, lavish wedding gown (hand-me-down skirt from an aunt), my 6-yr-old heart believed in white knights, daring rescues, and far away kingdoms.
The thing I can’t quite figure out is why and when that stops? It could have been the first time I was rejected by a boy I liked, or realizing that being chubby as a child was something kids liked to ridicule. Or maybe it was turning 16 and feeling as though I was the only girl on earth without a boyfriend. If it didn’t happen then, I am 100% certain it happened the day the only man I’ve ever loved walked out of my life. With wedding plans looming, two families preparing to become one, and futures being planned, he whispered those seven little words, “Tiffany, I don’t want to marry you.”
If that doesn’t cause a little fairy-tale cynicism, I’m not really sure what does. It happens when “reality” hits. When circumstances of our own, or of someone we’re close to shakes the core of our belief system. It’s when we begin to base our perception of beautiful love stories on our experience, not on a far-off notion that happy endings can actually happen. And soon we find ourselves wanting to make sure all those happy couples know, “You know, the newlywed thing wears off. Just wait until hard times hit… then it will probably lose it’s sparkle.”
If that’s so true, if the sparkle will inevitably wear off, then why do we long for it so much? What is it about the moment he rescues her, declares his love, and whisks her away to his castle that makes our knees weak? Not all of you will agree with me on this, but may I propose why I believe we ache for this?
Because we’ve been created for it.
I mean, talk about EPIC. We desperately needed a savior. We were so broken, lost, bruised, and without any remedy to fix it. We, in our destitution, would have put Cinderella to shame. And yet Someone saw what no one else could see. He saw someone worth loving. So He humbled Himself, even to the point of death, in order to rescue us, and show us how to live and walk in freedom. But instead of a white horse, a sword, and a prince’s crown, He carried a cross.
Why? So we could live our lives disappointed, disillusioned, and without any hope? I may be crazy and a bit over top with this, but… I don’t think so.
Listen, my friend, no one is perfect. Your Prince Charming most definitely will not always be charming. I want to make it clear that I’m not promoting this perception of an idillic life where rainbows, and flowers and talking mice are your constant companions. Not at all. What I’m saying is that God, our ever-loving Father, is in the business of writing beautiful love stories. But there’s a catch: He writes them for those who are willing to trust Him with their pen. He writes them for those who are willing to place their faith in Him fully… even when the evidence around you is a little sparse.
Believe me. I know how difficult this is. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve cried out to Him from the loneliness, from the pain of patient sacrifice, from knowing that my waiting on His timing may mean no earthly husband for me. But here’s the key: Our child-like trust.
It comes from knowing that His way is best. But it’s not only best, His way is also beautiful because it is God-breathed. Honestly, that’s what brings the sparkle. Sometimes it’s painful sparkle… but somehow, just like in the movie, our greatest triumphs often come from our most painful moments. Courage, in the face of loneliness. Kindness, in the presence of cynicism. Forgiveness, when forgiveness is most-undeserved. These moments are where we find our sparkle. They are the moments when we deny self, we shut out the opinions and voices of the world, and we simply believe. And there is much to believe in.
We can believe that He desires to do immeasurably above all we could ever ask, think or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20) We can choose to believe that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) We can believe that He grants the deepest desires of our hearts when we choose to seek after Him as our greatest delight. (Psalm 37:4) And you know what? I think that we can even believe that He is able to accomplish the impossible. (Matthew 19:26) Your love life is not a mystery to Him, my friend. He is not confused, or baffled, or sitting up there on His throne trying to map out how in the world He’s going to figure out your love life. He is God. He knows you inside out. And He is trustworthy. And while I’m still in this special season of singleness, I know every one of these promises apply to those of you who are married. Life can most definitely hurt and often ends up a little different than we originally planned. But, if you’re willing, God can and will make beauty come out of your ashes.
As I sat there on my back patio, movie credits rolling, I had one very distinct reminder: My God is the Giver of every good and perfect gift. And I’m supposing, that may just include a fairy-tale or two. 😉