once upon a time

Once Upon a Time…

You know how it goes:

Once upon a time, there was a girl. She did not have a great life, but when she got older things changed. She met this guy, and his name was… let’s go with “Charming”. After they met, he changed everything, made her life perfect and married her. Then they went to live in a big castle, had a baby, and lived happily ever after. The End.

Disney and Hollywood have mastered this story and made several twists that keep the theaters filled and people longing for their personal fairy tail to come true. After the movie, little girls (and older little girls) go home and begin to imagine how their Prince Charming will ride into their lives, sweep them off their feet, and live, yes, happily ever after (there’s probably a catchy song in there along the way). What happens when the Prince never comes? Devastation takes place, her worst fears come true… She looks in the ‘mirror, mirror on the wall,’ and sees a fat, old-maid. (99% of the time this “old-maid” is about 25 years old and has a BMI of 22).

However, Christians claim to have caught onto this tom-foolery. We know that life isn’t a fairy tale and give our children fair warning that these Disney princesses are stories and that fairy tales are not reality. We tell our little girls not to get their hopes up, be good, and God will bring the “perfect” man.

The Christian fairy tale is much better goes something like this:

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. She was a good little girl, minded her manners, and said her prayers. She went to Bible college, and around her sophomore/junior year, found God’s “perfect” man, got married, and started a family. They made a happy home, raised their children the same way they were raised, and, here it comes… lived happily ever after.

I know there is much more to this story, however, this really isn’t that far off. If that Christian fairy tale has happened to you, Praise Jesus! And I mean that! I love when Christians get married and model a Christian marriage for the world, and I also love that they produce little warriors for the kingdom. But… what happens to the good little girl who now graduated from Bible college and is as single as a jalapeño on a a pop-tart?!

She goes home, that’s what she does. She goes home to her family, and is asked by relatives, “Don’t you have a special someone?” Those words cut right to her soul as her heart answers, “No, I don’t have someone special, (then silently to herself) because I am not special to anyone.” (*Caveat: she might answer, “Well, I just have my dog and he’s pretty great.”)

She goes home to her church family, and hears, “Didn’t you find someone at college? You were there four years, right?” Another dagger jabs her heart as it cries, “Yes, four years and over 1,000 males at my university and still no one.” She goes home to old friends and again hears, “Wow, you must have been stuck in your dorm day and night if you are still single! Those boys at your school must have been crazy to let you fall through the cracks!” She thinks to herself, “Yes, they were all crazy. Crazy about every other girl on campus, except me. Oh, and actually I was on student body council and worked in the coffee shop.”

We laugh, but we know this is true. Either you have heard it, said it, or received it. Now this good little girl is staring to have her own questions. “What is wrong with me? I mean really, I studied hard, I put myself out there, I try to serve the Lord. I tried to be a ‘good catch’… I guess I really am not good enough.” Now is the scary part of the story, now is where she tries to fix herself. She’s is most definitely going to change how she looks. Satan sometime ago figured out that women need to feel beautiful, so he tells them, “You would have a boyfriend or even a husband if you were better looking.” This will go one of two ways, she will either eat herself into depression, or starve herself in Kardashian shape. She will either put herself, ‘out there’ more (going a tab bit too far), or she will seclude herself to her Netflix and books. She will probably still go to church, work in the nursery, and do an offertory from time to time, but her heart isn’t in this whole scene like it used to be. The story that she has been told from her Sunday school days hasn’t come true, she wonders what else the church might be saying that won’t come true…

Here in ‘lies’ the problem. This is what the church, her Christian society, her books and a lot of people are telling her. Crikey, this is what she has seen 99.9% of her friends do! But, there is not one place in Scripture that tells us this fairy tale should take place for everyone. In fact, God says in Isaiah 55: 8-9, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Simple translation, not everyone is going to have the same story or even outline for that matter.

Here is the take away.

#1- We as the body of Christ need to stop with the fairy tales.

We need to be honest about what life is truly like, the good, the bad, and the ugly. The bad is that there is sin in the world and it can destroy you. The ugly is, we are responsible for the wrong decisions we make. But the Good is, God is in control and He knows what He is doing. The bad and the ugly fade away when He is the focus.

What pains me about this application is that the church and society as a whole mean no harm. We want good things for those we love, that’s why people say, “Chin up honey, God has someone out there for ya, just be patient.” When in reality, God may not. God actually may have something better in mind than marriage and a family… Imagine that, Rapunzel! We need to remember, “If you, then (you and me), though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt 7:11). I find myself guilty of telling fairy tales to children, and it must stop. Why not let God write their story, instead of us putting them in a little tower, boxed in waiting for ‘Charming” to come rescue them.

#2- If you are the, ‘good little girl,’ don’t get hung up on fairy tales.

Don’t just sit in the big tower like Rapunzel. Throw down your hair and shimmy down! There is much work to be done for the kingdom. Don’t waste your time waiting! While you may have listened to the tales of Hollywood, you are the one responsible for believing that they should happen to you. Since that didn’t happen, get crackin! Go to biggest reality book ever written. The Bible. This is where your purpose is found… “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands” (Ps 138:8). “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil 1:6).
And, don’t forget one of my favorites, Jer. 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This is so much easier said than done. This takes patience and endurance. Take the time you have now, that is not devoted to a boy, and use this time to get to know the most perfect Man that walked this earth (he actually didn’t wear any shining armor). If you are looking for a lasting relationship, you will find it in Him. Trying not to go too far with the puns… Let it go! Give your heart, your body, your mind, and your soul to God. God’s plans are the best. He is the best author to write your story. And He never writes fairy tales, all of the stories He writes come true. That’s a lot better than a fairy tale.

3 thoughts on “Once Upon a Time…

  1. So appreciate your heart Sadie! I think to often we push our ideals on girls of how a “Christian” women should be and where she should be at a certain point in her life. In reality, God blesses us all with different personalities and different life circumstances so that we can love people that cross ours paths! I think we need to stop teaching girls that they are less valuable if they haven’t found a hubby at a certain age, or ever, and teach them that Christ is what gives them such sweet value and worth!

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