Monday, September 23, 2013

BEFORE the Happily Ever After...

Friends, this is a great story by a guest contributor and amazing new feminism woman, Kendra.  I'll just let her do the talking on this one!  


          "Fairy Tales. A good happily-ever-after story. We all love them. The tales of daring sword fights, magic spells, princes in disguise, and true love are the tales of my childhood and the stories I still love to this day. I love them because they promise the happily-ever-after. They promise that no matter what - even if you’re a poor orphan, tormented by your evil step-mother and step-sisters - you can go to the ball, and you can end up dancing the rest of your life with Prince Charming. Life, viewed through a fairy-tale lens, looks pretty swell.

          However, if we’re looking at my life through this fairytale lens, it seems my story is stuck somewhere in the middle. I’m 25 and still waiting on my prince to show up.  I’m like Rapunzel locked up in a tower. I’m like Aurora fast asleep in the castle. I’m like Ariel longing to be part of that world. I’m like Belle wanting adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. Every morning just the same . . .ahem, sorry. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I love Disney songs! Where was I?  Oh, right . . .waiting.

          Some people seem to think that this middle part is just that – waiting for Prince Charming. And waiting can be really hard. It’s hard when you log onto facebook or twitter or instagram or even  look around at church and it seems like every other girl has her prince and this fairy-tale perfect life and you don’t. So we dream. We dream about the future and how perfect our life will be when our prince shows up. Just look at Pinterest - it’s all there - our perfect plan for someday - pinning wedding ideas, baby picture poses, dream houses, the perfect this, the best of that, the list goes on and on. We all want the happily-ever-after. But as we’re sitting here like Snow White, singing “Someday My Prince will Come,” we’re in trouble.

If we’re so completely fixated on someday, we’re missing out.
If we’re so quick to focus on the last chapter, the happily-ever-after, we’re missing out on the beauty now, here, in this chapter. After all, what would fairy tales be if there were no dragons to slay, no towers to climb, no challenges that make the prize at the end so sweet?

Here’s my suggestion. Leave the fairy tales on their pages and look at your life through a different lens –the lens of the Lord, who promises that He has a plan for our life. The Lord whose timing is perfect – the Lord who is writing your own happily-ever-after (and I’m trusting he’s doing a better job than Walt Disney ever could)!
Instead of seeing my life as stuck in a holding pattern while I await my prince, I choose to see my life as completely free. I’m a young, single woman living in this great big world, and I’m free to love as God calls me.
          I’m free because I have time - not to sit idle at my computer, searching through thousands of pins to add to my ‘future life’ board – but to DO all sorts of things for my betterment and in service to God’s people.
 I’m free because when I got asked to serve with Totus Tuus this summer for a month instead of the week I had in mind, I was able to say yes.
I’m free because I can volunteer – to teach religious education, sing in the church choir, help at the local food shelf, head out on mission trips.
I’m free to take a weekend off and spend it spontaneously with great friends.
 I’m free to turn a weekend summer trip into a whole week – driving around, trying new things, having new experiences, meeting new people, living.

I’m not stuck at all.

          I’m not stuck because I choose to view my life differently. And it is a choice. It’s easy to look at my life and see only the trials, only the dragons that I have to face right now, alone. And, yes, sometimes I wish my Prince Charming would ride a little faster on that white horse of his. But, to all the ladies who are in this chapter of their lives, too – let me say this: we’re so much more than just damsels in distress. We’re free to love, to give, to serve the world around us.
          God has a spectacular plan for all our lives. I know each day that He’s with me, preparing me, pouring graces in abundance upon me that I need. Graces that help me slay the dragon, defeat the evil queen, and get ready for the ultimate happily-ever-after with Him in heaven. And while I’m waiting for Him to turn the page, I know that this chapter, this time in my life, is what makes the ending that much happier."

God, how can I thank You enough?!

Thank you, Kendra!  Thank you for reminding us all to not wait for something else to happen, but live in the present moment - rejoicing in the gifts God has given us today!

your friendly new feminist,

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Well, that’s my view of it and I welcome yours!  (Please comment below!  And please use initials or first name or even pseudonym instead of simply “anonymous” so we can have some way to distinguish each person in the discussion.  Thank You!)

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