Instead of hopeless, I’d much rather view myself as a “hopeful” romantic. This sentimental heart was in full bloom even as a little girl watching the classics like “Cinderella” or “Snow White,” and playing with one of my dearest friends. Her name was Barbie and she was from a faraway land called Mattel. ® We managed countless adventures together without ever leaving my room and even though my family moved around a lot, Barbie and I never had to say good-bye as was the case with my other friends. She was always ready to follow me anywhere. One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon would involve dreaming up a big adventure where in a series of mishaps, Barbie would find herself in distress. She would call for help and just in time, our prince (Rock Star Ken, in this case) would come to the rescue riding—yes, you guessed it—on a white horse. I cannot tell you how many times I had Barbie rehearse our little drama. Somehow, the story never got old.
I fail to remember when it was that I put Barbie in her case for the last time, but I know that there came a time when it was not considered mature anymore to go around using your Barbie dolls to dramatize your own longed-for fairytale. Along the way, a few broken hearts and well-meaning “encouragers” bade me to understand clearly that life is not a fairytale and happily-ever-afters simply do not exist in the real world. Outwardly, it seemed as if what they were saying was true, but secretly, I felt crushed. No matter how hard I tried to let go of my happily-ever-after dreams, they simply refused die. It became only rarely that I would ponder the question that always seemed to invade my dreams, “…what if it were real?”
(Excerpt from “Searching for Happily-Ever-After: A Companion for the Lady Who Waits”)
If only the Princess Parables were around when I was a child. My little girl heart, which still exists, by the way, has always longed to be caught up in a breathtaking story. The Lord used my love of a good love story to awaken a longing to love and to be loved in return. While I dreamed of being a wife and mother some day, I found the perfect reciprocation of love in my First Love, Christ. He is my Happily-Ever-After. “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine.” (Song of Solomon 6:3) The Lord promised to love me without condition or performance, which was a refreshing change to feeling as if I had to be the perfect little pastor’s kid. I began to flourish under that kind of love.
God would often speak of His plans for me, but also cautioned that I was to be careful to live fully in the journey and not wish away time merely longing for the “Promised Land.” He showed me how to cherish and redeem the time I was given. Dear moms, you have great influence in your children’s lives. I’d like to share with you some ways to encourage your daughter along the way. I know that while I actively waited on God, these are things that He used to nurture this hopeful romantic’s heart. He asked me to:
- Fall madly in love with my First Love, never losing sight that I was a daughter of the Great King. (Revelation 2:4)
- Become the woman God longed for me to be, developing the fruit of His Spirit in my life. I could live like His princess from the inside out! (Galatians 5:22-23)
- Live out my God-given dreams, asking Him to put His desires in my heart. (Psalm 37:4)
- Be apart of my love story…long before my husband came along by praying, writing letters, having a standard of godliness and purity along the way.
- Value and practice the importance of guarding my spiritual, emotional and physical purity. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
(For the Princess Within Bible study, visit www.princesswithin.com)
Living fully helped to take the angst out of waiting for the fruition of certain promises and dreams. No time is ever wasted when we are engaged in our love story with Christ. Yes, there will be seasons of waiting without seeing the vision being fulfilled, but there is abundant treasure, meaning and purpose in the wait. God knows all about the wait—the aching and longing, because He has patiently and longingly waited for us. He is not asking anything that He has not done Himself. Oh, did you not know? We are His happily-ever-after. Jesus endured the cross, despising it’s shame so that in the end, He could be with us. (Hebrews 12:2) Sigh. What a breathtaking story!
Amber Gallagher is founder of Sacred Revolution Ministries, an organization to inspire and equip people for the sacred life with Christ. She has authored two Bible study/retreat curricula, The Princess Within: Living Like a Princess From the Inside Out and The Sacred Revolution: Uncovering Purity for the Modern Day Knight” as well as her book, Searching for Happily-Ever-After: A Companion for the Lady Who Waits. She resides in Ohio with her husband, Brian and her little Prince, Henry. You can visit her at www.princesswithin.com.