I’ll tell you what…the marketing gurus at Disney are brilliant. As you can see they have us hook, line and sinker. From plush rag dolls to Polly Pockets, barbies to dress-up clothes (and like mother-like daughter…accessories) our little girl is lacking for nothing when it comes to their versions of the princesses of classic literature. Emalynn’s backpack, pajamas, blankets, hairbrush, toothbrush even her dinner plate, fork and bowl are adorned with at least one of these beauties. Today, another snow day here in Sparta town is themed as “Princess Day” so we’re “watching” princess movies…which means they’re on but not really being watched necessarily.
The first movie selected today was Beauty and the Beast. Out of all of the Disney princesses I think I am most like Belle. I love the story of The Little Mermaid and while Ariel is by far my favorite princess and hers is arguably the best Disney movie of all time, if my Daddy told me not to go to the surface the rule follower in me would have been obedient. I would have been content to marry a merman I suppose never knowing Prince Eric ever existed. However, when it comes to Belle, though she was strong-willed and stubborn her loyalty was to her father and she happened to fall in love…in the most unexpected fairytale way. She wasn’t going to let other people tell her what she wanted and as I look back I can say I’ve been there. She wasn’t about to fit the mold someone else made for her….the fairytale everyone else had in mind. She knew she didn’t want the typical life that everyone around her had. Breaking out of that rut took on her on the ride of her life!
Like Belle never thought she’d fall in love with a prince in disguise, I never thought the guy I’d fall in love with would be the extremely opinionated trombone player I played with in band for years. The funny thing is that our freshman year of high school we did a fundraiser for Student Council with Match Maker. We all filled out the questionnaires and then paid to get our results. Guess who was #2 on my list! That’s right…the extremely opinionated trombone player I played with in band for years! All I thought was “Huh!?” Who knew just over 2 years later we’d be on our first date…which would be my last first date! Before that however I did date the #1 person on my list. My youth pastor and his wife sat down with me one night and told me that I should never waste time dating someone I couldn’t see myself marrying. God very clearly showed me he was not the guy for me…though not everyone agreed. I am so thankful I listened to God and not those around me…I didn’t want their fairytale…I wanted my own designed by Someone who knew the whole story and already had it all written out.
I can remember growing up asking God for a husband who would love me and would be a good father. I hoped for a prince but expected that I would find someone who would meet the requirements…not exceed them…be sort of “status quo”…you know “yeah, yeah…I love my wife and kids”. I never expected to find someone who so ecstatically LOVED me and LOVED our children. Someone who WANTS to be with us and would give anything to make sure we are safe, well cared for and not just loved…but affectionately, adoringly and compassionately with all his great big being LOVED. Someone who doesn’t just SAY he loves us…but shows us everyday all day in everything he says and does. Love is a verb. I always knew that in my head…but Nathan has helped me to know it in my heart….to really “get” it. I could’ve just listened to everyone else and essentially married my “Gaston”…the seemingly perfect fit…but would I have ended up wanting “the next best thing”? I am very glad I didn’t chance it. The fairytale that has unfolded out of the unexpected, though not exactly what we’ve planned and certainly not always perfect, this ride is “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”. All I can say is God knows what He’s doing…because there is no next best thing…I’ve got the best there is…and it has little to do with me!
It will be interesting to me to hear if your love story is like the Disney Princess you are most like. Not the one you like the most or wish you were most like, but whom you most resemble in character. Are you like Belle and didn’t want to settle and risk longing for “the next best thing?” Or are you more like Ariel…did you defy your parents and end up finding your true love? Did you have a Fairy Godmother like Cinderella who put you in all the right places at the right time to end up with Prince Charming? Did your grace and beauty overcome all of the dire circumstances like Snow White? Or did you and your love meet “Once Upon a Dream” and experience love at first sight like Briar Rose in Sleeping Beauty? Did you relentlessly refuse pompous after arrogant suitors like Jasmine until you found your Diamond in the Rough? I can’t wait to hear YOUR fairytale!
Maybe the details of your fairytale are still being worked out. Maybe you’re not sure you’ll find your happily ever after. Just remember…all of the princesses in these beloved tales encountered heartache….we all have. From one princess to another…my best advice is…