Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rewriting the Fairy Tale

(Saturday's post)

So she’s a queen and he’s a knight in shining armor
And they walk hand in hand but somehow it seems farther
Away from a fairy tale white horse and a tall tower
Could it be that this ain’t happy ever after

Cause I’ve been rescued by a love that fills me deeper
not looking back cause now I’m seeing things much clearer
love is so much better than its been before
my hearts been shattered pieces on the floor
you gave me one more reason and I am finally breathing now
love is so much better this time around

spent many nights inside a cloud of delusion
giving my heart away didn’t know what I was doing
then came the clarity that its been me I’m fooling
to think that I could find it anywhere but you

you’re sick of falling in and out of love that
claims its true love but only leaves me all alone
so I’m gonna give it over to one who gave it all
for me to know he loves me better

-“This Time Around” by Heather Williams

It’s hard not to be discouraged in this world. As little kids, we imagine the way our lives will turn out. As little girls we may imagine the day we fall in love, create a family, attain our dream careers, become the women we think we want to be. We are taught to dream big and that we can be and do anything our heart desires. Tv, movies, & books help us dream up every fantasy of our perfect lives. But it doesn’t prepare us for when life doesn’t work out that way. What if you wait for love and it isn’t what you thought it would be? You finally get ready to start that family and your body doesn’t cooperate? The dream career suddenly doesn’t seem as fulfilling and glamorous as you expected? You aren’t the person you wanted or thought you would be?

I know some would say, “that’s just life, deal with it.” Well I don’t know about you, but I feel cheated. There’s no plot resolution. Your story arches seem never ending. There’s no happily ever after. I know we are smart enough to know that’s not reality, but be honest, you secretly hoped it would be for you, that you are the exception to the rule. Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t want a life of adventure coupled with the knowledge that it will all work out in the end, regardless of the choices we make because that’s how every episode ends or the genre of life you live. We all want a little bit of the romantic comedy/action thriller, no one wants to play a role in a horror (they make good entertainment, but no one wants that to be their life).  

How do we reconcile this? I’m still trying to figure that out. I know God has a plan here, I know it will undoubtedly be for my good. But it’s hard not to be discouraged, to not feel like you have been deceived. But I guess that is the problem, I deceived myself by believing the fantasy this world paints. Things are in no way the way I envisioned they would be because I was basing them on something that is not real.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait or the morning (Ps. 130; 5-6). Our deepest longings reside within our soul. Oftentimes, I feel we do not even know what these longings may be; thus, we need the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf. The first part of waiting is to ensure your hope is in Scripture and not the lies of this world. The second component of waiting revolves around the second part of this verse. Watchmen stand guard in the night, in the darkness. At times they grow weary, at times they wonder why they perform their duties, but in the end, they trust another day will come, another sun will rise. Watchmen perform the duties God entrusted to them with diligence until the sun rises, or until enlightenment comes. In the same way, we should hope in the promises God gives us in scripture while continuing to perform the duties God has entrusted to us.” (Colin Creel from Perspectives: A Spiritual Life Guide for Twentysomethings).     

I actually read the above passage after I wrote the first two paragraphs of today’s post. God just keeps sending me resources to back up what He is teaching me. This post did not begin on a happy note. I was literally feeling the desperation I mentioned above. On our way to Austin for a friend’s wedding, all I could think about is how four weeks ago from today I thought I would be attending it with my date and that life was so different then. I feel extremely accomplished having made it four weeks and knowing I have grown so much, but then realizing it’s already been four weeks and I still hurt a lot, just makes the thought of the road ahead I still have to travel seem so terrifying.

The wedding was absolutely gorgeous (I love weddings) and I am so glad I went, dateless or not. There is something magical about watching two people commit to love each other for a lifetime, to be there and support each other through the good and the inevitable bad times. Although our culture treats marriage like it’s the new dating, I think it’s beautiful if you consider this decision to be the biggest one you ever make that can’t just be ended by calling a lawyer and signing some papers. True love, actual love isn’t just about feelings, but about commitment and sacrifice. To watch two people look each other in the face in front of all the people they love is just breath taking. I find that I can’t even be jealous in that moment, just eager and excited for the day that it will be my turn.

Learning to live out life in faith isn’t just about stepping out and making a move forward, but also about sitting back down and living a period of waiting. I kind of feel like a broken record bringing that up over and over, but that’s what God keeps telling me. He’s asking me to be a watchmen. To continue on with the duties He has entrusted to me (currently: Learning more about Him & myself, feeding into the lives of the people in my small group, and reaching out to a select group of people He has placed on my heart). He’s asking me to leave the rest to Him: the longings and desires of the next step in life I am so desperate to get to. Believe me, doing so will be the greatest expression of faith I could ever make.

A few years ago I found a fortune cookie that said, “The best times of your life have not yet been lived.” I used to put that on everything, but had forgotten about it til I found an old planner I had that on. I think I will start using it again. I need the reminder that none of the amazing experiences I’ve had can compare to what God has ahead. That is truly exciting.

Are there any lingering fairy tales you are depending on to bring you happiness? Are those longings based on the lies of this world? Do you hear God whisper to you that maybe right now all He wants you to do is wait? Consider the life of being a watchmen, do you have it in you? You do!

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