My sweet Grace is deeply entrenched in the princess phase right now…
and it doesn’t bother me one bit.
I’ve read blog post upon blog post about mothers bemoaning the princess phase. Wanting their girls to hold onto stronger, smarter and more independent role models.
Groaning about the satin dresses, sparkly tiaras and glass slippers distracting their daughters from “better” dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers and CEOs.
They watch Cinderella with a side-eye glance, scoffing at the oppressed girl mopping floors and running around taking care of her evil stepsisters, just hoping to be able to go to the royal ball for a glimpse at the prince.
It could be easy to accuse Cinderella of being weak and not taking control of her destiny. We could call her “simple” and “shallow” for having dreams that involve dancing the night away with a handsome prince, in hopes of becoming his bride.
But I think fairytale dreams are bound up in the hearts of many little girls and grown women.
I believe that as women we were created to reflect the feminine aspects of God and, as such, that it’s in our very nature to long for beauty and desire to be pursued.
It’s this vulnerable part of us that cries out when we watch an epic love story or read a thrilling romance novel. And I think if we quiet our aching hearts and listen to this cry, it will lead us back to where we were meant to be.
In the arms of our savior, Jesus.
Our true Prince.
I’ve been reading a book called The Sacred Romance and I was moved to tears when I read this perspective on the Cinderella story:
Cinderella lived with her stepsisters, a shrewish pair who made her sleep with the coal in the furnace room and had her convinced she would never be anything more than a maid.
I remember thinking as I looked at the pictures of Cinderella in my child’s storybook, “Doesn’t she know how beautiful she is? Can’t she see she is so different from her stepsisters both inside and out? Why doesn’t she just look in the mirror?”
But the voices of the stepsisters were loud and Cinderella could only see in her mirror darkly. She continued to take their abuse and serve them right up until the invitation to the Prince’s Ball came. When Cinderella shyly suggested that she might like to go, the stepsisters mock her to scorn for thinking she would fit in with people of such grace and beauty. As she helps stuff them into their costumes and does her best to hide their ludicrous ugliness, they continue to mock her foolishness in thinking that the Prince would ever want anything to do with her.
When God’s grace comes in the form of Cinderella’s fairy godmother and dresses her in a beautiful gown, she does finally look in the mirror and sees clearly her great beauty, but she believes it is all due to magic.
Of course, the Prince recognizes her as the one he has been looking for all of his life. He spends the evening dancing with her, totally enraptured in her presence.
As the clock strikes twelve, Cinderella fears being exposed for the homely housemaid she believes she is and runs from the room, losing a glass slipper in the process. Even though she still has the other glass slipper in her possession, she does not come forward when she hears the Prince is searching the city for the one who can wear the dainty shoe.
Once again the stepsisters’ voices have convinced her that she is contemptible in soul and body, good only for the homeliest of tasks. Fortunately for Cinderella, the prince is a romantic who will not give up searching the city until he has found her, and they live happily ever after.
And so it will be with us who are the beloved of the great Prince who is Jesus.
It is this destiny that so enrages our enemy and makes him determined to destroy the love affair that he can never have a part in.
And that, my friends, is why I have absolutely no problem with Grace being totally caught up in the whole lineup of Disney princesses.
Because, each day I whisper to her about our real Prince who loves us more than we can imagine. I tell her that she and I and Avery are all real princesses who will one day come face to face with our Prince.
The lover of our souls.
And the “stepsisters'” words that plague us all will fade away. The dark mirror that we look into will become bright and clear and we’ll see ourselves as what we were always meant to be.
Daughters of the most high God.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and I love being able to weave the Disney stories and princesses she sees into the real life fairytale that God has for each one of us who is willing to receive it.