A Road Unexpected, A Grace Undeserved

Every little girl dreams of a fairytale life, right? I mean one of those perfect Disney movie story lines–girl falls prey to some dramatic damsel-in-distress state (think Snow White and Sleeping Beauty), or currently exists in some completely dull life state (think Cinderella and Little Mermaid), and then, you know the drill, Prince Charming comes in, saves the princess from her near-death state or totally boring life, and they live happily ever after.

EERRCHH. Ya. Right. I don’t know about you, but that is not how my life has gone. Yikes. No way. We may not eat poisonous apples, live under the sea with no legs, or end up locked in a dungeon, but I have most certainly felt trapped in my own life at times. (And yes, at those moments I’ve often thought ‘um, excuse me, where is my Knight in Shining Armor right now?’–wouldn’t it be nice to send out a Batman signal or something?) But at those moments there is sure as heck no prince charming sweeping in on a white horse to save me from my less-than-thrilling existence. Actually, it is often the men I thought were my prince charming(s) who have quite successfully thrown me into a downward spiral of frustration, and ugh, hate to say it, tears. We are obsessed with a fairytale life, (hey Disney, thanks for the unrealistic expectations). Ever wonder why Twilight is such a sensation? Same exact fairy tale, prince charming concept. But here we are, switch back to real life. (Now don’t get me wrong…I lead an exceptionally blessed life filled with incredible friends and family, a great job, and dreams of my own) But, when enough of those fairytale dreams don’t consistently come true, we are left with an exceptionally unfulfilling life– if that’s all it’s about. And let me add this–even if you have ended up with a fairytale life, I can only imagine it wasn’t without a few bumps and bruises, because that’s the nature of the life we live. (But I can also imagine those bumps and bruises were painful, and that you’re still learning and growing.)

And here’s where I had to learn some very difficult lessons about life and about relationships (of all kinds). And for some reason, I have a feeling you can relate, whichever category you may fall into. I speak to you, not as someone who has all the answers, is an expert, or has life all figured out by any means. TRUST ME. I merely speak to you as someone who has been there. I get it. Allow me the privilege of taking you on a journey, a journey where I’ve found beauty amidst ashes and joy amidst pain. I’ve learned contentment. I’ve learned joy. I’ve learned love. I’ve seen and experienced a transparent view of the beauty of my Savior’s love. His love is not always easy or how I think it should be. But it’s always perfect. It’s beautiful. And it has me awestruck.  (And it’s a journey I’m still on!)

I’d like to challenge you that a fairytale life is not what it’s all about. A “perfect” life is not the epitome of happiness. Nope, not even close. What if life is bigger than you, what you see, and your momentary happiness? What if the trials you’ve encountered have lessons buried beneath waiting to transform your life? What if loneliness, the moments you think you need your knight (or the moments that you think you need your perfect life, if you already have your knight), actually cause you to seek the face of your Savior? What if beauty is most often found in the middle of the darkest nights, in the midst of pain and lessons to be learned? What if your blessings are meant to come through rain, and your healing is meant to come through tears? What if hundreds of sleepless nights are what it takes to know Christ is near, to understand what life is about, why you were ultimately created, yes, created with a purpose, not happenstance. What if trials are actually mercies in disguise? What if your life is going exactly the way it was planned? What if your satisfaction should not be placed in any guy or any perfect fairytale life, but in Jesus Christ himself? What if finally beginning to comprehend who Jesus Christ is, is the answer in and of itself? There is so much to be learned, discovered, enjoyed about your own journey–let it create in you a passion for this life, a longing for His glory, a love for people like you’ve never known. May you discover the grace waiting to be understood, the beauty waiting to be embraced. All this, this confusion, this craziness, these lessons learned, this journey, can be summed up in two words: grace and love. But the beauty isn’t always found in the end, it’s most often found in the journey.

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