I’ve spent a lifetime wishing things were other than they are. I love watching my little granddaughters pretending to be princesses and fairy godmothers, but I twinge a little each time because I am reminded of my nagging need to be someone or something other than who I am. I say need instead of want because that’s just what it was. Getting lost in childhood fantasies is fun when playing; but when fantasies followed me into adult life, they kept me from living the life God had in mind.
I’ve often treated God like my Fairy Godfather instead of my Creator, and that has strained our relationship. As a teenager, I imagined that my real father would come for me one day. That fantasy resurfaced in the dark days before I left my marriage. I was looking for someone to rescue me, and I just couldn’t ask God. His patience amazes me, and I wonder at times why He didn’t pull out a magic wand and zap me! I used to see Him as a Smiter, and part of me believed He was the one behind the hurt. I was getting what I deserved! I smile when I think of that now because I realize how ridiculous it was for me to see God that way.
I was taught to fear God, so I kept a safe distance during my adolescent and adult life. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I knew from my childhood what happened when I got daddy’s attention. I didn’t think I could handle God’s wrath since I couldn’t handle daddy’s. Seeing God as my father instead of my Father shaped my relationship with Him and caused me to retreat into a safe world where fairy tales did come true – eventually – if I was good and waited long enough. It sounds so ridiculous when I type it out, but it was harshly real to me then. I am only just beginning to see that all hearts hurt. It comes from living and loving in an imperfect world.
I’m all for fantasy, and I love a good dose of Bibbity Bobbity Boo occasionally; but fairy tales are for entertainment and not meant to be models for finding happiness. Snow White and Cinderella are happy in their messy lives before their princes arrive, and that was the message this morning. Living and loving where I am is what God desires. Little Mylah loves Snow White, and she cracks me up singing “I’m Wishing” because she says, “I whoosing.” Whoosing is a great word for what I found myself thinking yesterday. I allowed my heart to drift back into those adolescent fantasies, but God called me back before I got lost in the woods.
I asked the girls what they wanted to play before we had dinner yesterday, and they said they wanted a magic wand. We couldn’t find anything suitable, so I made wands with ribbons and colored pencils, put on the princess dresses, and popped in the Bibbity Bobbity Boo video. Their little serious faces tickled me, so I got out my phone and captured one of the many renditions I was privileged to witness. Once again, God made me laugh at myself while learning an important lesson. Research shows that humor makes learning stay with the learner. I used it in my classroom for thirty-three years and believe it works. God knows I love to laugh and learn at the same time, and He used two very convincing little fairy godmothers to transform my thoughts.
I plan to keep enjoying fantasy, fairy tales, and fiction on the big screen, in books, and during playtime but keep my relationships centered in reality. I’m sure God will be glad to see me put up my princess dress and put on something a little more comfortable so I can love Him and those in my path the way He knows will bless Him and me.