Every young girl dreams her own fairytale. Though each story is different we do all want the same thing. It isn’t that we all dream of being saved by princes, that’s not the case at all. What we really dream of is being the confident heroine of our story, admired for our inner strength, beauty and wisdom. We want to love and be loved.
"The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." -Moulin Rouge (Originally Eden Ahbez)
For some, a picture-perfect fairytale will come to fruition with all her dreams fulfilled. She’s used her strength and wisdom to build an empire and all she touches turns to gold. She has a prince who worships her.
For others, her fairytale shrivels and wilts over time. She’s been patiently waiting, diligently working but she always seems to be a step away from succeeding. There’s no prince in sight or he may have chosen to court her sister.
For some, her dream will die with her first big heartbreak or failure. Like a stab to the heart, the fairytale she dreamed is crushed along with her self-worth. It’s unrequited love and her prince just doesn’t love her.
In the most tragic of stories, she never believed in fairytales because her childhood was a nightmare. She may have been raised in an abusive home, abandoned by her parents or bullied relentlessly at school. Fairytales were a myth. She takes the first prince, or any prince, who comes along.
Our Fairytales Define Us
Our dreams make us who we are and determines the course of our lives.
If we're not treated like princesses, if we fail to build our empires and become queens, we find ways to cope. We may daydream, watch copious amounts of romance movies, bury ourselves in books and studies, dedicate our lives to a measure of success, we might be angry, bitter, sad, insecure or withdrawn (Amongst other things!).
The story you write for yourself will determine the steps you make.
My Very (Un)Fairytale Life
In my own story, my fairytale was first crushed in childhood. Being a redheaded, speckled spitfire, I picked myself up and refused to give up hope. I filled my head with romantic daydreams and believed with all my heart there was a prince out there for me (I thought the prince was the answer). But because I was daydreaming without self-worth, I wrote a story void of self-love.
I started kindergarten as a happy child. I talked too much, was quick to make friends and was definitely not shy. I climbed trees in princess dresses with the neighborhood boys. I was so excited to start school. Ponytail perfect, I left with a big smile on my face.
It didn’t last long.
I was bullied, singled out, called names, pinned down and spit on, tripped, had food thrown at me, had food squished in my hair, yelled at, chased, threatened, jumped on… and I wondered, “Why? What’s wrong with me?”.
Resilient as always, I tested different coping mechanisms: I tried to withdraw but I was too outspoken. I tried to be a bully but I was too kind. I tried to act like I didn’t care but I’d cry. I rebelled but was consumed with guilt. Nothing worked, until I discovered the power of the fairytale.
When things in my life are really bad, to this day, I often find myself fantasizing the life I wish I had. I can’t stop it. It plays like a movie in my head:
A young version of myself, in a dress, swinging in the sunlight under a tree. Mom calls me in for dinner and I run toward a house full of joy.
Older now, I’m in school. A boy smiles at me in the hallway and again in the classroom. He sends me a note, “Will you go out with me? Check, YES or NO”, I smile at him and fold the note. He’s the nicest boy in school.
Older still, I’m leaning on the side of a car. The boy from school is there but he’s older. Better looking somehow. He has his arm around my waist and we’re watching our two young children chase our dog around the front yard. He smiles at me. I smile at him. He kisses me.
Years go by and I have a home full of teenagers. They’re sitting at the kitchen table talking to my husband. He loves them. I love them. I love him for how he loves them.
We’re much older now and the house is quiet. We’re laying in bed, glasses on, each reading a book. Wrinkled hand on wrinkled hand. It’s time for bed and he gives me a small kiss before turning out the light.
Then, it’s just me. Sitting in our living room, surrounded by children and grandchildren. Christmas music is playing in the background. I see his photo on the side-table beside the couch. I smile, he would have loved this. All the children and the chaos. I miss him.
And that’s where it ends. Clearly, this story was about romance but I’ve done the same for starting a business, moving to a foreign country, becoming Carrie Bradshaw…
Stories became my escape. They still are. With every painful experience, I dream a solution. With every heartbreaking story, I write a new ending. Here I am, honestly having a downright terrible day and I’m writing a story, trying to change my ending.
Something about putting the words on paper makes the pain seem more beautiful.
The Power of Words
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.
It’s absolutely not true.
Words hurt worse than sticks and stones and the wounds can last a lifetime. From being bullied and told I was worthless, to broken hearts from princes who didn’t love me, to abusive spouses who aimed to hurt me, words left a hole I was always trying to fill. It changed my perspective of myself and the fairytale ending I was worthy of. [Related: You're Worthy of a Great Love]
Have you ever wondered why words hurt us so much?
We were created through Words. By Words. With Words. From Words. It makes perfect sense to me that a harsh or cruel word would hurt our spirit and change who we believe we are.
To take that thought even deeper, Jesus told us we need the Word of God, the life-giving Word of God, to live. Without His Word, we would be spiritually dead.
The enemy uses negative words as a weapon to keep us from knowing who we really are and to stop us from living victorious lives. Why do you think negative self-talk is so damaging? Words are really powerful.
How to Write the Fairytale Ending You Really Need
What I missed for so many years, and maybe you’ll relate, is I’ve been writing my own character. God gave us free will to move in our story but He wrote our character. And guess what? He wrote you as a hero.
God dreams way more for us than a simple fairytale. Our Creator writes us an engaging novel, blockbuster ready, blow-your-socks-off-it’s-so-great kind of personality for an amazing story. You are incredible. He created you to be the successful main event.
Write a fairytale worthy of her.
Re-write your ending. Your life may not look like what you initially dreamed but trust God because He specializes in new beginnings. He loves to take a bad situation and make it good. He wants to see you succeed and He will help you get there. Consider that you might be too emotionally involved to see the big picture or God’s picture, for your life.
God made millions of princes. You know the saying, “There’s many fish in the sea”?
That one is true.
If God takes away one man (or dream!) He’ll give you another one. If God wants to fix the man (or dream!) you’re with, He’s going to give him back to you jusssst right. If God says you don’t need that man (or that dream!), you only need Him then, so be it. Love Him.
Take it from a married woman, God is the only man who can fulfill all your dreams anyway.
So let’s dream of Him. Create a story deserving of the amazing woman the Creator of the universe decided the world needed. You were not an accident. You were created. You have a purpose. You’re a hero. You’re going to overcome adversity and get what you really want.
What kind of story does that kind of woman need to succeed?
Dream it, write it and go do it with God.