I wanted to thank you all for your prayers for my friend. Thank you so much for your thoughts and concern. Awesome news – she is now breathing on her own and talking. And she remembered who I was tonight! Please keep praying for her, especially for her brain function to return to normal. Life is precious my friends, cherish it!
Tonight we have a very special post and story from Catherine, Made in His Image’s Counselor. I am very grateful for her insight and willingness to share.
By: Catherine DiNuzzo
As a mother of two toddler-aged daughters, my world seems to be inundated with princesses. My husband and I swore that we would never let Cinderella, Arial, Sleeping Beauty, or any of the Disney princesses (that we’re all told we can’t live without) to infiltrate our home. However, thanks to grandmothers and good-hearted, well-intentioned friends, the princesses found their way into our lives. We have princess dress up, princess books, princess figurines, princess tea parties, princess t- shirts, and princess blankets. The list goes on. We are constantly reminded of the stories of princesses.
As a counselor, teacher, and public speaker, I have talked with hundreds of young women about the value of seeing that finding love is a process, one that takes time and purposeful actions. As a parent, especially a parent of little girls, I was concerned about the false reality that these Disney princess stories depict and what we’d be teaching our children. Would exposing them to these movies negate these important virtues that I had been so keen on teaching to others? I’m not trying to pick on Disney, but if you’ve seen even one Disney princess movie, you know what I am talking about. The stories don’t depict real life, and often depict situations that most likely will never happen for most women.
The stage… Princess sits alone, singing a song. Prince happens by, possibly on horseback, and catches a glimpse of her, a fair maiden. In an instant, they’ve fallen completely in love, just like that. It may have been a glance, or the wind blowing in her hair, or even the sparkle in her eye, but regardless, the connection happened. Immediately, he has miraculously overcome all obstacles in her life, he has swooped in to whisk the princes from her troubles, and he then takes her away to live “happily ever after.” This is quite the false reality! Once these Disney princesses entered our lives, there was no going back. I took this dilemma to prayer and like God does so often, He revealed to me an answer.
The part of a princess story that women fall in love with is the idea that a man could see her across the room, and without even speaking to her, could fall head over heels in love. That he would, in that moment, come to save her from all that hurts her, and will give her the “happily ever after” that she has dreamed about. There’s no pre-requisite or requirement on her end, just being present. So many women desire this, and I was one of them.
Like many young women, when I entered college, I went on the search for my princess story. I thought that in order for me to be found by my prince, I had to focus every moment of my life on getting ready for my special moment. I obsessed about being the skinniest, the prettiest, and the smartest. I made it a point to be at every party. If there was an opportunity to make “the moment” happen, I had to be there. Through this process of trying to force my princess moment, I lost myself. After lots of tears, many heart breaks, and even an abusive relationship, I began to think that there was something wrong with me, and that my princess story would never happen. At this point, I was feeling completely lost and my self-worth was nowhere to be found. I no longer knew who I was because I had been working so hard at being what I thought my prince wanted me to be. I was placing my personal value in the wrong things.
I was at my lowest point. I sat at dinner with a dear friend, lamenting about the princess story that would never be my story, and at that moment, with the love of a true friend and the help of the Holy Spirit, I learned that I already had my princess story and I didn’t even know it. There was already a man in my life who loved me for me. And like all good princess stories, there was nothing I needed to do to gain His love. He was there, to take away my hurts and to give me my happy ending. I finally realized that I had my princess moment because I realized that God was all I needed… God is my “princess moment.”
What I have been able to teach my girls is basic, yet it can be expanded to something all women need to know and understand. I teach my girls that God is the King. Not a prince, but the King. He is the King of everything, both on heaven and earth, and He is also our Father. Therefore, if our Father is the King, then we are daughters of the King, and that means that we ARE princesses. My girls love to hear this!
What I had failed to realize all those years was that God had always loved me. He didn’t love me because I fit into a certain size, or because my hair or clothes were the latest fashion-style. God loved me because He created me and I am His. It didn’t matter what I looked like, what I had done, or what I failed to do. Our value cannot come from anything but the fact that we are God’s daughters and He loves us unconditionally. If we place our personal value on anything but God and His love, it will come up empty every time. God loved me fully and completely, simply because I am me. He also comes to take all my hurts and my fears, and He promises an eternal “happily ever after” princess moment.