The King is Enthralled by Your Beauty…My Cinderella Story

 

cinderella_2015_movie_hd_wallpaper_desktop_a8sy2Today I want to address women. 

Men, don’t stop reading because I think you can learn something from this story when it comes to us women, so read on if you dare.

Sometime between the dreams of our feminine youth and yesterday, a treasure has been lost it seems in so many of us, if not all.  And that treasure is our hearts, and how we were created to be.  God has set within us a femininity that is powerful, tender, and alluring.   

ella_and_the_prince_in_cinderella-wallpapers (1)I think every woman secretly longs for that Prince to come riding in to rescue her from the woes of life.  In unveiling the mysteries of a woman’s soul, I find that we were all created to long to be desired.  We all long for romance and intimacy.  He created us that way.  It is nothing to be ashamed of.  

It’s just that we have gone to great lengths to satisfy that longing in all the wrong ways.

The longings God has written deep in our hearts actually reveal to us the life He wants us to live.  For so many of us, those desires have gone unmet and long neglected.  Many of us live in fantasy worlds of addictions and men to try to fill that unmet need for escape into being valued and desired.  We try to numb the aches in our hearts.  But our hearts are still there crying out to be set free and to find the life we desire.  

Jesus is the only One who can fulfill our deepest need and longings whether we are married or single.

Last week, my granddaughter Savanna and I experienced a disappointment together when we traveled to a place that we had planned to go, and found we could not continue with our plans due to extenuating circumstances.  As we left to return home, we both began to share our love for Jesus with each other and decided instead of being sad our plans were thwarted, that we would go see Cinderella instead.  

What a plan, right?

Then as we arrived, we challenged each other to see the story in a different light.  We would watch it with the idea that Jesus was the Prince in Cinderella’s story and she would be us.  And the wicked stepmother and the 2 evil step-daughters would be Satan and his evil spirits trying their best to convince Cinderella she was not beautiful, desirable, or loved…but instead a worthless woman who would never amount to anything.  

Hmmmm…how many women really, deep down, feel that way?

Do you long for your own Cinderella story?

Who doesn’t long to rise from her humble past, discover the best in herself, and be appreciated by a true, lasting love.

Yet, her own efforts to fill the yearning often ends in tatters.  And no man can rescue her.

The Cinderella fairy tale provides a powerful allegory for women’s deepest hopes and dreams and the God who longs to fill them.  For all of us who have wrestled with disillusionment, abandonment, our own limitations, and the lies that whisper we’re not beautiful, there is someone who longs for us the same way we long for Him…and if we learn to follow his lead every promise He’s ever made proves true.

Cinderella was a beautiful woman with great potential, but she was bound by an environment and wickedness coming against her, and that constantly put her down and tried to reduce her to nothing! 

One day the Prince knocked on her door.

il_fullxfull.522314485_19nlWe know about the Ball, the Prince and her Slipper.  The Prince never forgot her; she was unique.  He did not give up his search until he found her.   

There are a lot of women today living like Cinderella, bound to situations, living in insecurities and addictions that are robbing them of their peace and joy.

Maybe you have met the Prince of Peace, but you have fallen into emotional bondage or other traps of the enemy.

There is HOPE!

akiane-kramarik-jesus-paintingJesus, the Prince of Peace, knows where you are and how long you have been there.  His desire for you is that you walk in the freedom of His presence and provision and an intimacy with Him that has no end.

I believe that women today are waiting for something external to come along and transform their lives.  We may venture into the world, travel, go to college, or make money.  But underneath it all lurks a wish to be saved, a deep yearning for dependence on a rescuer.  These largely repressed attitudes, I believe, are holding women down because they don’t yet know we already have a Prince standing before us…waiting for us to take His hand.

There are so many parallels in the story of the Prince seeking her out with fervor.  He could not go on until he found her.  He had eyes for only her, and when He saw her He knew she belonged to Him.  

dancing cinderellaHe swept her off her feet.   

We can see this as the church itself in more general terms.  For we are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom, and He longs for intimacy with His Bride.  He seeks us out for relationship with Him.  But we are so busy trying to find that one thing to fill our deepest longings that we miss Him standing there with His hand outstretched for you…and that He is that ONE thing.

But in an even more personal light, as an individual, He has eyes for only you.  Can you even imagine it?

sho123234LARGEAt the end of the story, both Savanna and I were amazed, since we were looking at it from a Jesus-as-our-Prince viewpoint, that when the slipper fit her foot, and the Prince took her in His arms, she knew she was to go with Him…her heart’s desire.  

And there standing on the staircase was the wicked stepmother with a look of shock on her face.  She was looking through the bars of the staircase.  It was the appearance of Satan bound behind bars, defeated once again in keeping the Princess from her Prince.

And the two evil step-daughters?  They were running around trying to look like the perfect sisters all along, chattering and looking like fools…just as the enemy always ends up looking.

Cinderella turns and with a look of fulfillment on her face, simply says to the step-mother and the 2 step daughters, “I FORGIVE YOU”…. 

Powerful words of freedom from the enemy.  No more lies.  She now knows who she is and knew that this was the plan all along for her life.

The King is enthralled by your beauty.”  Psalm 45:11

A few months ago I went to a classical concert with a friend.  The orchestra was lovely and I enjoyed the music but soon became bored as I need more of a visual to entertain me.  Don’t judge me.  I just do.

I decided to close my eyes and let my imagination run with the music. 

And there I was in a beautiful ball gown entering the gates of glory.  My Prince was standing there in the most beautiful tuxedo I had ever seen.  It was white and shimmered like tiny diamonds sparkling off water.  He had eyes that drew me in.  Our eyes met and there was a depth of  love I had never experienced before…as I stood there breathless and in awe. 

He only had eyes for me.

I walked over to Him and His arm was reaching towards me and He smiled.  I took His hand and He swirled me into a waltz that seemed to consume every inch of my being. 

maxresdefaultWe danced around and around and He lifted me higher and higher until we were dancing on mountain tops and over the seas.  The crescendo of the music kept rising to the plateau of complete immersion into Him as it swirled around us.

“Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.” Psalm 149:3

 As He motioned for me to look down with his head, there before me was the throne of God glistening with the colors of the rainbow and shooting off ceaseless jewel colored rays of piercing light that overflowed into the atmosphere around us.  I looked into His eyes and the love that filled my every longing was there and that was all that mattered.  I rested my head on His shoulder and felt safe.

His fragrance filled my soul.

I became lost in HIM. 

Oh, the joy of it. 

“The LORD your God among you is powerful — He will save and He will take joyful delight in you.  In his love He will renew you with His love; He will celebrate with singing because of you.”  Jeremiah 3:17

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nHave you met your Prince in this way yet?  He is standing right there.  Open your spiritual eyes and behold Him…….

 

I’ll Call Her Hannah

303161_414645191931368_893377415_nI’ll call her Hannah.  

Sweet girl, but she walked in that day with a cross between terror and distrust on her face.  On that first day she came she brought reinforcements.  Her protection sat in a car across the street in case she needed to make a quick getaway.

I greeted her with a hug and she was shaking and determined to not talk.

amazing graceShe sat at my table overlooking my flower garden staring at the Amazing Grace plaque I had nailed to the fence, and tears just waiting to be released.

There had been other attempts from other people to help her heal from a childhood that had lied to her and robbed her of her innocence; a childhood that had picked her up and spit her out into the emptiness to fend for herself; a place she had locked herself up within a cage of torment, but was safer than venturing out into the unknown…and so that no one would see or notice.  But those well meaning attempts to help her were not welcomed nor were they successful because according to her she did not trust them nor did she think anyone would love her if they knew her secrets.

And now here she was at my table, eyeing me with suspicion and maybe a little of, “what makes you any different than the others.”

For the first session I did most of the talking.  I explained that for this to work she had to do the work.  She had to talk.  She had to give me something.  She would drop her head and tears would flow down her cheeks and we were left with silence.

I felt Holy Spirit prompting me to just wait, not be in a hurry.  So, I waited and became comfortable with the silence as the weeks turned into months.  Sometimes we sat there for 5 to 10 minutes with neither of us saying more than 2 words.  I refused to speak for her, though it was tempting to break the silence and uncomfortableness.

I just loved her.  Peace

I eventually began to share with her what a precious daughter to the King she was.  I told her He rejoiced at her loveliness and none of what happened to her defined who she was meant to be and would be one day.

I told her God had a plan for her and He was enthralled with her beauty.

And He wanted to heal her from the past.

Week after week, we made little progress it seemed.  Many times she would start to tell me a secret and would take at least a half hour to get out only part of the secret and then she would collapse into sobs.  I assured her it was okay and that we would tackle these obstacles together.

Then one day she finally started coming on her own– without the reinforcements.

She eventually started to trust me and slowly…very slowly…began to open up with her dark secrets.  Sometimes she would only get out a sentence and then crumble again into tears.

She loved to say, “I don’t know” a lot.  I told her she could say anything but “I don’t know”….and she broke the habit of hiding behind those words.  She really did know.

She had tried to hurt herself many times, she finally told me.  She felt ugly inside and couldn’t imagine Jesus wanting her as she was so undesirable. She felt dirty and caged and covered it up as best she could.

10440802_696494227073693_7724385406213002777_nWith each new disclosure, her trust grew, and I began to see a new beauty emerge.  After many months, week after week of spending time just sitting together and her slowly revealing her childhood to me, she began to change more and more.  She eventually gained an empowerment that was solely from the Holy Spirit.

64658_465671946828692_1306119874_nShe confided to me finally that she loved my hugs.  I gave them even more freely then.  I sensed that the little girl inside of her had not received many in her life time…and every time I hugged her she cried.

She would melt in my arms. 

She won her way into my nurturing heart.  But I knew that without His grace reaching down into her heart, revealing to her the value He placed on her, I, myself, could not help her.

Because I had been in that very place myself as a young woman and I knew that without His intervention I had no strength to pass on to her.

But God had plans for Hannah.

After 8 months of our weekly sessions she showed up one day at my door with a smile on her face, anticipating my hug, and I saw no fear.  There seemed to be a break through.  She began to open up more and more and started making herself accountable to me if she was tempted to do something that she knew was destructive.  She began sharing more details of her abuse and her feelings and fears that had entrenched themselves into her very fiber.

And with each disclosure came more healing.

Oh, she tested me a couple of times.  She wanted to see if I would walk away.  But I didn’t.  I am not the walking away type, and by this time I knew God was working in her in a big way and had great plans for her.  I confronted her and loved her through it.

She learned that forgiveness is real.

One day I knew God was going to move Hannah out of the area.  I just knew that she could not stay where she was and continue to grow.

And it was time she left the nest and flew on her own.  Oh, I would still be there, but I knew it would be a different role.

And I had to face my own issues of letting go.

Sure enough she was offered an opportunity in another state to start a new life.  I told her God had told me she would go and that it was okay, it was time.  After a year of coaching she was ready to go into the face of fear and go out on her own.  I wasn’t prepared for the deep sadness that overtook me.  We had become very close.  And those last few weeks before her departure was hard on both of us.  We would sit and talk about all the opportunities God was going to open up to her with excitement and within moment our eyes would well up.

We planned a birthday lunch on the beach.  We went together like Mom and daughter.  I bought her a heart necklace engraved on the back so she would always be reminded that I am close in heart and that Jesus is even closer.  We sat at the beach and talked and talked.

Boy, what a change from that first day of sitting at my table as the clock ticked.

I couldn’t help but remember back a year ago when that pale faced, young girl, showed up at my front door shaking and terrified, not able or willing to utter a word to me.  And now I was looking into the face of a young woman glowing with promise and she had a huge smile of gratefulness and unabashed love on her face; A woman with hope and excitement about her future.

Don’t tell me miracles aren’t for today.

Hannah is one.  378095_526317080764178_826390852_n

Don’t tell me coaching backed by the Spirit of God doesn’t work.  It is revealed in an awesome display of His glory on the faces of those who bravely submit themselves into His trust when they come to be coached.

I wrote a poem for her before she left.  I don’t know if it was as much for me to let go–as it was for her to leave.  She has given me permission to use it here…to share with you…to give you hope in whatever you face.

She came in tears

shredded and spent

sorrow and guilt

hope lost for comfort

destitute

The journey began

into new awakenings

A Princess you say?

alone and shattered me?

hope?

a melody began to play ♫  

1506500_619449268111523_2092771554_nHer Prince  appears

 

“Dance with Me”  He whispers

“Come put your head on My shoulder

let Me hold you

breathe with Me

I’m healing all your wounds

and taking you on a journey

are you willing to go with Me?”

 

adventure and abandon to Him awaits

 

I am taken with your beauty“, He says

My love for you knows no bounds

 

and the true Princess emerges from the abyss

and dances into her new life with Him

and the past has lost its hold on her……forever