Friday, April 14, 2017

Tale As Old As Time

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Beauty and the Beast has been one of my all time favorite movies since I was a child. Belle was always my favorite princess. She was kind, strong, smart, and courageous. She liked books and she didn’t quite fit in with the people in her village. She saw the beast at some of his worst moments, yet, she was able to look past his faults in order to see who he truly was. She put in effort and took the time to learn that He wasn’t as scary as he looked, or even as scary as he acted. She discovered that the beast that was on the outside was the opposite of what was on the inside. Belle brought out the Beast’s best qualities, and he brought out hers.

Love. It’s a tale as old as time and a song as old as rhyme. Love is a surprise, appearing when least expected. It’s something every girl dreams of finding at some point in her life. A beautiful love story like Beauty and the Beast. A love that goes beyond appearance, beyond the mask, beyond the horns and the walls, illuminating the truly beautiful person that you can’t hide when that person is around.

I’ve found my love everlasting. His love surrounds me and fills me in the most unexpected ways. It comforts me, and gives me peace, when I need it the most. It glows in the way he smiles at me, illuminating me with an unshakable joy. It flows around me when he talks and laughs. It’s evident in the gentle way he brushes away my tears, and his comforting, protective embrace. His love is constant and ever present, even when I am not lovable. I would follow this love anywhere He leads me.

This love is as old as time. It’s crazy, relentless, and completely underserved. It’s a love that we can never prepare for, and a love we can never earn. It’s sure and true.

The best part?

We all have this love that is more than a tale, and older than time. Belle and the Beast and married/dating couples are not the only ones that have a love like this. We all have this love (even us single ladies) whether we know it or not.

This love created us. He sees every single one of our faults, and He loves us anyway. Whereas Belle sacrificed herself to the dungeon and the unknown terror of the Beast, Jesus Christ died a completely undeserved, painful death for us on the cross. He was tortured for us. He died for us, so that we could begin to grasp His undying love for us.

This is the love that started time. This love is timeless, unending, relentless, and unchanging!

When we embrace this love, we admit that we were wrong. We accept that we’re not perfect, and we see that because of this love, we can change because even when we think that the last petal has fallen, we can still come to know Him. We begin to bend in unexpected ways, giving up our plans like Belle gave up hers. We abandon our masks, and seek to love others, including the “beasts” in our own lives. We seek Jesus in all that we do and in all that we are, in order to fully embrace this love.

When we do, the sun will certainly rise!

Sure, we may still hope for a “Beauty and the Beast” kind of romantic love, and I pray that someday I have that, but if I never do, then I am content in being loved by The One, my Heavenly Father, my everlasting Savior.

For His love is the tale that began time, and the tale that lasts for all of time.

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

To the Place I Thought I'd Always Call Home

I don’t like saying goodbye, so this is not goodbye. That would hurt too much, so this is farewell, and I’ll walk past you occasionally. Most of all, this is thank you.

You were my Green Gables - the place I knew I belonged, when I didn’t belong anywhere else. You were the place with the view that belongs on a postcard but never made it there. You were my view, the “happy place” that will stay in my heart forever. You were the place that cultivated my love for nature. You had the perfect melodies to accompany my thoughts and reading with the “River of Babbling Waters.” You had the flowered meadows, protective hills, and picturesque bridges, leaping deer, and chipper squirrels, all surrounded by magical woods. You had tall, waving trees that danced and wove stories with the breeze.

You were there after every bad day, when all I wanted to do was escape. You were the place that embodied my childhood. You were where I was taught to dream big, and to go after those dreams with my whole heart, and the place where I learned to have a heart that isn’t afraid to dream and love. You were there for me when I needed to “just be.” When I needed to think, and when I needed to “just exist,” you let me. You were the place I went to when I needed comfort. The place I would sit in for hours, camouflaged and embraced by nature, when I’d had a rough day and needed to feel closer to God.

You had the perfect hill, where I could lay in the grass and search for shapes in the sky during the day, and stargaze at night. You had just the right place to put my porch swing in the middle of the yard, where I became a part of nature. I sat in that swing, in that spot, from the time I could sit. That was my spot. The place where I discovered my favorite books, and where I dreamed my most precious and farfetched dreams. The spot where everything felt right and anything was possible. The spot where I knew that everything was going to be okay. The spot I went to when I wanted to be held by God.

You were the place I thought I would always live, the place that would always be home. Sure, I may have built a new house, I may even have lived in another country, but I thought that I would always come back to my spot. I never would have abandoned my perfect setting, with my perfect view, and I know you never would have abandoned me. Just like in Anne of Green Gables I would have always come home.

I never would have left you by choice. You will always be a part of my heart, and you are still the view I wish for when I long to be surrounded by nature, when I need to “just be,” or need to feel closer to God. I hope that whoever calls you home in the future will appreciate you as much as I did, and I hope that you make them feel the same way you made me feel.

But, one thing I’ve come to realize since I moved is that, the place I thought I would always call home, as wonderful as it was, is not where I belong. The place where we moved is also, definitely, not where I belong. The country that stole part of my heart, and feels like a second home, is also not where I belong. I’ve come to see that, as cliche as it may sound, home is not a place, and I don’t belong in any place at all. Home is the people I love, not the place I love. Most of all, home is not on this earth, and this earth is not where I belong. I belong with my Creator, the one who created my favorite views. He who created me, and placed me here for a reason. My savior, whom I will return to when this life is through, and then I will (hopefully) be in the place I will call home forever.