I like to call it the Disney princess syndrome. The state of being so hung up on the idea of prince charming or the next big thing that life with any other outcome seems meaningless. Disney has really played off of this emotion producing many highly rated films which encourage this mindset. In addition to fueling this desire, we are drawn to Disney movies because we love to experience the happy ending that we desire for our own lives. Throughout the beginning of Tangled, a Disney film released in 2010, Rapunzel asks a question which resonates with many viewers throughout all ages.
“When will my life begin?”
All around us, we hear mixed messages which range from extreme feminism and independence to this belief that your life cannot begin until this desire for companionship is fulfilled. What seems to be missing is that crucial design found in-between the two messages, an understanding of the fact that we are created and designed for a purpose and that we are also equipped with a desire to care for others. We may have a distinct desire, but as we have talked through previously, fulfilling that desire which God has instilled does not always match our idea of what it should look like. For those still dwelling in their fairytale lands, I hope that this post will encourage you to look around at the present and seek to understand that your life begins now.
“Just be content with where God has you.” This phrase, while true, is often thrown around and overemphasized when encouraging single women. If you have been a part of a church or women’s ministry for any amount of time, it is likely you have even tried to make efforts towards putting this contentment into practice. What I have come to find is that, like many other things, you need a plan, Think of it this way, how often have you told yourself “I am going to start eating healthy and working out.” Now think of how many times you were actually successful. If you are anything like me you need a plan, accountability, and a goal in order to make any significant progress. The same is true with developing a heart of contentment; it is not something done overnight, but through the consistent daily choice of a grateful heart.
Recently, I attended a women’s event entitled CRAVE. In addition to eating an unhealthy amount of chocolate and coffee, we unpacked Psalm 63 and what the Lord had to teach us, through this Psalm, about craving the Lord. The beginning of the chapter opens this way:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
Throughout this event, we talked through how often we crave earthly pleasures such as chocolate, companionship, peace and quiet, all of which were created as wonderful gifts (especially chocolate.) The real question is how often do we crave the Word of God and how often is our focus on what God has planned for our lives.
Over these past couple months, God has been teaching me contentment, not as to look away from the beautiful gifts of the future, but to be present in today and to seek His plan. Verse five puts it beautifully: “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” What a wonderful truth and a reason to be grateful. I believe that when this is truly your heart, contentment will come.
Let’s go back to the original point of the post and answering the question: When will my life begin? It is a dangerous thing to believe that your life will not really start until you are in a relationship or that this waiting period is pointless. Believe me, I have lived in that state many times and there often nothing fruitful comes from it. Instead, I have seen tremendous growth when I have relied on God and understood that He had a different plan for today.
As we continue on through this summer, I would encourage every last one of you to not only check your focus, identifying what you crave, but to crave the one who will fulfill those desires in His perfect timing. Whether it be a relationship or desiring simply to be out of your current season the Lord hears your heart and will provide in ways we could not even imagine. (See Ephesians 3:20) Before we look to the future we must be satisfied by the Lord’s love in the present and thankful for His provision in the past. Your life begins now; go and be the hands and feet of God.
Psalm 63: Shane & Shane
Eric & Leslie Ludy: When God Writes Your Love Story