I read Cinderella to my three-year-old today. I felt such empathy for her as I recounted her story. It made me think of how I react when I feel insecure or unworthy. Her vulnerability touches me. She is so hopeful, yet a little fearful. She doesn’t really believe she belongs at the party, but really wants to be accepted.
I found myself relating to her actions. Here are three things we can learn from Cinderella:
1. Don’t panic
Cinderella panics. She has to get out of there. She knows that if her true love sees her in her tattered, chore dress, he will not accept her. He will not love her. Why doesn’t she just let him see her for who she is? Let him have the chance to love her unconditionally. Come on, Cinderella, just TELL him who you really are. We all know he will stand by her. I imagine him defending her and declaring his love for her in front of the whole kingdom. But she didn’t give him the chance. She ran like the wind. We have all done that. Instead of choosing to trust, we retreat in fear. I panic when I feel like things are about to crumble around me. Anxiety kicks in, and I run for cover. That doesn’t solve a thing! Instead, ask God for the strength to be honest—even when it isn’t easy.
2. Don’t isolate
It’s a sad scene only a few moments after the ball, when she is sitting in the mud, in her raggedy dress and surrounded by pumpkins and mice. She is missing her shoe and her newly found joy. She drug herself back home alone, feeling unworthy and unloved. Marriage brings us to that vulnerable point more than any other relationship on earth. We are forced to remove the masks and be real with each other. Suddenly, selfishness, impatience, pride, and anger come to light. We want others to love and accept us for who we are, regardless of the tattered rags we sometime wear, but it is especially important that our spouses love us despite our many flaws. When we isolate ourselves, we decide that we are safer alone, and deny others the chance to get close. When I feel rejected, I tend to hide out and resist connecting with others. We aren’t meant to walk the Christian life alone, and shouldn’t neglect our brothers and sisters in Christ. We were meant to be in community with each other. Don’t sit in the mud puddle by yourself—reach out for help.
3. Always hold on to hope
I love this part—the part when she’s back home, wearing plain work clothes and dealing with crazy family dynamics. She’s been locked up, threatened, and mocked. Even the family cat is mean to her. But she goes around dusting and mopping with a smile on her face. Why? Because she finally realizes her true identity, and has the sparkly shoe in her pocket to prove it. She doesn’t brag about it, or laugh when her sisters are trying to stuff their giant feet into its match. She calmly goes about her business and waits. She knows her worth, she has danced with the prince, and she is at peace.
There is always a shred of hope to be found. You don’t have to run from God in shame—you are precious to him. He will relentlessly pursue you. He loves you the same on your very best day, as your very worst. He loves you at the ball, and when you are scrubbing floors. When you are being kind, and when you are being selfish. He rescued you, and you are safe in his hand. Because of Christ in you, your identity is secure, and there is no need to panic or feel the need to prove yourself.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” —Lamentations 3:22-23
[ois skin=”Post Footer”]