Thursday, February 11, 2010
The title of this post may be misleading. It's not about one of my all-time favorite movies. It's a story about a girl and the two things almost every little girl loves pretending to be. A princess and a bride.
The girl was born in 1986. She had a beautiful mommy and a handsome daddy. They looked good in pictures, but they weren't living in happily-ever-after land. When the little girl was in kindergarten, her beautiful mommy started going blind. A few years later, her handsome daddy went away, leaving the mommy, the little girl, and her baby sister. Even though she was very young, the little girl had to learn how to do a lot of things around the house, because her mommy couldn't see.
When the girl was sixteen, she came home from school one day, and her mom wasn't home. Someone else was there, and that someone told the girl that her mom's heart had broken. Literally. Her aorta separated from her heart, and she died. Just like that.
The court told the girl's dad that he needed to take care of his daughters. He wasn't happy, but he had to obey the court.
The girl went to live with her dad, even though he didn't want her there. She was sad. She was also angry. And she started doing lots of bad things. Dangerous things. It was almost as though she wanted to self-destruct. And maybe she did. Until one night when she was seventeen, she picked up a Bible and started reading in a book called Job. When she read a verse that said, "You prefer evil to affliction," she felt like Someone had spoken it directly to her. She stopped reading and prayed, telling that Someone that she didn't want to prefer evil to her affliction--even though her affliction had been so painful. She told God she wanted to know Him.
The next day the girl called her bad boyfriend and broke up with him. Then she looked in the phone book to try to find a church. She found one, and the next Sunday she went there. The people in the church welcomed her. They wanted her. They became her family and taught her about Jesus and how much He loves her.
As she got to know Jesus and studied His words, the girl's sadness and anger went away, and God replaced them with compassion for other hurting people. More than anything else, she loved reaching out to people who were poor or sad or afflicted like she'd been. She loved helping them find their way to Jesus. She even went to India to help some of the poorest people in the world. She wasn't afraid of anything that might happen to her. When she was serving Jesus, she was fearless.
But she was afraid of marriage. Her ideas about marriage weren't happy, and besides, she didn't need anyone but God. She told Jesus she wanted Him to have her whole life, that she would obey Him no matter what. So, imagine her surprise when Jesus told her He wanted her to get married! He even showed her the man He wanted her to marry.
The girl started praying for that man. She knew he loved Jesus, too. She also knew he had seen some hard things when he went to Africa to serve Jesus, and she prayed God would heal his heart. God did heal his heart and then He filled it with love for the girl. The man asked the girl to marry him, and she said yes. (Then they gave each other high fives. It was very romantic.)
If ever there was a little girl who didn't feel much like a princess or even want to be a bride, this was the one. But she grew up to be both. In fact, she'd always been a princess. For one thing, her name is Sarah, and that means princess. But she was also adopted by the King, and that made her a princess for real.
In eight more days, she'll be a bride, too. She'll walk down an aisle toward the man who will love her as long as they both shall live. And she'll be surrounded by family--not only her father, sister, and her church family, but her groom's family, who've adopted her into their hearts so fully she might as well be their own daughter.
How do I know? Because the groom is my son. And the bride is a more wonderful princess than I ever could have designed for him, had God entrusted me with the task. In eight days, the two will become one and will ride off into the sunset.
Of course, this isn't The End. It's only the beginning.
(The photo above shows Sarah in her mother's wedding dress. On February 19th, she will wear my daughter's dress and my veil. Both fit as though they were designed for her. Because they were.)