Fairytales and Fables

What’s your favorite fairytale? Cinderella and Snow White are classics, with the outcast young girl being noticed and then rescued by the handsome young prince. And of course they live happily ever after. What’s not to love? We secretly (or not-so-secretly) wish that was our story. Then there’s the Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and a host of others that help us believe that no matter what happens, we can find true love and happiness in the end.

Did you read any fables when you were young? They’re those short stories with a moral at the end, like Aesop’s Fables. One of the most famous is The Tortoise and The Hare. The slow turtle and the quick rabbit run a race and there’s no doubt who’ll win. But the rabbit is cocky, and the turtle knows it. Rabbit dashes from the starting line, but then decides to eat a tasty breakfast and take an afternoon snooze, believing he’ll still zip to the finish line in first place. And in the end the slow turtle who plods along methodically takes the prize. The moral? Slow and steady wins the race.

Most of us remember fairytales and fables of the past. They make us feel good. We learn a lesson about treating others with respect, being patient, or staying the course even when the odds are against us. We leave wanting that “happily ever after”. We wish for the ultimate prize of being a princess, being famous, being a success, being rich, being with someone who truly loves and adores us. Being anywhere but where we are.

We love to escape in fairytales and fables. But they’re just stories. Right?

Real life for most of us isn’t a fairytale. Our Cinderella or Annie story never quite leaves the scenes when we’re wearing old clothes or working hard under someone’s glare. And the prince on the big white horse apparently got lost on his way to our house because he never showed up. Not quite the life those feel-good stories are made of.

But we do have a story to tell.

Each one of us. And our story is important. Because even if our circumstances today aren’t what we thought they’d be, we’ve had moments of triumph along the way. We’ve won a battle or two against the odds. We’ve loved and helped others. We’ve stayed the course even when nay-sayers said we should give up or give in. We may not ever have the fairytale happy ending we wished for in this life, but we are daughters of the King. And that can never be taken away from us.

As we continue on our journey through life, let’s think about an old African Proverb which says: If you want to go faster, go alone. If you want to go farther, go together.

Life is not about getting to the end as fast as we can, and then not having anyone to share the victory with. Life is about walking the journey together as we climb the highest peaks and trudge through the deepest pits. Bonds of sisterhood are forged as we help each other stay on course. We’ll laugh and love along the way, and together we’ll go farther than we ever imagined possible.

And prince charming? He may or may not be real for us. Most of us will never have that handsome young man whisk us off our feet and take us on his white steed to a castle on the hill. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be someone who will love and cherish us for who we are. Someone who’s willing to go through real life battles with us. Someone who will stand by our side even when things aren’t so happy. There’s one thing that’s certain: Love may be found on the mountaintop, but true love and friendship are sealed in the bunkers of life.

Never doubt, we can live happily ever after. It just may not be in a fairytale kind of way.

“May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” Psalm 68:3

May I pray?

Lord, many of us wish for a fairytale happily ever after. Some of us wish we could have the fairytale even just for a year or two. Father, even in the trials of real life when things seem dark and lonely, help us never to forget that we are Your daughters. You’ve given us an inheritance in heaven that can never be taken away. And You want more than anything for us to come to You and find peace and comfort in Your arms. May we run to You today. Amen.

Q4U: What’s your favorite fairytale or fable, and why?

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