I’ve been reading a novel called Giver of Roses. While I’m still not sure what I think of the book, I do know that this one quote jumped out and hit me square in the chest:
“Always live with a sense that you can be more than you ever thought you could be, for you’ve yet to tap your deepest potential.”
I certainly haven’t been living with that sense lately, and I know I haven’t tapped my deepest potential. In fact, I haven’t even tried. I feel like I’ve slowly let my life slip back into mediocre – a place I never wanted to be. But here I am.
Sometimes I have to force myself back to the fairytales. Back to that place of wonder and magic, fairies and pirates, Princes and dragons and mermaids and dreams. Sometimes my mind must escape to that place far away from reality, because it is my mindset that is keeping me here in the mediocre.
I find it strange that, as a child, all one longs to do is grow up and make your own rules; but once you reach that grown-up world, your heart wishes to escape to the simplicity of childhood. To return to Neverland. If only to escape the mediocre.
I firmly believe that there must be a balance somewhere, though few ever seem to find it. Few live with that sense that we could be more than we ever thought we could be. Few have tapped their deepest potential. I feel as if there is part of my dream that I’ve not even begun to dream. But I want to.
May we always live with the sense that we can be more than we ever dreamed we could be. May we live something far greater than the mediocre.
And how do we get beyond the mediocre, you ask? Well, I can’t be sure, but I’ve heard it’s the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning.
Yesterday, I had one of those days. You know, the kind of day where you fume about stupid stuff and think things like, “I’m not going to get married for the next hundred bajillion years because I don’t even want to deal with this junk.” It took moving 450 miles away from home for me to realize that guy/girl friendships are difficult to come by. I don’t know if that fact makes me want to hug my old guy friends and apologize for all the years I’ve taken them for granted, or slap them in the face and yell at them for making me believe that our relationships were normal. I think what I felt yesterday was a combination of the two. I could have walked right up to one of them and shouted, “Thanks for being amazing, jerk.”
Well, I did what any girl would do in such a situation. I grabbed a bowl of chocolate ice cream and popped Ever After into the VCR. By the time it was over, I felt a whole lot better about the topic of men and marriage. What I love best about that particular version of Cinderella is that the characters have flaws. Prince Henry was selfish, arrogant, didn’t listen very well, and acted like a jerk when he learned the truth (to which he had previously refused to listen). And Danielle weaved a web of horrible lies then tried to keep the pretense going. What makes the story so enchanting is that they manage to overcome their flaws and find a happy ending. I’ve been told that chick-flicks are not good for a girl’s emotional health, but I needed that movie last night. I don’t think it’s bad to hold out for “Prince Henry” – as long as you’re willing to accept that he does have flaws.
The movie comes to a conclusion with this beautiful line: “And while Cinderella and her prince did live happily ever after, the point, gentlemen, is that they lived.” They lived. And while those words were said to convey the idea that Cinderella was more than just a folk tale, I think that line carries a much greater meaning. Take Prince Henry’s line, for example: “You swim alone, climb rocks, rescue servants… Is there anything you don’t do?”
The character of Danielle De Barbarac did not only live “happily ever after,” but “once upon a time.” She embraced the moments and lived the journey. She may be a fictional character, but she’s still a great reminder that we weren’t meant to live for the “happily ever after.” We were made for the “once upon a time.” “Happily ever after” means that the story is over. No more adventures. No more life. One day, I hope I’ll make it to “happily ever after,” but as for today, I simply want to live.
We interrupt the normal schedule of this blog to bring you an important message:
God has been doing something in me these past four months. I wrote a book, boldly presented it to a publisher, started a blog, and am slowly sinking into the world of ministry to my generation. It’s been amazing, and I’ve been learning so much. But tonight was one of those nights that God just smacked me in the face. You see, sometimes I get distracted from what I’m supposed to be doing and God has to set me back on track. I was skimming through my new book, A Heart Exposed by Steven James, when I stumbled upon these words:
you dance on the breeze in the evening light, you leap on the curl of a wave, crashing white. you twirl on a star in the darkest night, calling, “Live the journey! Live!”
With four more rousing stanzas, Steven James reminded me of my passion and purpose. It’s the reason I started this blog. God called me to live the journey, and when I looked around at the world I live in, I saw that many of my friends and loved ones weren’t walking in the freedom God called His children to when he told us that He had come to give us life to the full (John 10:10). It was my calling to echo the cry my God shouts, whispers, and screams. “Live the journey. Live.” I regret to say that I haven’t truly been challenging anyone to truly live the journey. I allowed myself to be boxed in by structure and say, “This is the routine.” But I never really gave God much freedom to step outside the bounds of my pre-conceived categories. Not that this has been bad… I simply believe that it could be so much better. God wants to make it so much better.
I’m one of those people who strive on structure, yet I hate when routine gets in the way of the Spirit. But there I was, doing the very thing I hate. I convinced myself that it had to stay the way it was because I had to stick to the singleness theme. But honestly, this isn’t about singleness. It’s not about marriage. It isn’t about dating or courting or whatever else you may use to define relationships. It’s about moving beyond waiting for the things that won’t come until the future and refusing to get caught up in the past. It’s about living the journey. It always has been. Until I let myself get caught up in traditions and routine and whatnot.
But I’m going to warn you that tradition stops right here. I’ll still try to post three times a week, but it’s going to have a little less “Rebekah-shaped structure.” I’m not going to force anything I’m not feeling. I will only post what I feel the Spirit is sharing with me to share with you. I’m going to expose a little bit of my heart on this page. The only goal I now have is to live the journey. And I want to encourage you to live with me.
I think the one thing that is most harmful to single women who hope to be married one day is that horrible word called “timing.” We rush into unhealthy relationships because we don’t want to wait, or because we think we are ready, when in truth, we are not. I’ve come to learn that even good things can be bad things when done in the wrong timing.
I recently finished the book Lies Young Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh. Aside from revealing some hurtful lies in a candid, compassionate manner, this book made me question something I had never really thought about before. Nancy and Dannah surmised that the tree that caused mankind’s downfall was probably meant for good… if Adam and Eve would have waited for God’s timing to enjoy the fruit. But they didn’t wait. And instead of enjoying the blessing that could have been, mankind was faced with a terrible curse. That my friend, is what is happening to us. We’re rushing ahead of God’s timing and turning relationships (which are a good thing) into a bad thing.
Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us that there is a time for everything – a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… and so on. There is a time to be in a relationship and there is a time to embrace singleness. Don’t rush God’s timing. Don’t think that He is wrong. It may just be that He has a blessing beyond imagination waiting just around the corner. One day it will be time to dance with your husband, but until that day, enjoy the freedom of dancing to your own rhythm.
No matter what else may be eluding your grasp, there is one thing that never goes out of season… Now is the time to live.
Your dreams were not meant for someone else to fulfill, therefore you must choose to live them. Dreams do not come true without some form of action being taken. (Cinderella had to go to the ball, Belle had to take her father’s place in the beast’s castle, Ariel had to give up her voice.) These fairytale characters physically did things during the time leading up to meeting Prince Charming. God did not give you life so you could spend it waiting. In fact, Jesus came to push you into a form of action. Check it out:
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” – John 10:10
I chose the Amplified version because I really like how it ends there – till it overflows. Is your life so full of joy and adventure and excitement that you literally feel as if it is overflowing? Continue reading