Letting Down My Hair

Last night did not go according to plan. I walked into Bible Study intending to reinvent myself. To be a louder, bolder version of Rebekah Snyder. To finally carve a little space for myself in the midst of this community. This didn’t happen for a couple reasons. One: an old friend showed up, so of course we spent the evening catching up on life. Two: I looked around the houseful of thirty-some people and could practically feel myself shrinking, wallflower that I am.

When I woke up this morning, I had no intention to write a blog post, at least not on Beyond Waiting. I was going to write something very poetic about wallflowers on my other blog.

Wait, what? Rebekah has another blog?

I first started rebekahsnyder.wordpress.com so I could play around with formats without completely ruining this blog. I threw the first three posts up there just so I could get a feel for the layout. And then I wrote something else. Something that was probably the most vulnerable piece I have ever written, but I couldn’t post it here. Mostly because I didn’t want to risk the subject seeing it, but also because it didn’t fit the style I had created for this blog. And that is how Vagabond became the home for all the words that haunt me.

The ones that aren’t safe. The ones that aren’t pretty. The ones that don’t fit the image I have crafted for this space.

So why would I mention it now?

Here of late, I’ve become painfully aware that I’ve lived the majority of my life on a pedestal of sorts, and it’s getting really old. When I wrote a friend about how I feel like Rapunzel alone in her tower, longing to commit pedestal suicide, she asked me a very pointed and troubling question:

“Who are you, sweet girl? Who are you when the perfectionism falls to the ground and all that is left is you? Who is that girl? Does she come out to other people? Or, is she all alone in the tower?”

tower prison

I realize my pedestal is something I have crafted with my own two hands, and this morning, as I started dreaming up a post for Vagabond, I realized it was just another way of hiding. And I heard That Voice, clear and strong: “Rebekah, Rebekah, let down your hair.”

So I’ve decided to stop hiding. I’ve decided to come out right here on this blog and confess that, yes, perfectionism has clung to me like a second skin, but I am oh so tired of not wearing my own.

While this blog has shifted and grown so much over the years, it has never been completely real. Although everything I have shared has been truth, I’ve never been fully honest. I’ve tried to be strong. I’ve tried to be the encourager. I have tried to be light in this world.

But I’ve never let down my hair. I’ve never come out of the tower. I’ve never told you that I might actually be Rapunzel. Oh yes, I Rapunzel so hard these days.

So I want to invite you to read the post that I first protected like a secret. Oddly enough, it, too, is about Rapunzel. I think it’s pretty beautiful. In fact, there are a few posts on that blog of which I am truly proud.

I just wanted to let you all know that I am coming out, at least, on the days I feel brave enough. Thank you so much for continuing to return and make me feel like my voice matters. Until next time…

let down your hair

 

Embracing the Fairytale

I won’t be Rapunzel sitting in a tower,

staring out the window and dreaming of the hour

I’ll be free from my gilded cage.

I’ll rewrite the story. I will turn the page.

I’ll be the Little Mermaid stretching out my hand,

reaching toward the surface and dreaming of dry land.

I’ll be Cinderella going to the ball,

escaping from the everyday and standing there in awe.

Part of that world, more than a dream,

more than a life of espressos and cream.

Somewhere, somehow,

I’ll live the life I’m merely dreaming of now.

Faith, hope and trust, second star to the right,

straight on ’til morning, I’ll fly through the night.

Fairytale endings, dreams coming true,

and I’m lost in wonder – glorious wonder –

experiencing the mundane with You.

Life Begins Now

7 AM, the usual morning lineup:
Start on the chores and sweep ’til the floor’s all clean
Polish and wax, do laundry, and mop and shine up
Sweep again, and by then it’s like 7:15.

And so I’ll read a book
Or maybe two or three
I’ll add a few new paintings to my gallery
I’ll play guitar and knit
And cook and basically
Just wonder when will my life begin?

Thus begins Disney’s Tangled. These words launch Rapunzel into the adventure of a lifetime – the only adventure our heroine has ever experienced.

I find it interesting that Rapunzel was still waiting for her life to begin at sixteen years of age. It’s easy to assume that her life couldn’t begin until Flynn rescued her from the tower, but if you’ll look again, you’ll see that Rapunzel was the one who let herself down from the tower.

So here is the irony of Rapunzel’s opening song: she was always the one who held the power to make her life begin. It wasn’t that life couldn’t begin, but that it wouldn’t begin because it was fear that kept Rapunzel in that tower all those years.

I believe that many of us are just like Rapunzel, staring out the window at an unfamiliar world, wondering when our lives will begin. Some of us will stare out that window our entire lives, never daring to leave the prison we call home. Some of us will never take the first step, never dare to leave the tower and feel the cool grass on our toes.

I pray that you will be one who will pursue your dreams. The world is unfolding before you. The possibilities are endless. What will you choose to do with your life?

It doesn’t matter how young (or old) you are; it’s never too early (or late) for life to begin. No matter how long you’ve waited or how many mistakes you’ve made, today is a new day.

So come now, Rapunzel, let down your hair. Climb down from your tower and let the adventure begin.

Life begins now.

Tangled Dreams

The other night, I watched one of my favorite fairytales come to life. I have to admit that I was a little skeptical. There are, after all, thousands of ways to mess up a fairytale. How would the big screen convey this classic tale that is so dear to my heart? In a world that vies for true love’s kiss, what will they do with the tears that restore sight to a blind man? But Disney, much to my delight, pulled off the retelling of Rapunzel quite masterfully. While she was much different than I always imagined, I found her Disney persona to be just as endearing as the storybook heroine I fell in love with many years ago. And while I thoroughly enjoyed the entire movie, I find that one scene keeps replaying in my mind…

Rapunzel and Flynn have reached the Festival of Lights. Our heroine leans against the edge of the rowboat, stares into the sky, and confesses that she’s nervous. This moment is all she’s dreamed of for sixteen years. What if it isn’t everything she’s imagined it to be?

“It will be,” a confident Flynn replies.

This makes Rapunzel think of an even worse fate. What if it is everything she’s dreamed it to be? After tonight, her lifelong dream is over. What will she do then?

According to Flynn, the best part of the dream is the end, because you get to choose a new one.

Wise words coming from a man who claims he doesn’t have a dream, much less ever fulfilled one. But there it is. Straight from the mouth of Flynn Rider. The end of one dream is the beginning of another.

I don’t know about you, but that’s something I needed to hear lately. I’m in the same boat as Rapunzel. As I’m on the verge of completing my first novel, I’m nervous about what the end of the dream holds. On one hand, I can’t wait to see this vision fully come to life, but at the same time, the thought of closing the final cover on these characters who have been a part of my reality for the past three years almost makes me want to cry.

I feel like God has laid before my eyes thousands of possibilities. “Pick a dream,” He says. How do I choose just one? How do I determine which is worthy of the next three years of my life?

I think that, just as it was with Flynn and Rapunzel, the answer will be quite clear. When the time comes, I’ll know which one is worth the sacrifice. And so will you.

Look at the dreams God weaves between His fingertips much like He weaved the stars in the sky. Pick one out and carry it close to your heart until the time comes for it to finally be released in all of its splendor.

Don’t dread the end of one dream; embrace the start of another.