The Princess and the Prince

Once upon a time there was a little princess with big brown eyes and dimples in her rosy cheeks. Her favorite dress was a beautiful navy blue, with puffed sleeves and polka dots. She smiled when she wore it, with her hair pulled up in a delicate white ribbon, her dark locks laying freely on her tiny shoulders.

The little princess lived in a castle with a mother, father and brother. Her father was king and her mother was queen. They did not understand the little princess. She often felt lonely and invisible, perhaps she was unnoticeable.

Everyday the children in the court would gather together and play. The little princess loved the children but was often shy. She did not talk much, except to a few. One particular day she noticed a little prince in the garden, he was playing with the other boys, but as she sat, she caught his eye as he smiled and played.

He had a great big smile, freckles and a friendly happy face. He raced and chased in the yard. One day, one of the other boys came and gave her a note, the boy told her , “The prince loves you”, inside the note was a picture drawn and an “I love you” written by the prince. The girl smiled to herself as a warm glow grew within her heart.

Everyday the same scene played over and over. A catch of the eye, a smile, a note, a gift, and a friend coming to tell the little princess that she was loved. Her heart was captivated. While she never said so, she loved him too.

Time passed and a heavy darkness fell over the castle. The children were grown and no one came to play anymore. The princess grew lonelier and lonelier everyday. The happiness and warmth, her favorite polka-dotted dress and prince felt a lifetime away.

She lived in silence. Bottled up and forced to be the way everyone wanted her to be. Inside, she was a wild fire. She longed to tear her dresses, undo her hair and let the wind tangle it anyway it pleased. She thought of the prince often.

The princess was forced to marry a cruel man. He yelled, beat her and treated her body cruelly. He did not know love, nor did he know gentleness. The princess grew smaller, quieter, angrier, colder – until one day – she turned off her heart. She thought of the prince often.

Years went by in this prison. The princess was strong and she didn’t forget the flame inside her spirit. She escaped. She fled from the evil man, fled from the darkness of the castle and never looked back. She created a new life. A life that allowed her hair to fall at her shoulders, and the sun to warm her face. A life that led to love and kindness.

She patiently tended the intricacies of her new kingdom. A kingdom that was all her own. She thought of the prince often. She wondered where he was and what life was like for him.

Walking one day with the children she cared for, a man stopped her, and asked for her name. She looked in his eyes and saw the truth of who he was. It was the prince. The princess laughed and cried all the way back to her kingdom, knowing that this would be an adventure. An adventure that she could never predict, but her wild knew this was an important moment in history.

The prince and the princess loved one another, laughed, cried, embraced and deeply cherished the other’s heart. The princess thought the prince would be a part of her kingdom for the remainder of their days. She was wrong.

The prince came and went, her heart stayed true and steadfast while continuing to build and serve in her kingdom. The prince, knowing his love for her, came again, but left just as fast as before.

The princess was devastated. The prince had pledged his love, time and being to her. He promised her his return, he promised her his loyalty. And within moments those promises shattered.

The prince lied. He couldn’t love her.

He left her standing in a pool of her own tears, searching for an answer to the incomprehensible. She searched for motive, reason, answers and truth. In her heart of hearts she could not understand anyone EVER treating someone they claimed to love in this way.

The hope she placed in the prince turned to death and destruction, and in the deepest part of her soul, she must pick up the pieces to rebuild.

She looks about her kingdom with sorrow in her eyes, but the fire remains. She doesn’t despair alone, though where can she hope now?

She has learned that hope is a risk. It is dangerous. When displaced it can lead to death and anguish, bones and body aching in pain. Hope is the investment she made to fulfill a desire. It failed.

She placed her hope in a broken, shame-filled place. She didn’t know this was the part the prince would give her. What she saw was the prince’s goodness, his glory, love, heart and protection. When he couldn’t see this in himself, he abandoned it. He abandoned her.

The truth that the princess sees and calls forth was overwhelming for the prince to claim. He ran in his fear and left the princess with the remnants of the man she knows him to be. And yet, there is a hint that the prince truly does hear the words her heart speaks to him. “You are a good prince worthy of all the goodness that pursues you.”

If the princess could give the prince one thing, it would be a prayer. A prayer that he may see the face of God when he looks in the mirror. She would give him a BLESSING of delight, blessing the part of the man that truly wants to step into goodness, but fears rejection.

She would answer with kindness what was given to her in wrath.

Why would she do this? Because she still hopes. Hope is her risk and it is her investment. This time her hope is not in the prince – it is in the king. The King of all Kings. Hope in THIS king leads to desires fulfilled. Not just one time, or sometimes, but ALL of the time.

The princess understands this now. She may never see the prince again, he has donned his steed and journeyed far from her, yet her heart basks in the understanding that TRUE LOVE is freedom, and she wants nothing more than for the prince to be truly free.

Her hope fulfilled will be the deep knowing she contains in her heart. Only the whispers between her and the Mighty King contain this knowledge, and when that longing comes to fruition – it will be the wellspring of life in her kingdom. Forever.

-Rochelle Sadie

(photography: Deb Schwedhelm)

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