“Nothing, she thought, will ever be the same.” – Stay in the Castle.
Remorseful, broken, alone- the once lively and hopeful princess felt her hot tears cascading down her face as she witnessed her prince solemnly gallop away, never to be seen again.
This past week, a woman of God whom I largely admire, lent me a book entitled “Stay in the Castle.” At first, I was largely curious as to the meaning behind such an imaginative title, but after reading the full story, this title has now become a cherished sentiment.
Ladies, let’s admit it. Sometimes, we fall prey to the belief that if we don’t have a boyfriend, we’re inferior, worthless, and un-lovable. I’ve felt it very heavy on my heart to share with you that despite these berating ‘opinions,’ you are none of the above. If you have been born again into the family of God, you are redeemed, free, and bountifully loved, single or in a committed relationship. You are sheltered in the love of God, cherished by the Creator of the world. So, remain in the castle, princess, you’ll be thankful that you had stayed when your prince beckons for you at the the gate.
So, what’s this short story about anyway? Well, since you asked…
“Once upon a time, there was a princess that lived in a beautiful palace overlooking a simple but worldly village. She lived in the castle with her Father, the king, and a handful of faithful servants. Her father doted over her, supplying her every need and most of all her wants. (sound familiar?) Over the years, she blossomed into a beautiful young lady, quick-witted, full of laughter, and always obedient- but increasingly lonely.”
When her Father, the King, noticed her increasing sadness and lack of interest, he knew it was time that he told her of his impeccable plans for her future prince. However, the time has yet to arrive when such a man was to gallantly gallop into her life on a white horse, so she must patiently wait.
She waited and waited … and waited; bravely, at first, but as the temptations of the village worsened, she grew weary and restless in her anticipation.
Amidst the angst of the suspense, one day a young delivery man appeared at the castle doors.
“A year passed. Then another. The dream became harder to envision, and the night sounds of laughter and glee from the village below again began working their way slowly into her thoughts. It became harder to concentrate on her preparation; harder to be patient. One morning, while taking her breakfast in the Royal Kitchen a knock was heard at the back door; the door where deliveries were made from the village below. She waited for one of her Father’s servants to answer, but when none immediately did, she decided to answer it herself.
“Hello,” said the young delivery man as he pulled off his crumbled hat and bowed.
“She couldn’t help but laugh…”
She was manipulated by his allure, naive in all attributes of the word. Mistakenly, she disobeyed her father and visited the village every night – searching for thrill; a life abundant with laughter, dancing , and excitement.
Despite her Father’s warnings and wise beseechment, the ignorant Princess was spirited away to a life identical to the villagers- so blinded by her carnal desires.
Enchanted by the mystique that was prevalent in the young delivery man and the life that he so enthusiastically lived, the Princess hastily forgot the promise of her dashing Prince. She married , and before long, was pregnant with child.
“She woke with the dawn, not knowing that it was a year to the day since her departure. Her back hurt, ‘Just part of being in your last month of pregnancy ,’ the village women had told her. Rising with difficulty, her husband muttered something in his half drunken state. he had come home only hours before and they had argued – again. Oh well, after the baby is born maybe things will get better.”
“Her eyes wandered to the East to spend a few minutes watching the sun rise… her heart seemed to stop, gripped as if by a strong hand. Far down the road came a white horse, its rider sitting straight and tall… The Prince knocked on the front door of the Castle, ‘her’ front door not that long ago. The King stepped out to greet him, and she watched as the King spoke with his hands, and then pointed toward the village.”
“The noble Prince listened carefully, his strong shoulders sagging in disappointment and sadness… He looked toward her village home, his eyes finding hers in the shadow. For a moment, they both stared. Then, pointing his mount back toward the sun, he rode away into its brightness.”
Just as her loving Father had warned- nothing was ever the same.\
Despite our selfish impatience, God has a plan for each one of our lives. He has carefully selected a spouse for each one of you, but we must be wise in waiting.
Stay in the Castle.