“Life itself is the most wonderful fairytale of all.” – Hans Christian Anderson
Every now and then I am nudged awake in the middle of the night..not by a husband trying to gain back control over the blankets or by a child in need of a tuck-in, but by a God who wants to talk. I find when my life gets overly busy and God struggles to be heard over the roar of everyday life He will wake me in the middle of the night for special “one-on-one time.” I have learned, as a parent, the value of making time for that “one-on-one” focus with each child. By clearing my schedule of everything but what they want to do for their special time I am telling them that they are valuable, that they are important, and that what they have to say matters to me. It matters enough for me to set down my laundry and my dirty dishes and listen. I find when given my undivided attention my children open up and share in a way that they won’t when other siblings are around. I have seen how relationships blossom when we give our undivided time and attention to another which is probably why my Heavenly Father wakes me in the middle of the night to meet Him in the livingroom, in the silence of the darkness, to visit. Sometimes I know why He is calling me to chat but often I don’t. Quite often it isn’t until I am snuggled up on the couch with a hot drink in hand and my scriptures open in front of me that I am told what our meeting is all about. Sometimes it is a chance to work through an issue I’m dealing with or a question I am seeking an answer to. Some times it is instructions..directions for my life. Often it is simply encouragement, a chance for a Father to say,” You are doing just fine. Keep it up.”
It is during those middle of the night rendezvous that I remember..I remember who I am, why I am here, what I am called to do. You see, sometimes we forget. It is as though we are dealing with a sort of fairy tale amnesia..a magic spell placed on us by an evil witch, only it isn’t a witch but a devil who has crashed our story and is determined to make us forget. He wants us to lose sight of our purpose and our path. He whispers lies that make us question our own validity and worth to this story we are living. He tells us that we will never reach the “Happily Ever After” so we might as well quit now. He convinces us that our best isn’t good enough and we don’t deserve the crown we are wearing. In the noisiness of day his is the voice we hear. He speaks to us through the condemning words of others and the voice of self-doubt in our head. We are attacked from every direction by the dragons of fear, jealousy, anger, frustration, pride, and fatigue. In the noisiness of day it can be hard to hear the truth. It is there, always there, but to hear His truth we must be still and listen.
The truth is found in the story. We must choose to climb up on the knee of our Heavenly Father to hear it. We must be quiet enough so that we can hear His words. We must be attentive enough to notice the lesson. The story will be exciting and perhaps a bit frightening. There will be obstacles and adversity, triumph and loss, but as the heroine of your story you get to control how you choose to face those challenges. In the end it is your story and nobody elses. Your fairy tale will appear to be very different from the stories you see playing out around you. Your adversity may take the form of a poison apple while another person’s challenge may come in the form of spinning wheel. Somedays we may wish for another’s story because it looks so much more appealing than our own but that is only because we haven’t read the whole book. The truth is..the plot is fairly similar in all fairy tales…They all begin with “Once Upon a Time” and they all end with “Happily Ever After.” It is in the in-between that we experience the good fairies, temptations, evil witches, adversity, and spontaneous singing. 🙂 It is in that in-between that so many get lost. They forget the “Once Upon a time”…they don’t know about the “Happily Ever After” and some don’t even realize they are wearing a crown. It is easy to forget.
That is why my Heavenly Father wakes me up every now and then for a heart to heart chat and a bedtime story…It helps me remember who I am, where I came from, how it will end, and ultimately what really matters at the heart of this story…
Dieter F Uchtdorf said:
“In stories, as in life, adversity teaches us things that we cannot learn otherwise. Adversity helps us develop a depth of character that comes in no other way. Our loving Heavenly Father has set us in a world filled with challenges and trials so that we, through opposition, can learn wisdom, become stronger, and experience joy.”
Your Once Upon A Time is Now.