Neverland

by tylernielsen

For every little girl who’s watched Peter Pan and wished upon a star that she was Wendy…for the young romantics that dream of magical glass slippers and sparkling, dancing pumpkins…for the brave in spirit who aspire to be Maid Marian, bold and strong. 

I remember as a little girl wanting the fairy tales that I read about. On my eleventh birthday, I waited for a letter with Gryfinndor emblem stamped across the seal. How desperately I dreamed of being whisked away into the magic and bliss of it all. If only, if only…

Take any basic psychology class and you’ll surely hear something about why we are the way we are. What makes us “tick”. Your dreams were squashed as a child. Your mom cut your hair short and scarred you for life. Your parents picked the absolute WRONG name for you. Your dad never read to you or called you his princess. Your brother was perfect at everything you weren’t. Heartache and Tragedy. 

In the process of growing older, I’ve searched for reasons that I do the things I do. Why is it that I am an impossibly anxious, wound-tight individual? Why do I struggle so with body image? Why is food my best friend and enemy? Why are two of the hardest things holding on and letting go? 

My questions have found answers – often blaming others. My name often invokes strange questions (Tyler? Is that your Son?). My name paired with a short hair-cut earned me wonderful nicknames in kindergarten. I can’t recall my dad calling me beautiful or anything of the sort until my junior year of college. Diagnosis with Type 1 Diabetes at age seven had me convinced I was fat. 

So I found my reasons..my questions were “answered”. The only problem is that the “answers” don’t really solve any of my “problems”. And a lot has changed since I was a child. Not necessarily my heart or my personality..but my family dynamics have changed. For instance, my father now loving refers to me as “baby” and “princess”. My mother has grown and inspired growth – especially spiritually. My parents, mom, dad, and stepdad – though flawed – have become the people I aspire most to be like, next to my Savior.

My mom came to visit me today. We went to church and made lunch together. Simple. But as I’ve let go of the reasons for my pain and problems and begun to understand adulthood…it was magical. 

No amount of blame-game fun can win the battle. Our battle was won by Jesus Christ on the Cross at Calvary. Sin has lost it’s power. Death has lost it’s sting. And the wrongs that are done to us? Our response matters most. We can always control what we do. So what says the most about us is what we do when we don’t choose the initial action. Our responses reflect forgiveness, humility, love, patience, grace. And the beauty and wonder of those things..that swept me off my feet today. It was far grander than a ride in any magical pumpkin. And it sure beats moving to a far off castle. 

 

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