Once upon at time, 313 little girls were very much in need of a new life. all 313 of their stories followed a different script and, yet, had the same tragic themes throughout. when they should have been tucked into warm beds with full bellies, they went to sleep hungry and alone. when they should have had pretty dresses to twirl in, they only had discarded rags that didn't fit properly. maybe the most tragic element of their stories is that actually each little girl was a princess, but she didn't even know it! no one had ever told her so.
but, one day, their new life providentially came. their stories took a amazing turn, as they were moved into a new home. with a new family. on a beautiful Watoto village. some little girls went to live on a majestic mountain-top village, a village infused with as much hope as it's translated name suggests ~ Suubi (hope). others, went to live in a cozy, wooded village where they were surrounded by a eucalyptus grove and more peace than they had ever before known ~Bbira. they finally had the things every little girls should have - a bed to call their own, new clothes, a school to attend, a church community to introduce them to Jesus. their world began to feel secure and promising.
these little girls grew into beautiful young ladies. and now, on the cusp of adulthood, it was time. time for them to see the big picture, and understand the intricate threads connecting chapter 1 and chapter 2 of their life story. so, a whole weekend was dedicated for this unveiling. invitations were given out, dresses borrowed, decorations hand-made, many prayers were prayed. great care was put into making each girl feel special and beautiful - from personalized place cards to "spa sessions."
it was more than making a girl feeling good about herself for a few hours. it was about a Heavenly Father reaching deep into her soul and giving her a new understanding -
that He was there
even though no one remembers the exact date she entered the world, He had planned her birthday and all her following days from the beginning of time. even though no pictures document those first years of her life, He was there, delighting in her when her tiny, baby legs began to walk. when no one was noticing her dance and twirl, lost in her little girl daydreams, He was a captive audience. when there was no one to claim her as their own, He beamed, "she is mine!" that light of understanding that she has always been His... always a princess. and, even now, being a princess has nothing to do with the dress she puts on or the place she calls home.
yes, some girls "got it." and, for some, the understanding will come in layers, like a slow sunrise. but, i believe every princess' heart was pursued that weekend. they were romanced by their Maker.
and, for me... well, every girl needs to be reminded she is a princess sometimes, right? many times while celebrating with these Ugandan princesses, i couldn't help but think of a favorite quote from one of my favorite childhood movies (that Thomas classifies, along with Anne of Green Gables, as pure "sappyness" and pigs will fly before he ever watches it with me... but it's ok...he's a boy.)
I am a princess. All girls are.
Even if they live in tiny old attics.
Even if they dress in rags,
even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young.
They’re still princesses. All of us.
Didn’t your father ever tell you that?
- Little Princess
This princess turns 32 next week. i'm not sure exactly what chapter i am in right now, but i know that when my story comes to those last few pages - even if my hair is white, even if my cheek is wrinkled, and my legs are too feeble to twirl - i will still be His princess. what a remarkable thought.
so, to all my princess friends ~ old and young, near and far ~ be His today.