Monday, July 18, 2016

A Lady In Waiting

lady-in-waiting:(n) a female personal assistant at a court, royal or feudal, attending on a queen, princess, or high-ranking noblewoman. Historically, a lady-in-waiting was often a noblewoman from a family in good society but who was of lower rank than the woman on whom she attended. 

That's straight from Google, in response to the question: "What is a lady-in-waiting?" 

I used to call myself a princess. As the daughter of the King of all Kings, I was one. I am one. Right? 

I don't know about you, but more often than not, I feel a lot more like a lady-in-waiting. Still a lady, still respected, and still with good reputation, but slightly less than royalty. Slightly less than noble. Slightly less than...important. 

I am among the vast population of women who are exquisitely proficient. I am intelligent, but I have never been the smartest. I am beautiful, but I have never been the prettiest. I am talented, but I have never been the prodigy. I am great at a lot of things, but I am the best at nothing. I have lived in the shadows, just shy of the spotlight, since I can remember, and I'm usually okay with that. 

Until I'm single. 

Then, on the off chance I find a guy who fits the bill (as in, he's not gay, or taken, or a complete sociopath), I am stuck fighting with the prodigies. The supermodels. The ones who scored a 36 on their ACT. Granted, I feel confident about beating out the competition who is below basic (though I don't actually know anyone who fits that unfortunate description), but a lady-in-waiting is also expected to date, court, and marry high in society. She is still expected to land a lord, a knight, a nobleman, a prince; but she is competing with the princesses - the Kate Middleton's of the world. She is close to the crown. She is close to the spotlight. 

But not quite close enough. 

There is nothing more humiliatingly frustrating than being a lady-in-waiting (or the DUFF, if you've read that book), especially in today's society full of pitiful dating customs. If someone else gets the guy, it doesn't mean you're fat, or ugly, or dumb, or boring. It just means you're not as skinny, as pretty, as smart, or as interesting as the one who got him. Yeah. Cause that's encouraging. 

When you and another hungry, hormonal girl are eying the last piece of chocolate cake, are you likely to hand it over to her because she's hungrier and more hormonal? Heck no. You're knocking the poor girl over to snag it off the platter. 

Yes, I realize that guy you had a crush on for a year is (maybe...) more important than a piece of chocolate cake. But the game remains the same. You both like him. You would both be good for him. But you set out on an exhausting mission to present yourself better. 

Listen close, dear sister.

"Now may the God of peace equip you with all you need for doing his will."
          Hebrews 13:20-21

As a daughter of Christ, it is extremely important to remember that you are crowned. You are not a servant to a princess. You are the princess. The only one you are called to serve is your father, the King. 

He has designed you in His image; completely, methodically, and intricately so that you would be equipped to attain what you were meant to attain, achieve what you were meant to achieve, and yes, date/marry who you were meant to date/marry. Just as He is molding you into a wife for your future husband, He is out there molding a man you may not even know into a husband for the future you. You don't need to chase after that boy. You need to chase after God, and trust that your future man is out there doing the same. 

A woman's heart should be so lost in God that a man has to seek Him to find her. 

Somewhere out there, God has instilled a desire in a young man to find you. There is a young man who will be looking for a woman who is just your level of intelligence. He will be looking for a woman who is just your type of funny. He will be looking for a woman who is exactly your kind of beautiful, and you certainly don't want to get sidetracked. 

"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end."          Ecclesiastes 3:11

That's probably the hardest part. Maybe you already know your man and have found him. Maybe you're perfect to him, and he's perfect to you, but neither of you are quite ready for each other. So you wait. 

Or maybe you know him, but it hasn't occurred to you that he's the one God is preparing for you. Maybe you know him, but it hasn't occurred to him. Maybe that's the hardest part. 

Or perhaps the hardest part is not knowing him at all; knowing that there's someone out there you've never even seen, and God is molding, tweaking, teaching, and healing him just for you. 

Maybe it's all the hardest part. Let's face it, waiting is hard. Maybe we are ladies-in-waiting, just not the way we originally felt we were. Maybe we didn't get overlooked by our crush because we were a little less than perfect for him. Maybe our crush overlooked us because we were beyond perfect for someone else. 

Maybe being a lady-in-waiting isn't so bad after all. Maybe if we spent a little less time chasing men and a little more time chasing God, we would run into our prince a little faster. Because we would be ready for him faster, and he would be ready for us.

I like to say that I am ready to find my prince, but I'm not entirely sure that I am. Maybe I have more places to go. Maybe I have more jobs to consider. Maybe there's a task so unimaginably important that I have to complete before I find him. And if that's the case, it would be terribly unfortunate to miss out on one of the most significant things in my life because I was chasing after a boy who was (or wasn't) even meant for me.

We'd all like to marry our prince. We'd all much rather be Queens than ladies in waiting. But there's one element of every fairytale we forget to notice: the waiting. In the tower. For the knight. For the kiss. For the prince. For the love.

The bottom line is, if Princesses didn't have to wait, they wouldn't have a very good story. And I don't know about you, but I want my story to be filled with romance, passion, adventure, and victory. Your prince might get you romance, but all the other things come from you. Don't miss out on mingling plot lines that can enhance your novel just because you want a different one. Chances are high that it won't be as exciting on its own.

Quite possibly the hardest thing a girl should remember is to not lose sight of her story. Don't lose sight of your fairytale because you're comparing your chapter three to some other girl's chapter ten. And don't lose sight of your crown because you think you need a man to make it shine. Solitaire settings are more elegant anyway.

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