I wrote this quite a while ago, but never got around to posting it. I found it recently as I was organizing some files, and Valentine's Day seemed like the perfect time to share it with you:
Say what you will about Disney’s Frozen. Its famous song that has been played, sung, and requested endlessly by children everywhere has caused us to never again use the phrase “let it go” without automatically hearing Idina Menzel’s vocals thunder through our brains with visions of ice crystals and fast-forming castles.
But for me, the movie was something different—something unexpected—and it caught me off guard. When my friend, a fellow freelancer, asked me if I wanted to go see the newest, animated Disney film, (long before it became a phenomenon) I was prepared for another princess love story – a romantic entanglement that resolves in true love’s kiss by her prince. Like any girl, I love a good love story, but after a while (or should I say many, many years…) you wonder if your own love story will ever materialize. There I was at the time, still single—failed relationships being my norm—finding myself in a season of having to just learn to love being single and trust that God always has a plan for me (which, by the way, is always easier said than done). But, at any rate, it’s fun to get lost in a fantasy world now and then and just muse about how it will be when your prince finally shows up. So, why not go?
As the snowflakes on the credits danced before my eyes in 3D (it was just me and my friend and a few elderly ladies in the whole theatre during a mid-week matinee), I was swept into the story. But what I didn’t expect was that Disney seemed to have gotten love right this time. Love wasn’t based on beauty or desirability or that you had to have romantic love to make your “Happily Ever After” begin. Of course, the story has elements of romantic love and a strong man named Kristoff who comes and helps Anna and stands alongside her in her journey, but he isn’t perfect—he’s not the one-dimensional, flawless, dashing prince offering Anna the world that we’d find in most fairytales. Kristoff and Anna, on the other hand, are two imperfect people journeying together, struggling with issues from their pasts and trying to help each other and someone else in the present. And even Anna is blinded to the realness of her relationship to Kristoff by having been swept away by Hans (haven’t we all been there?), the one-dimensional man who tells her what she wants to hear and is found out to be a liar. She almost loses something real in pursuit of what she thinks would be a “fairytale ending.”
So, here is where my eyes filled with tears: that, in the end, it wasn’t Anna’s romantic love from either man that saved her life; it was the loyal love of a sister and friend. True love’s kiss was found to be more than just one of romance, but one of sacrifice—demonstrating true phileo (brotherly) love. It blew my mind to see this in a princess film. It gave me such a feeling of hope and encouragement because, what does this demonstrate? That we can help to rescue each other every single day. We don’t have to wait for the right person to show up in our lives with whom we will ride off into the sunset. We can fulfill our life’s calling here and now. We can be speaking life-giving words of affirmation to a friend or sister who is discouraged; reminding each other that every person is worth something whether they are single or married; showing love to an elderly person who is all alone; reminding a child that they are loved unconditionally and so on. Sure, our princes may show up (although our princes will actually be Kristoffs with flaws who will have to love us in spite of our flaws), and what a wonderful kind of love that is! But love comes in many forms and in many ways during our lifetimes. Why do we limit our view of it? Or only really feel validated by certain kinds?
We often hear it most quoted at weddings, but you can live out 1 Corinthians 13 every day by giving love wherever you are placed in this time in your life and by recognizing the love you are receiving from those around you. Count it all. Realize that you can be the instrument of love in others’ lives. And, most of all, realize all the little things throughout your day—a kind word from a stranger or that “how are you” text or hug from a friend who was thinking of you—that tell you that are loved—loved by others and, in turn, by a loving God who puts these things in your path during the easy days…and during the hard ones too.
Happy Valentine’s Day to each and every one of you! I’m so excited to share more with you about all of these things—in the form of music and lyrics on my album "Stay Awhile."
Much love and many blessings, today and always,