Once upon a time, there was a young girl who wanted to be a princess. Not because she wanted to live in a castle, or wear fancy dresses, or even to meet Prince Charming. She wanted to be a princess because she wanted to feel beautiful and loved, the way she imagined most princesses would feel. But for some reason, she never felt that way. She felt unworthy, even though the people in her life tried to make her see that she was worth loving.
One day, the little girl decided that everyone in her life would be better off without her. She packed a few of her belongings and quietly slipped away into the dark, cold night. She crept through the woods, frightened by all of the nightsounds around her. The tears silently made their way down her trembling face as she remembered her loved ones. She began to sob, sinking onto the ground beneath an old oak tree. She cried for a very long time, reliving memories of the ones she’d left behind. She wished that things could be different but she felt hopeless, unwanted, and worst of all, unloved. Unwelcome, unrelenting thoughts filled her mind. I’ll never be a princess, she thought to herself. I’ll never amount to anything. No one understands me. I feel so alone. She shivered from the cold, and from the fear.
Just then, she noticed a beautiful shining light off in the distance. Mesmerized, she found herself being drawn to it. The light was very bright, almost as bright as the sun, but it did not burn her eyes when she gazed into it. Intrigued and fascinated, she kept walking toward it. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful, she thought. I wonder what it could be?
Suddenly, she realized that she was at the edge of the woods. She looked around and saw a golden crown on top of a green, mossy rock. She carefully picked it up, delicately touching it with reverence and awe. She heard a voice in the darkness say, “Put it on.” She hesitated. “Put it on, ” the Voice repeated. “It’s yours. I made it for you. Just for you.”
The girl placed the crown upon her own head and immediately the feelings of sadness, loneliness, and despair disappeared. In their places were feelings of amazing love, self-acceptance, and worthiness. She was still wearing the same clothes as before, no ball gown or glass slippers. On the outside, she looked the same as she had before the start of her journey, except for the crown she wore. But she knew that there was a difference in her heart and in her spirit.
“I know that you have always wanted to be a princess, ” said the Voice, “and I understand why. But I want you to know that you have always been a princess all along. I will always love you with an everlasting love. You don’t need to prove anything or do anything to earn it. Just let Me love you and let yourself love me.”
The girl smiled; a beautiful, life-changing smile that transformed her, body and soul. The crown on her head became invisible, but she still felt it. She knew she would wear it for the rest of her life, even if she was the only one who ever knew it was there.
She and the Voice talked together all through the night. She shared her secret hopes and wishes with Him and He shared affirmations of His love for her. Before long, the morning had dawned. The girl knew she needed to return home. She walked through the woods and quietly slipped into her house without disturbing anyone. She reached her hand to touch her invisible crown once more and smiled.
“I am a princess,” she declared boldly and proudly. “For I am a daughter of the King.”