I was on my way back from the Christian Women in Media National Convention… I don’t typically watch movies on the plane, but decided on a whim to view the new Cinderella movie.
It was a nice way to “chill” after a busy conference where I always had to be somewhere and do something.
Growing up I wasn’t a big Disney fan, so didn’t really remember much of the story. Of course, I remembered the basic theme, that the orphaned Cinderella overcame great opposition and made it to the ball and then, as she ran to avoid the midnight transformation, she lost her shoe — the Prince found it and her and they lived happily ever after. That was the way I remembered it, not much significance to the story for me, so I didn’t expect watching it to have such a profound effect on me.
As the story unfolded I was amazed at how much the Wicked Stepmother and her 2 daughters reminded me of the Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (Tim Williams) and his 2 sons. He always preached scriptures about no favoritism, but blatantly favored them as he manipulated situations to make others in the cult long to be a “favored son or daughter” in the “inner circle” of his accepted ones. Honestly, no one would ever say those words, but that is exactly the emotion he incited from those he had convinced were in sin or out of his favor for something they did that didn’t please him.
Watching the spiteful, malicious, devious, and calculating Lady Tremaine go out of her way to tear down Cinderella was hauntingly familiar to the last 7 years of my 12 year detour into deception. Using scripture out of context to bully me into silent submission was his expertise … and Lady Tremaine typified that same evil streak.
Then came the kicker that sent me back …
“Just don’t forget who you are, you wretch.”
As Cinderella tried to escape her clutches and make it to the ball, Lady Tremaine pronounced condemnation on her to try to shame Cinderella into submission. I was immediately transported to a time when Tim Williams prayed the judgment of God on me, all because I asked to work on a Saturday when I’d been told not to ask. I stood in the middle of Grocery Outlet on my cell phone as he belittled me, humiliated me, and justified his behavior as “righteous indignation.”
His words of judgment and hatred over me and my life intimidated and bullied and threatened me. Just like Lady Tremaine did to Cinderella with those words.
I think I missed some of what followed in the movie, I was so “in the moment” from the past, so as the movie wrapped up and Cinderella displayed courage and kindness, overcoming the evil in her life that came through her stepmother, and was transformed by her Fairy Godmother and given her dream of finding the love of her life, against all odds, the tears began to flow and I saw the redemption of God in my life as a Cinderella story of sorts.
He gave me the courage to stand up to evil and not cave in, He restored my mind, will and emotions that were so badly twisted and damaged by the spiritual abuse, AND he sent me my knight in shining armor… a man who, with all his heart, loves Him and adores me.
That realization took my breath away.
Yes, my story IS a Cinderella story, and every day I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. All I had ever hoped for in a marriage and new life after the devastation I experienced has been given to me, over and above all that I ever could have imagined, and that fact never ceases to bring tears of joy.
Oh. My. Goodness.
What a faithful God He is!
So, think about it. How has Jesus transformed your life?
I’d love to hear your story!