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Villains to Heroes



Ah, fairy tales. We all loved them when we were little, didn’t we.


The fair maiden, the villain, the conflict, and the conquering hero. Every story had its arc, every evil sorcerer met his match, true love was found, and they all lived…


Happily Ever After.


Then we grew up and, either through someone warning us or through our own experiences, we decided not every story has a happy ending. We were told that fairy tales heap unrealistic expectations on the youth of our world, that instead they should be prepared for life not always being easy… dreams not always coming true… and not everyone always getting their happily ever after’s.


Well, I happen to think they’re wrong.


Oh, life does have its strife, but so did the fairy tale. Snow White had to worry about the apple, Cinderella was little more than a slave, poor Rapunzel was isolated in a tower for most of her life. They all had their struggles and were saved by their knights in shining armor.


I also want to give another perspective: In each of these situations, the characters made the best of the situation they were in. After all, Snow White was doing just fine running a boarding house for dwarves; Cinderella sought out the help of her fairy godmother and friends; and Rapunzel, well she was the one smart enough to grow her hair in the first place. They found joy in their circumstances, choosing to whistle while they worked.


Just like real life, it’s our choice.


When I think of the Apostle Paul, I would say he started out as that fairy tale villain. He was a former Pharisee who participated in the persecution of Christians, which often involved threatening, stoning, or even killing them. Paul was transformed from the murderous persecutor of Christ-followers into Paul, the fearless global preacher of the Gospel.

 

From villain to hero.

 

Paul learned that to experience God more, he had to focus less on himself. Life wasn’t about what was in it for him but what was in it for the Kingdom. Because he was marked for more and called to more by God, Paul experienced contentment no matter what the circumstances of his life might be.

 

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need,

and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of

being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry,

whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Philippians 4:11–13 (NIV)


Some of us live in castles, some of us live in shacks. Some of us have seven or more dwarves running around, helping where they can, and some of us are in the kitchen looking forward to the fairy godmother’s next visit.


We are the characters of our own stories: we’ve met our villains, we’ve shown our courage, we’ve taken pleasure in our successes, kissed our frogs, met our princes and sometimes we’ve forged our own paths. Some of our choices have led to great success, and some of them have led to consequences we didn’t want to endure.


That’s life, in fairy tales and on earth.


"Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the

heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."

Philippians 3:13 (NLT)


The thing to remember is that as followers of Jesus Christ like Paul, we all get a happily ever after...heaven. No matter what our stature in life, whether wealthy or poor, a life of leisure or hard at work, all we have to do is stay focused on what we believe and the One we believe in. Because after our time in this fairy tale of life is done…


…we all get our Happily Ever After with Jesus and Paul for eternity!


With love and joy,


Laura

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