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Beauty and the Beast is by far my favorite Disney movie.  I love the romance and fantasy, but most of all, I love that in the end the unlovable becomes the beloved.

When I watch it, I always put myself in the role of Belle.  Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, or the fact that I want to be like her, after all, she is the heroine in the film.  I have always thought that it was my job to love the most unlovable guy, and when I did he would become my prince.  I had to be the one to sacrifice and find beauty in what seemed hideous.

Last night, I realized that I have had it wrong the whole time.  I am not Belle.  I have been trying so hard to be the lover, when I have been the beloved all along.  I am the Beast.

I am the one living in a prison of my own unloveableness, waiting for someone to see who I really am and love me anyway.  I am the one waiting to the last petal of the rose to fall, believing that my true love will never come.  I am the Beast.

At every human being’s core is the same desire: to be intimately known and loved anyway.  It seems impossible that someone could see all of me and still love me.  That desire grows inside of me everyday.  It is what every fight that I have with God comes down to.  I want to be intimately known and loved anyway, and the truth is that everyday I feel more and more unlovable.

But, here’s the clencher…there is a Belle for me.  There has been a Belle all along.  God is Belle.  He is the one who sees my sharp teeth, my claws, my hairiness, and my rough edges.  He sees the beast on the outside, but He also sees the beauty on the inside.  He loves me.  He is my true love that breaks the spell.

I struggle with this every day of my life, and I wonder if God is trying to teach me something about our relationship.  He is the one that has come to break my spell.  He is loves me beyond what I look like and what I do.  He loves me know matter what.  And, the hardest part about all of that is believing it.

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