After finishing dinner one cloudy evening, the princess decided to take a walk along the path that went past the courtyard, through the vineyard, and along the edge of the forest outside the castle. So many questions troubled her. So many fears found their way into her thoughts. She remembered the afternoon out on the balcony only six months earlier. She had been so excited about living each day to the fullest, so determined to be content, no matter what. Now it felt as if she had been waiting forever.
Her mother seemed to already know how she was feeling, as mothers usually do, and gently asked if everything was all right.
Princess: “Years ago I decided that I had a purpose in life much bigger than marriage and that I would gladly stay single if my Heavenly Father asked this of me. Time after time, I prayed for His will be done and purposed to be content. And just when I thought I had finally understood contentment, just when I thought I had finally learned how to patiently wait, Sir Valiant came to visit…. and made everything harder. I just don’t understand why I can’t learn to trust and am so easily distracted. And why does this have to be so difficult?”
Mother: “Struggles are a necessary part of life. They strengthen us and prepare us for the new trials that lie ahead. When one struggle is overcome, another is often around the next bend.”
Princess: “I supposed. But mother, I feel like I’m failing in each struggle, not overcoming them.”
Mother: “Thou art growing. Thou art learning. These are the very things the struggle is designed to accomplish in thy life. Do not forget, dear daughter, that except a corn of wheat fall in the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Quietly, as if deep in thought…
Princess: “Bear fruit—that is exactly what I want to do…”
Mother: “Then your dream must die…”
Princess: “But my dream is a good dream, not a bad dream… It is nothing wicked I desire, but only what is natural, wholesome, and beautiful. Why must it die?”
Her mother stepped off the path, knelt down, picked up an acorn, and explained….
Mother: “Observe this acorn, perfectly designed for what it is intended to do—die. The acorn does not know why; the acorn does not understand what is ahead, but only if it is buried in the cold and dark earth—forgotten and left alone—does it fulfill its purpose and become what is was created to be. Would the acorn ever have imagined that it would become the beautiful oak tree you see before you? Not in its wildest dreams. When you admire the oak tree, do you mourn the loss of the acorn? Of course not. By losing its life, the acorn became something so much greater, so much more beautiful, so much more valuable. The death is forgotten. The fruit is remembered. Nevertheless, death was required.”
—Taken from the book Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally