As a youngster, I was adventurous, headstrong, and I had no fear, or so it seemed. I would much rather be climbing trees, playing in the woods, and playing softball than playing with dolls, having tea parties, and wearing “girly” things.
If I had the choice between Barbie dolls or hot wheel cars, I preferred the cars, you could drag them through the mud and send them soaring over rock piles. They seem to rinse off and get cleaner than dolls. Don’t get me wrong, my sister and I had Barbie’s … Barbie cars, motor-home, airplane and even a Barbie house.
Yet, if my dad was working on the cars, I was there working with him. If he was riding three-wheelers (I know I am totally dating myself), I was there too. Growing up I was considered a tomboy, and my sister was the princess. It didn’t really matter much to me. I just knew, I would rather climb the tree and pretend to save the world, than dress up a doll and play house.
My little girl heroes were not Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella or Snow White. I am a romantic at heart, and so of course I loved the tales and stories of these princesses. I too dreamed and longed for my white knight, my prince, to one day come ad sweep me off my feet so I too could live in a castle. Oh the dreams of a little girl.
Truth be told, my heroes were Wonder Woman and Xena Warrior Princess. I loved to watch these shows. (oh shoot, there I go again dating myself). I loved how both of these women whom I looked up to, were ordinary women by day, and yet they had a secret identity. You didn’t know they were real princesses, or that they even had special abilities or invisible planes and weapons like in Wonder Woman’s case.
The older I got, the more I decided I cared less about climbing trees, and more about dressing up and wearing girly things. I wanted to be seen as a princess. But I also wanted to be seen as adventurous and strong. I wanted to be seen as someone who had no limitations and could do things others considered impossible. If you told me I couldn’t do something, or if my parents told me not to do something, you could sure bet at some point I would push the line and do the very thing I was told not to do.
I am not sure how I got it in my head that I had to be one or the other. Maybe society. Maybe the church. Maybe my family, or my peers. Somewhere along the way, it became the norm to say that men were the knights in shining armor riding in to save the day, and that woman were the damsels in distress. They were dainty princesses that needed to be cared for.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I am all about having a knight in shining armor, which is the way I view my husband. I want to be loved and cared for and cherished as a woman. I’m a daughter, a mom and one day I hope to be a grandmother. I am a princess. I am also strong, beautiful, independent, and fierce. I am a warrior.
As a kid and then young woman reading the Bible, I would look at Esther and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and have a hard time relating. It always seemed the emphasis concerning Esther was always her beauty. It was her beauty that won over the King. She was a true princess, everyone loved her, and she was pampered and cared for.
Then there was Mary. She was young, innocent, and pure. She had dreams of a future with her knight in shining armor Joseph. Then everything changed, yet she never complained, or at least Scripture and Christmas movies and stories don’t depict it. It seems as a young woman I viewed her as the angelic picture of motherhood, never complaining about giving birth in a stable, or having to travel so close to her due date. I am sure she never lost her temper and yelled at her husband or her children either.
It’s funny how our perception of who we are and what we should be can swing here and there often out of balance. It’s also interesting how our perception of what should be, also colors the way we see others or how we read Scripture.
In actuality, Esther, while she was a Queen (Princess), she was also a Warrior. She as strong, brave, smart, fierce, and fearless. She was willing to sacrifice her life and enter into the presence of the King knowing she might be killed. She knew when to speak and when to be silent. She had patience. She believed others more important than herself and she took a risk. She did what was right and necessary. She may have been beautiful to look at, but she was just as beautiful inside. Esther is a great example of what it means to be a Princess Warrior.
Mary, Jesus’ mother, was also a princess. She was chosen from a royal bloodline, to give birth to the King of the Jews. She was obedient, she was compassionate, loving, and caring. She was also strong and brave. I mean, think about it. She knew Jesus had a higher calling than to stay in the village being a carpenter. She had a prophecy given to her 8 days after Jesus was born that ‘a sword would pierce her own soul too.’ She may not have known about the cross exactly, but she knew suffering, loss, and pain lie ahead, because of who her son was. She was a caring loving mother, and she was a Warrior.
The key is to balance both aspects of the Warrior and the Princess.
You and I are too. We are called to be both Princesses and Warriors. God has called us His daughters, and Scripture tells us we are His sons/daughters. So we are Princesses. However, He also calls us to be Warriors. We are told throughout Scripture that we are in a spiritual battle and how to prepare for the battle. We are called to be fearless and stand our ground. (Ephesians 6)
I’m glad we have more movies and images now for our young woman,that show both aspects of our very nature and character as woman. Images and words that say, “Strong is Beautiful.”
I love the movie Ever After with Drew Barrymore playing Cinderella. She is a fiery, confident woman, who can stand up for what is right, and yet, she longs to be seen as beautiful. She desires to be cared for and cherished by the man she is in love with. She is a Princess Warrior. Oh, and then there is the Disney Movie Brave with Warrior Princess Merida. She is not your average princess and would much rather being doing the warrior “stuff.” Throughout the movie she learns to balance the two aspects of who she is. She is a Warrior Princess.
We are all called to be both… Princess and Warrior!
The key is to have both identities balanced within us at the same time. It is who God has called us to be! Arise and Shine, take your rightful place as a daughter of the King. He is a Great and mighty Warrior, and you are His Warrior Princess!