She does. When she’s sick she reads Grimm’s fairy tales. In Ezekiel 16 she reads a grim fairy tale, and it is by far her favourite. She philosophizes about fairy tales, she writes them, she loves them. And furthermore, she doesn’t care if people think it’s silly, because she knows in her head and her heart and all her being that it’s not. You don’t think something’s silly that you believe in. Look, it’s not just Cinderella or Snow White. It’s what they mean. She knows that they mean something far greater than happy endings, than dancing princesses and wicked old hags. For her they represent more serious plights in the world today, each one of them. They represent things in this world and out of it, transcendent.
She lives a fairy tale.
The truth about fairy tales is this. Faeries do not fly around on feathery wings.
The truth about fairy tales is this. Some have sad endings.
Fairy tales aren’t always the fluffy animated Disney characters whose likenesses you can purchase at your local Wal-Mart. In the original Cinderella story, Cinderella’s sisters had to cut parts of their feet off to fit into the glass slipper, and it was by the blood dripping on the road to the palace that they were betrayed.
She believes that the story of the Bible is like a fairy tale, and that the hidden chapter that reveals this peculiar truth is Ezekiel sixteen, and that’s not a pretty story either. “And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’”
There is beauty in these tales, and there is terrible grief and much to instruct her. To quote her dearly beloved Chesterton on the matter… he says that fairy tales don’t prove that dragons exist, but that dragons can be beaten.
I have a visa in my possession, I have a plane ticket, a few clothes, one book, and two weeks left in America. The adventure? Siena, Italy, in the heart of Tuscany.
I took this picture on my last trip to Italy. When I clicked down on the button, exclaiming again and again because of the sudden, unexpected beauty, I had no idea that just two months later this would be my home for four months. A few hours later, the opportunity was presented to me and I said, “I’ll look into it,” and to myself I said, “What a joke.” I applied to the Siena Art Institute, I was accepted with a full tuition scholarship.
In two weeks I’m leaving to live with an Italian family and to study creative writing in this historically rich town. I haven’t latched onto reality yet, even in the midst of working hard every day to make this happen.
And I’m terrified, really. I’m terrified to be so disconnected from my home. I’m terrified of that loneliness.
But I also believe that the fear can be conquered. And my mind is open. My desire is to learn. In this opportunity God has blessed me exceedingly. My desire was never to attend a university for four years. Rather, I wanted to study in areas I was gifted in, specifically creative writing. My desire was to learn, to be competent in what I want to spend the rest of my life doing—writing. I want to write to change the way people think, and I don’t—don’t—don’t want to write Christian fiction. (My hero is Wendell Berry.) I had no idea that I could study outside of a university—especially overseas. I didn’t even look into the idea because I thought it was impossible—even though it was exactly what I wanted to do.
Now I have to ask for your prayers. I’m going to a strange place, away from fellowship that has been soul-strengthening. I am going to a place that is prominently Atheistic and then Catholic. I am praying that I won’t be alone and that I will find some other Christians to fellowship with. Pray that my mind will be open and I will learn many things from this trip. Pray that I remember to blog. Pray that God gives me strength to be stalwart in my faith, and that he will sustain me throughout these four months. Pray that he will prepare me for whatever lies ahead, since I don’t know what to expect.
I am excited. I am sad to leave my home, sad to leave many people I love, but I know that God is working through me, and I can’t wait to see where he is taking me in all of this.
I believe in fairy tales. I am living one. And so, I believe that this is an adventure, absolutely worth taking and worth enjoying.
And I give all the glory to God for everything in my life, for the suffering and the joy and the contentment and the peace. He’s working through me and sanctifying me, and all of it is for his glory. Praise the Lord.