The story of Cinderella turns upon an invitation.
Up until the moment that the courier from the palace arrives at her door, Cinderella’s life seems set in stone. She will always be a washerwoman, a cellar girl. Her enemies will forever have the upper hand. She will live a life of enduring disappointments, though she will suffer them nobly. No other life seems possible. This is her fate. Then, word from the prince arrives—an invitation to a ball. It is at this point that all hell breaks loose. Her longings are awakened. Her enemies become enraged. And her life is never the same.
How gracious that it comes by invitation. As a woman, you don’t need to strive or arrange; you don’t need to make it happen. You only need to respond. Granted—Cinderella’s response took immense courage, courage that came only out of a deep desire to find the life her heart knew it was meant for. She wanted to go. But it took steadfastness to press through her fears just to get to the ball. It took courage not to abandon all hope even after she danced with the prince. (She ran back to the cellar, as we all do.) But she became the woman she was born to be, and the kingdom was never the same. It is a beautiful parable.
The same holds true for Mary, the mother of Jesus—only it’s far, far more weighty. Her life also turned upon an invitation. The angel came as the courier of the King. But still, she needed to say yes. He would not force the whole thing upon her. Her heart needed to be willing. She would need her heart through all that followed. Accepting God’s invitation required remarkable courage, and once again all hell broke loose. Her Enemy raged. She nearly lost her marriage. She and Joseph certainly lost their standing in the synagogue. Her life became an incredible story. Mary needed a steadfastness of heart to keep saying yes to God. But she became the woman she was born to be, and the Kingdom was never the same. It all started with an invitation.
The invitations of our Prince come to us in all sorts of ways. Your heart itself, as a woman, is an invitation. An invitation delivered in the most intimate and personalized way. Your Lover has written something on your heart. It is a call to find a life of Romance and to protect that love affair as your most precious treasure. A call to cultivate the beauty you hold inside, and to unveil your beauty on behalf of others. And it is a call to adventure, to become the ezer the world desperately needs you to be.