I always knew I was of noble birth. I had imagined that someday a finely dressed courier would come with a gilded letter on a silver tray and herald my royal ancestry to the world. It just had to be so.
There were many reasons why I knew this to be true, not withstanding the fact that I had always desired the finer things in life. Who wouldn’t want their very own Lady’s Maid, someone to obey their every whim and fancy? There was also the curious way in which I preferred my tea, served in a proper tea service and drank with my royal pinkie extended. My very name had even been translated as “Anastasia” by those we served on the mission field in Latin America. And there was the undeniable fact that as long as life went according to my carefully laid out plans, my attitude and behavior was indeed, quiet regal.
My hope was steadfast, someone was looking for me of that I was sure. There must be a greater reason for me being here than the one I was facing at the moment. I shed a tear.
Tears happen when present reality darkens our most beautiful dreams. So I continued scrubbing with more vigor in hopes to scrub away the pain of being a neglected princess. I could hear myself whispering, “Stasia, it is just like Cinderella, scrubbing those toilets and floors, your prince will come.”
Tears happen when present reality darkens our most beautiful dreams
The reality is that I was born unloved and unwanted many years ago at the Queen of Angels Hospital in Los Angeles County, California. I was given the name Roberta Anne, and left in the care of several foster families before being adopted into your average American dysfunctional family when I was but a year and a half. My mother admitted years later they were hoping for a boy, but I needed to be placed quickly for health reasons and she could never pass up a bargain.
So there it was, I was unwanted and on sale. I found the paper work to prove it all. I could almost hear Rex Harrison claim, “She’s so deliciously low,” as he did for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (one of my favorite classic movies).
Most days I can carry the enormous burden of being an undiscovered princess. Some days, however, it is just unbearable.
A few days ago, you would have found me in the shops looking for just the perfect blouse. I found one within “justifiable reason” and carried it to the registers. I fought within myself the whole way. I really could not afford it. It was not that it was that expensive, it was only $20, but we are faith missionaries and we simply do not have money for frivolities. As a matter of fact, the majority of our things are pre-loved. And that is just fine, truly. As a missionary momma, I have seen too much of the world and all of its woes to care about materialistic things.
Well, until days like this one.
You see, I had to go to a meeting, a certain meeting where I knew I would be greeted by all of those gorgeous porcelain faced women who had probably spent the majority of their day getting relaxing manicures and shopping for their perfect ensembles. I could feel the inferiority rising.
Then I began my personal interrogation. “Why do you want to buy this?”, “Why do you need to feel like you have to prove your worth through a purchase?”, “Why can’t you be happy with God’s provision for you?” It was not as if I did not have something very nice to wear, because I did. I told myself I just wanted something new and that I was entitled to something new as I worked so hard. But then I came to my senses, put the blouse down and walked out of the store. What a waste of time, or was it? If we learn a life lesson, then it is never a waste of time.
I went to the meeting, alongside of all of those gorgeous women, and loved them all the way down to their beautiful little sandaled feet. And they loved me as well. We worshiped the Lord together and it was absolutely grand.
Today, I am dong what I seem to do best and I am content. At present I am serving as hospitality director of a Missions Facility, and I also serve as Director of two large feeding programs for the hungry in this poor area where we live. Most days you will find me cleaning or washing something and desperately trying to gain a victory over my princess complex. I still dream big dreams. You see, I feel I am entitled to so much more than this.
So today as the tears spilled over the toilet I was scrubbing, I poured heart and soul out to my loving Father who gently brought into memory verses from Philippians. The book of Philippians is considered “the Missionary Epistle” and knowing that it would be invaluable to me as a missionary, I memorized it years ago. The wisdom from it never ceases to amaze me.
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.
If anyone was ever entitled to royal treatment it was Jesus and yet He laid all that down and embraced our wretched humanity so that He could serve us and bring us His most precious gift.
We know we are meant for greater things, and yet we humbly serve because in our service we are following Christ’s example. This is the greater thing. The greatest way we can show our love for another is by our humble service to them. That Holy day, with Divine Arms Outstretched, Jesus Christ demonstrated the greatest Love by offering His precious body as the sacrifice for our sins.
I am a princess, and I have been found. That day years ago when I received the Lord in the youth tent of a summer Bible camp, the preacher told me of my true heritage. My royalty is proclaimed in that glided edged Bible I read every day. My Prince came, found me and saved me from the filth of my human condition. I am an heir to all of the blessings of His Heavenly kingdom because I have been adopted into the family line of Christ.
The term “Christian” literally means “little Christ” and just as Christ knew His royal identity as the Son of God, He was confident in who He was keeping His eyes fixed on His Father in Heaven, yet He was also humble. He considered the needs of others, not desiring to glorify Himself but only to bring glory to the One from Whom all glory flows without being touched by insecurity or fear of man.
We, having been called to be disciples of Jesus and to model our life and actions after His, must learn to know our identity; letting our true selves come only from the Heart of our Loving Father regardless of our circumstances or position. We must live humbly, not considering ourselves better but learning to see those around us through the eyes of the Father.
You see, Jesus came to serve. As King of kings He knew that the position of royalty was service; to serve and bless those around Him was the mantle He placed on Himself both as a King, and as a leader. Please hear my heart here, it is not and never will be about works since we cannot earn what we have already freely been given. However, we serve out of a grateful heart desiring others to know the blessing that has been lavished upon us.
Stasia is mother to six beautiful children and wife to a dedicated, loving husband. They have served as a family together on the mission field on four continents for over 30 years. Stasia’s passion is to share in true colors the grace of God in her life. You can read more about her and the ministry of the Women’s Bible Cafe here. If this article has blessed you in any small way, please consider showing your support by clicking subscribe in the upper right corner. Copyright© 2015 Stasia Nielsen All Rights Reserved