The following story is taken from the “Choosing Joy” devotional by Angela Thomas.
There was a four-year old girl who had been taken to the toy store by her mom. At the toy store, the little girl was completely enchanted by all the princess dress-up clothes and accessories. The little girl especially loved a necklace of plastic pearls, so her mother bought them for her.
The little girl insisted she always had to wear those pearls. She wore the pearls while she slept, in the sandbox, taking a bath. She never wanted to take them off. ‘I am a princess,’ she declared, ‘and a princess always wears her pearls.’ Months went by and over time those plastic pearls began to show their use. The string was dirty. The paint was chipping. The clasp had eventually been taped back together.
Every night before bedtime, this little girl crawled into her daddy’s lap to snuggle and talk about the day. One night, her daddy asked, ‘little princess, do you love me?’
‘I love you, Daddy, I love you’, the little girl joyfully replied. ‘Will you give me your pearls?’ her father asked. ‘No, Daddy, they’re mine. I’m a princess.’ Her father kissed her on the forehead and the pajama-clad girl scooted off to bed.
The next night at snuggle time, her father asked the same question, ‘do you love me?’ ‘Oh, Daddy, you know I do,’ the little girl responded. ‘Will you give me your pearls?’ he asked. The little girl was adamant again, ‘daddy, I am a princess’ then quickly slid down and ran to her room.
The third night, the little girl, fearing the question that might come, was hesitant to snuggle with her dad. But love won out and the little girl rested her head on her dad’s strong shoulder. ‘Do you love me?’ he asked. Big crocodile tears fell from the little girl’s eyes and, unable to speak through her tears, she nodded her head yes. The little girl loved her dad. ‘Will you give me your necklace?’ He calmly asked for the third night in a row.
That night the little girl ever so slowly unwound the tape that held her pearls together and obediently gave them to the father she loved. With one hand, her father took the strand of worn-out, plastic pearls and tossed them into the fire. With the other hand, he reached into his pocket and gave to his daughter a new strand of beautiful, real pearls. Exactly the kind that a princess should wear.
The Lord put this story in my head over the weekend. I’ve been so much like this over the last 8 weeks here. My boys wanted to know why I didn’t tell them I was so sad? Because I knew you’d tell me to come home and I didn’t want to come home. I don’t want to let people down.
So I’m leaving tomorrow night. I’m actually really excited to be going home now. You’ve shown me nothing but love and respect and encouragement from the minute I told you what was happening.
I am so thankful to have you all in my life, whether I know you in real life or internet life. I am blessed beyond anything I ever dreamed could be possible 8 years ago.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for your friendship. I am blessed. God is good.