Before launching into the opening song of the movie, we were introduced to the characters of Disney’s adaptation of the classic tale of Rapunzel. I am pretty confident that the writers and creators of Tangled, never intended to set the scene for an encounter of a Heavenly kind. But the Father had an appointment with me.
As Rapunzel sang her first song, her words reflected the very thoughts of my heart:
“Stuck in the same place I’ve always been
And I’ll keep wonderin’ and wonderin’
And wonderin’ and wonderin’
When will my life begin?” *
Now there was a word that I completely and wholeheartedly understood. Just like the beautiful protagonist in this story, I had been busy all my life, but never got anywhere. Just like Rapunzel, I had been wondering too. Wondering why I couldn’t get free. Wondering if God really cared. If it is possible for him to change me, why doesn’t he just come and change me? Does he not know that I was struggling or where to find me?
Another word that I have been intimately acquainted with. If nothing else, I was good at trying. Trying to get free. Trying to be liked. Trying to be good enough. Trying to fix myself. Only to get even more tangled up in the mess I was in. The struggle became the very thing that defined me.
Hello, my name is Meliza. I have a very big problem with food. My weight fluctuates more than the value of BitCoin. I think about how I look, all the time. The number on the scale will determine my mood for the day. Which is usually “depressed” anyway. I don’t like myself, so tell me who you are, then I can create an identity that you would like. In fact, is there any way I can show you how nice I am, by proving my complete and total devotion to you? Even if it costs me a piece of myself.
If I told you that I had exhausted all the options to fix myself, you probably won’t believe me. But I did. I really did.
It started with my first diet at the age of twelve. Then I tried appetite suppressants – pills and liquids. I tried excessive exercise regimes. I tried food combining. I tried the blood type diet. The body shape diet. I didn’t eat any carbs. I ate only carbs. I tried hormone injections. I tried psychotherapy. I joined weight loss support groups. I went vegan. I ate clean.
There were some moments of success, but the results were temporary. Because the problem I was trying to fix, wasn’t the real problem. And the problem that needed fixing, was going to require supernatural intervention.
As I sat on the hospital bed, paging through a glossy magazine, envying the beautiful women within its pages, there was one last flicker of hope in my heart. Today was going to be the day that all my prayers would be answered. I would finally be free from the torment.
At the age of sixteen, I had pushed my parents into consent for gastric bypass surgery. The surgery was not successful, and added very painful and embarrassing symptoms to an already difficult journey. Four years later, the surgery had to be reversed. It nearly ended my life.
The last flicker of hope was snuffed out. There was no way to get out of this tower.
But the story wasn’t over.
What if I told you that there is a way of the tower?
What if I told you that you have the power to pull down that stronghold?
What if I told you that the tower cannot keep you away from who you truly are?
There is a different person looking back at me in the mirror now. She may look like the same person, but she is a new creation. She doesn’t measure her value based on the number on the scale. She doesn’t wake up being tormented about what to eat and not to eat. She isn’t caught up in the struggle to fix herself anymore. And she is learning more about her true identity, every single day. She is learning that she doesn’t have to prove herself to be loved or valuable.
She is untangled.
It is for freedom, that Jesus set us free.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”
Galatians 5:1 NKJV
What if I told you that you are not stuck? There is a way out of the tower. It might not look the way you expected it to look. It may take you beyond what you understand with your reasoning mind. It might take a change of heart and thought. It may require you to change the way you see, rather than the way you look.
The problem with living in a tower is that your perspective is limited to the walls around you. As a spectator in a cinema, I had the privilege to see the bigger picture. By the grace of God, I realised that Rapunzel’s story wasn’t much different from mine.
There was more to my story. I was never created for life in the tower. I was destined for freedom. It was my birth right. But I would have to learn and adopt a completely new perspective. A new way of thinking. A new way of living. One beyond the limitations of the tower.
Freedom is available, whatever your struggle. And you, my beautiful friend, are so much more than you think you are.
You are free.
Today, I hear the Father whisper: “Beautiful Child. It’s time to stop looking at the world to give you the answers you need. You have exhausted all its resources and wisdom. Now give me a chance to show you who you are. You contain the power and wisdom to achieve the impossible. You have everything you need to get unstuck. Stop fretting. Stop searching. Look to me! Seek my face. Until you will find yourself in my features. Because I have created you in my image. You are free. You are Beloved.” ❤
Songwriters: Alan Irwin Menken / Glenn Evan Slater
When Will My Life Begin (reprise 1) lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group