I’m a little bit obsessed with the royal family. Ever since I watched Princess Diana walk the aisle in her billowy dress and miles of train, I’ve been hooked. I secretly read all the tabloid news stories that pop up in my feed, and scoff at anything that hints at a fault or weakness. Those people are amazing!
I mean, look at them. They are well-dressed. They have perfect posture. They are polite and well-spoken, and when they smile at the camera, they might as well be doused in glitter. So. Much. Sparkle.
Take Prince William, for example. Since he was a tot, he’s been drawing us in with that shy smile—so like his mother’s–and his sincere eyes. There’s just something about that young man that makes me want to bake him some chocolate cookies, just because.
But here’s an interesting thing about William… he’s not that interesting. I don’t mean to imply he’s boring. He’s not! But apart from his royal title, he’s a lot like the rest of us. In school, he earned an A in Geography, a B in Art, and a C in Biology. He served in the military and earned the rank of lieutenant. He has a receding hairline (which I find quite charming). Take away the bloodline, and he’s a regular guy.
Yet this regular guy has a security detail everywhere he goes. People swoon over his presence at any event. Prince William knows that his value isn’t based on his accomplishments or his intelligence or his good looks. His value lies in who his father is.
There’s something quite freeing about that. He can just relax. He doesn’t need to strive to be good enough. He doesn’t have to try and impress people. He can rescue orphans and provide for widows and influence his government for the good, and he’s the prince. Or he can be awkward and shy and mess up and make poor choices, and he’s the prince. Nothing he does or doesn’t do will change who he is.
For much of my life, I’ve felt the burn of needing to prove myself. I have wonderful parents, but there’s nothing impressive about my ancestry. Dad was a firefighter (okay, that’s a little impressive) and Mom was a secretary at a junior high (even more impressive, I know), but my identity isn’t decided by their accomplishments. So for decades, I’ve tried to earn my place in this world by getting good grades and writing books and earning degrees and raising decent children and so much more. None of that is extremely impressive or important. Yet I’ve had a hard time just relaxing and being me, because somehow, I felt I wasn’t enough.
I’ve recently realized that my value doesn’t lie in my accomplishments. It’s not in my job or my bank account or the way I look or the car I drive or my children’s achievements. My value lies in who my Father is.
If I write a NYT bestseller, I’m His child, and He loves me. If I forget to turn off the bathwater and it floods the entire back side of the house (don’t ask), I’m His daughter and He adores me. If I volunteer my time to help the needy, or if I stay in bed all day with the covers over my head, I’m His. I don’t have anything to prove. I can relax and be my goofy, socially-awkward, ADD, OCD, forgetful self, and it doesn’t change a thing. My identity is sealed.
Not that you have to call me Princess Renae or anything. But if you see me walking a little taller, it’s because I’m trying to balance my crown.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light”. 1 Peter 2:9