The Princess Thing

The Princess Thing

by Jeanette Hanscome

I knew God had me at Tres Dias for a reason, but I never expected he would plan my seating assignment. “Read the bookmark in front of you,” the rector said. “Then take a minute to reflect on why God might have placed you at that table.” I’ve always liked the name Sarah. Surely that’s it.
Then I read the description of the first matriarch of the Jewish nation: “Sarah’s name means princess.”

I groaned inwardly. Oh no. Please say we aren’t doing the YOU’RE A PRINCESS thing again. A disturbing thought came to mind as I watched the rector skipping around the room tossing sparkles and passing out glittery crowns. Spare me—I am not in the mood to play princess. 

Where did my I don’t want to go there reaction come from? I stopped reading the notes on the biblical Sarah. Suddenly, I knew why God placed me at the table of Sarah. I knew why, despite my love for all things feminine, I found the whole Princess theme overdone and increasingly annoying. I fought back tears as it came clear why it bothered me so much . . . now.

When the time came to share at my table, I opened up about what Sarah means princess triggered in me. A few months before the weekend, my husband left our family. As much as I knew God loved me, I struggled to embrace the idea of my being cherished. I felt more like a dirty, oppressed peasant left to fend for herself than a privileged princess.

I detected the edge in my voice. Do I sound like a woman with a giant-sized chip on her shoulder? It’s not who I wanted to become. As the other women talked, God helped me see that the only way to avoid becoming cynical and bitter—unable to hear words like princess without rolling my eyes—was to let Him heal my crushed heart. Step one: I had to confess that my husband’s choices left me feeling like trash, and I just couldn’t let go of it. I took the risk with my new sisters at the Table of Sarah.Throughout the day women thanked me for my honesty, admitting that they struggled to see themselves as princesses too. Some had endured the same heartbreak as mine. Now they were glowing with beauty and confidence. They clearly got the message at the core of Tres Dias. I told God: I want to be like them. 

I spent the weekend feeling pampered like someone special. The words of kindness and the truths of the Rollos showed me God’s amazing love for me. It triggered more tears. It was as if the Lord said, “See, you are precious. It’s time to start living as if you are. It has nothing to do with cutesy themes or even feeling loved all the time. Being mine goes deeper than that.”

I can’t say that I left the camp with all my wounds bound. Nor was every lie that kept me from grasping my true position in Christ erased. God and I had a lot of work to do in my Fourth day. On Saturday night a woman greeted me with “Hello, Princess. Are you starting to believe it yet?” I could return her smile and say, “Absolutely, yes.”

The Sarah bookmark is a constant reminder of what God did in my heart through my Tres Dias weekend. A few months later I bought a ring to represent my value in Christ, a sterling silver crown with the cross in the center. There it was again–the princess thing. It made me smile. It’s a truth I am learning to cling to daily, whether I feel it all the time or not; I am a royal daughter of the King.

The author is a member of the Northern California Tres Dias community and attended that community’s Women’s # 3 weekend.   

Note: The NCTD community is happy to share their bookmarks. Contact for an electronic file. There are six bookmarks for women, six for men.