Today was a fairytale
You were the prince
I used to be a damsel in distress
You took me by the hand and you picked me up at six
Today was a fairytale

Today was a fairytale
I wore a dress
You wore a dark grey t-shirt
You told me I was pretty when I looked like a mess
Today was a fairytale

-Taylor Swift

As we all know by now, the movie that Taylor Swift starred in and that she recorded this song for, “Valentine’s Day,” bombed. The failure of the movie doesn’t take the charm out of the song, but the charm of the song doesn’t quite redeem the movie, either.

It’s a pocket of sunshine in the midst of a mess most people who experienced the movie would rather forget. Kind of like life, when you think about it.

Even when things are going great, something is going wrong. The healthiest of us focus on what’s right, give as little attention as possible to what’s not right and move through our day with a smile, that is, when a smile is even remotely possible. And usually, it is.

Now there are the sad sacks among us who mope around muttering, “Nothing ever goes right for me. Nothing good ever happens to me. Nobody likes me.” And after awhile, the people around them have to agree. Nobody wants to hang out with Eeyore.

But when the pendulum swings hard the other way, it’s just as annoying and every bit as unhealthy. How many of us can tolerate the fairy tale Christian?

Normal person: “Bless you! Aw, are you sick?”

Fairy Tale Christian: “Um, no! No, not sick! Never sick! I am so blessed!”

Normal person: “Well, hooray for you, but you have snot running out of your nose and your face is red from your fever. Can you please not touch me?”

Or say you happen to know that Mrs. Fairy Tale’s husband lost his job, her oldest son just got expelled from school and her cat barfed on the sofa. Well, that’s a bad day, and goodness knows, she’s entitled to have some feelings about that.

Then you see Mrs. Fairy Tale’s Facebook status. “My babe took me out to dinner at Chez Monee tonight just because he thinks I’m fabulous! On the way home, we bought Junior a new computer because he’s just so amazing. Here’s a picture of Mr. Jingles, the world’s cutest cat, sleeping in the hamper. Isn’t he the CUTEST!”

If you’re a normal human being, you’re thinking, “Ok, even if you really did go to Chez Monee tonight AND bought a new computer, you’re an idiot because ‘babe’ can’t keep a job. And your cat? Not so cute.”

Not only does Mrs. Fairy Tale look like a fool, she’s missed a great opportunity. When we share our pitfalls, we encourage others that bad days are normal and with God’s help, we will get through them. When you feel compelled to pretend that everything is perfect, not only are you not fooling anybody, you’re missing out on opportunities to help others navigate similar circumstances. And you’re missing reality.

Our pastor, Brady Boyd, puts it this way: “Life as a Christian is not a Disneyland experience.” But that’s exactly what most Christians expect. And when they don’t get it, weak ones fake it.

It’s okay to have a bad day. And when a person I admire admits that things aren’t always perfect, I feel a little better about my own imperfect days. When Brady admits that he’s gone through a difficult time, or struggled with something, I think, “Whew! It’s not just me!” We all do.

And it’s those kinds of healthy admissions that helped me get over my pride and arrogance and start not only being transparent about our money problems, but to start doing something about them. Transparency is a powerful thing. Denial is not.

Ephesians 4:25 says, “Put away lying. Let each of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are all members of one another.”

And Matthew 5:45 says, “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

You can’t look out the window on your rainy day and convince us that the sun is shining. And you shouldn’t try. Just be yourself and trust that your friends and those around you will love you anyway.

So, dear Fairy Tale Christians, do us all a big favor and just be real. Share with us your bumps and bruises so that when you tell us about a fabulous day, there’s a slight chance we might actually believe you.

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