No Such Thing as a Fairytale

Emily Trokis
4 min readOct 29, 2020

There are a few thoughts that have prompted my musings, so I’ll share that first:

  1. A ridiculous article about a celebrity testing positive for Covid. I came across the information on social media, which provided a link to a terribly unreliable news platform.
  2. Covid. Duh
  3. Baby Jesus.
  4. Our need to strive for the magic
  5. Digital pacifiers

Disclaimer: I’m just going to be honest. I’m awfully inconsistent but aware of Grace. I write to dispel the shame and process my thoughts. I experience feat and anxiety but I know God is unshakeable and faithful. He is my hope.

Onwards.

The second I become afraid of being ill, I tend to use my phone as a digital pacifier. This is a sweeping cultural norm that we should be wary of. I can think of several times I’ve sat by the toilet due to food poisoning, scrolling, scrolling, scrolling just to distract myself from the impending illness. The saddest thing is that I’ve started to do it when I’m with my son and that makes my heart sink. He’s with me, often snuggling up to me watching his own digital pacifier while I try to ride out my emotion and worries about what’s happening in my body. Why?! I hate that I try to block out even the most precious of things just to fulfil my desire for distraction. I’m embarrassed and I am going to make a choice to change it. That’s another musing, anyway.

This afternoon I got up from my digital (conscious) slumber and made Jesse (my son) lunch. Amazing how the need to look after someone heaves you out of the pit of worry and self-obsession. We had lunch, a laugh, listened to some worship music, prayed with gratitude and the fog began to lift. I’m choosing faith for myself and my family.

How many times do we look to distraction — whether it be in general or in relation to the current anxiety of a pandemic — to fill us with a sense of hope or contentment? It doesn’t take much to burst the bubble we’ve made for ourselves that tells us the world is pure magic. We fill our bubbles with all kinds of distractions and believe that we can rest in it until the storm fades but this is more destructive than good. For me, clicking a pointless link that stated a celebrity had tested positive was a tiny little poke at the bubble. The thoughts about whether or not I should go out caused another little poke. I start to feel snotty and the toddler’s nose continues to run and although I’m not worried ( surprise!) even the reality of mortality pops the bubble.

My conclusion is that this is the safest thing. Living outside the bubble (I know, you’re probably sick of that phrase) is actually the most healthy place. Full, unashamed freedom. Living in the reality of a fallen world; how fallen it currently is. At least nothing can burst the bubble.

I’m not going to write a preach about this but I do believe that contentment and faith-filled living involves being aware of the brokenness but offering our burdens to God. It also involves wearing the armour that is freely available. Just a shame we choose the bubbles of distraction instead of the really tough, hardest metal (metaphorically speaking) kind of stuff. It’s armour for the everyday world. Man, I’ve never felt more aware of the reality which says a lot about my first-world bubble.

I’m sure Mary and Joseph were feeling afraid as they awaited the arrival of their saviour King. I’m taking comfort in the fact that the Christmas story, the one can sometimes treat as a bit of a fairytale, is actually a story of gritting your teeth in the midst of utter uncertainty. Would they find a place to stay? Would she be able to deliver the baby safely and stay alive herself? How will people respond to the Messiah incarnate? I’m sure they even thought about where the next meal would come from. They faced many realities that, when I give it some thought, take the fairytale away from it all and remind me that the stories are shared to bring hope to us in the midst of our brutal normality. In the midst of suffering and pain, I’m pushing my feet into the ground and becoming aware of the physical world around me. I’m tuning into the realities that surround me: pain, loss, worry but also excitement, hope and joy and learning how to live in this glorious imbalance.

There may not be such thing as a fairytale but there is something much more beautiful. A story that’s real. Your story is real and it is powerful. Sink your feet into the ground, breathe in the air around you, think of all the wonderful things that make up your world and be grateful that it exists. We don’t need to strive for fairytale magic: we just need the grace to continue our very ordinary lives and walk with God throughout.

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Emily Trokis

A 27 year old Christian, wife, mother, ex-teacher and butterfly brain. I believe in hope, absolute truth and the beauty of the written word.