(Photo courtesy of Cerise Ostrem)
Leaving Fantasy Island Part 1
By Sarah Komisky
There is a song in the musical Hairspray that rings a bell (pun intended). In the musical, the protagonist of the story, Tracy Turnblad, has just been “bumped” by her crush, Link Larkin. Of course this calls for a song, right? We all laugh at the song, “I Can Hear the Bells.” It’s comedic. Yet, it’s real life. The irony is that we all know her song is exactly what we think as girls—we just never really say it out loud. Tracy is you and Tracy is me.
Going from a “bump,” to a relationship, to dating, to marriage, the hopeful character moves from zero to sixty quickly all in one song. Take a look:
“I can hear the bells/ Today’s just the start ‘cause/ I can hear the bells and/ ‘Til death do us part and/ Even when we die/ We’ll look down from up above/ Remembering the night/ That we two fell in love/ We both will shed a tear and/ He’ll whisper as we’re reminiscin’/ LISTEN!/ I can hear the bells…”
Sound familiar? Yes, go ahead and laugh. You know it’s true. Think about that sweet guy that held the door open for you, or your co-worker who always goes the extra mile for people. Or maybe it’s your sister’s friend who paid you a compliment, or that guy who loves Jesus so much it makes you say, awwweeee!!! Maybe it’s the guy in your political science class that stood up for his faith, the drummer in the band that is SO cute, the dude who helps with convalescent ministry or that famous guy that you have crushed on forever. Suddenly, your thoughts are reeling and your heart attaches. You tell your girlfriends, “I think he could be the one!” or suddenly you find yourself daydreaming about your perfect date or maybe you even imagine your life together with your celebrity crush.
All of that seems wonderful. You camp out on Fantasy Island and take frequent trips there until the day you see him holding hands with a girl that isn’t you, or discover his kind acts were just ways he thought he was being “nice.” You cry your eyes out when news of your long-time celebrity crush unleashes on Instagram that “He’s engaged!” You’re disappointed when life doesn’t match up to Fantasy Island. It hurts. If you are a girl, you’ve been there. But guess what, you don’t have to stay there. You can pack your bags.
When we let our minds travel to places they shouldn’t over and over again, heartbreak is going to happen. While we may think it’s harmless—innocent, even—the repercussions are lethal. Habitual fantasizing about a guy you know or have never met is harmful because you are creating an “ideal” of a concept that isn’t happening in real time. In fact, you are creating something you want but doesn’t exist. That is exactly why it’s called fantasizing.
In the book “Lady in Waiting,” by Jackie Kendall and Debby Jones, fantasizing is addressed as “self-defrauding” because the trips to Fantasy Island are an escape from the monotony of life and the breakdown of our contentment found in Christ. She writes, “The daily discipline of taking your fantasies to Jesus is the foundation for your future as a contented woman, whether you are married, those fantasies about other men could continue… Many tears have been shed over relationships that never materialized except in one’s dreams.”
Eek! One of my favorite verses in the Bible that helps me when I find my thoughts drifting back to the island is in the new testament. 2 Corinthians 10:5 in the King James Version says we Christians have the power to “cast down imaginations” in Christ’s name. Our job is to bring into captivity those imaginations to the obedience of Christ.
That was super helpful to me! Some of us are completely unaware of daydreaming because it has become normal, while others are aware but don’t know quite know how to combat them. When I read this verse, it was revolutionary! When an invitation to Fantasy Island comes with all it’s seduction, I could ignore the Caribbean music in the background and take the thought to God. So can you! Ask God to make you aware of these thoughts so you can catch them quickly. As tempting as they might be, take those imaginations to God and ask him to make your heart content in him. Remember that Colossians 2:10 says you are complete and whole in Christ (not in a guy). Find your contentment in Him and wait for the amazing reality of a romance brought about by God to unfold in His perfect timing.
Stay tuned for part 2 of “Leaving Fantasy Island” in our March Issue.