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  • Writer's pictureAdrea Tilford

Born to Be Queen: Part III - The Golden Crown

Listen to this read aloud on the 8000 Promises Podcast: HERE.

Here is part three of my therapeutic story Born to Be Queen. A therapeutic story is a story designed to let the listener process and integrate healing truths that are relatable to one’s own story.

If you haven’t heard part one or two of this story, please stop and first listen to or read:

I first learned about the art of therapeutic storytelling from my sister-in-law Brit. When she encouraged me to check out Susan Perrow's work. Storytelling is a powerful tool for change. I'm certain, that is why it was Jesus's main mode of teaching. I discovered that I held a hope to write a story that could potentially help others recovering from early life adversity.

Jesus used parables to help his listeners understand heavenly truths from an earthly perspective. And in this storytelling, I'd like to share with you a story that has healing truths about childhood trauma, recovery and empowered living. This story told in three parts. Part one was published on January 22 . Part two on April 8. And part three today. 

May this story move you to healing and to the connection that you need. A journey of healing can happen.

And so, not quite ready to wear her crown, the woman nodded.

 “I’ll come every day.” she said and she meant it.

To be continued…

Part III - The Golden Crown

The woman kept her word.

Every morning with the sun kissing her brow she would enter the garden gates.

There she would find the gardener. Hands moving and plants tended.Each day the woman sat at the feet of the gardener. Absorbing lessons of living water.

He cultivated her identity: chosen, delightful and precious.

He mentored her in the seasons and showed her how they mirrored the lifesong of her people. 

Time for new growth and budding wonders.

Time for a bountiful harvest.

Time for laying to rest, mourning the end and holding open hands to let go of what had died.

Time to allow the cry out of grief to puncture the atmosphere, held in love and then released.

And the magnificent wonder of entering the cycle again; a resurrection of sorts that offered a new spirit for the journey of the day in which she was living.  The gardener taught her to receive the gifts that were daily for her.

The sun set and the sun rose again for many months before the woman once again recognized a restless stirring of her soul. She still did not feel worthy to place the crown upon her brow and wondered if she’d ever truly believe she should wear such beauty or embrace such power. She shyly approached the gardener - worried that her past would make a promising future impossible.“Can I ask you a question?”

“What is it you want?” replied the gentle gardener.

“I want to wear my crown again, but I don’t know how to live into what you’ve been teaching me. Can there really be beauty from my thorns.” the woman replied.

The gardener extended his hand to her, “Would you be willing to take a walk with me?”

Hesitantly, the woman agreed.

Hand in hand the gardener led the woman to the garden gate. The one that faced the desert. 

“The desert can be a place of desolate destruction.” the gardener began. “Yet, the desert is a place in which all sojourners must eventually tread. If you are willing to join me on a pilgrimage through the desert, I think you might discover the truth you need to feel free.

The journey might feel treacherous. You’ll find yourself retracing steps you’ve tried to drown with potions and avoid with magic maps. But along the way, with me as your guide, you’ll realize you are not alone - and never once were. You can grieve the losses and lay them down - trusting that I will take care of it. And as you relinquish your hold on the pain, you’ll discover new space within your soul.” 

When she felt ready, the woman accepted the gardener's invitation.


They entered the desert through the garden gate.

It didn’t take long before the woman was flooded with fear. Isn’t this the place the older child first led me to so many years ago? Feelings of loneliness, desolation and terror began to invade her mind. She reached out to the gardener, her hand grasping the edge of his cloak. 

The touch turned turmoil to peace, and the gardener stopped to allow the whole story to flow between them.The truth spread in abundance throughout her being.

You don’t need to be afraid. I am with you. 

With a deep breath the woman continued on the journey. A while later, she found herself at  the spot she had awoken that day so long ago. The child who led her to the desert had fled and she was utterly alone. The memories overwhelmed her and she began to shake. This time, she noticed the gardener's presence amidst the fear. She grasped his outstretched palm. With more power than any elixir she had ever consumed, that touch eradicated the pain in a new way and the truth permeated the lies from the past: 

You are rescued. No longer in need of saving. I am with you. 

As she looked up, she noticed that the place in which she was standing was not far from Armadillo’s home. No wonder Armadillo had found her on that day. Suddenly the torrential downpour of painful words spoken over her those many years ago consumed her once again. “Once people from your kingdom realize you’ve been playing in the desert, you will no longer be allowed to be queen. Do not tell a soul. Act as though you’ve never been to the desert. You will never be queen.” The pain flowed from her eyes, dropping water on the dry desert floor. At this very moment, the gardener held her close and her heart broke open. The gentle whisper of his presence wrapped itself like linen cloth around her grief. 

You are mine, fully known; loved and liked with no conditions daughter. 

The woman's heartbeat slowed. Her breath went in and her breath went out. She noticed herself as if for the first time. Alive. Found. Loved. 

The woman lifted her eyes to meet the gaze of her companion, and she believed. The words spoken over her were true. Then,in the distance, she saw a glimmer. Water? Here in the desert? 

A cool relief from the heat that hurt. She began to run ahead, checking to see that the gardener was following behind. How different it felt to be free enough to run. The wind caressed her skin, and she sank to her knees at the edge of the water. She cupped her hands and splashed her face and then she drank deeply. She closed her eyes and gave thanks. When she opened her eyes, a flash of light caught her by surprise. Reflecting from beneath the water was a crown of gold encrusted with rubies and soldered roses. 

The golden crown? How did it get here? She looked up at the gardener as he walked to join her at the water’s edge. 

He nodded, and the woman, dressed in the truth of her identity, finally felt ready. She reached beneath the surface and pulled out the crown. She realized in that moment, it had always belonged to her, and she placed it on her head.

As the woman and the gardener returned to the kingdom the golden crown shone from its rightful place upon the woman’s brow. It sparkled with the sunlight and as she entered the garden gates she noticed her long misplaced desire to dance and sing and shine. The people of her kingdom were drawn to her radiant light, and now, on the other side of the desert she knew the whole truth: she was born to be queen.

The End... Or is it the beginning

Keywords: therapeutic story, healing, Jesus, ministry, life on earth, identity, journey, desert, fear, truth, crown, queen, friendship

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