Frozen Again, a Refreshed Perspective

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Did you know a new Frozen movie is coming out November of 2019? 

The hit song “Let it Go” from the first Frozen film has been heard time and time again - especially by those of you who have little kids. My kids love it. However, I have to admit, six years ago when I first saw the film and heard that song, I did not quite get it. I didn't understand why it resonated with so many people. Actually, after I saw the film, I remember responding to someone in our church saying that I was unsure of the movie mostly because of the “sassiness of some of the characters.” Yes. I responded that I did not like the sass.

For those of you who have no idea what Frozen is about, it's a story about two sisters who became separated after the older sister, Elsa, realized the risks to others if her ability of controlling ice and snow got out of control.

In the most popular part of the movie, Elsa is singing with incredible independence, no care for what the world thinks and is firing icicles and snow art everywhere, while singing things like: 

“Let it go, Let it go, can’t hold it back anymore, let it go, let it go, turn away and slam the door, I don’t care what they’re going to say, let the storm rage on…. No right, no wrong, no rules for me, I'm free”

Sassy, right? Now, before you judge whether you agree, or disagree, I want to share a few things that have changed in my life in the past six years:

I finished seminary. I became a pastor. I tried starting a house church movement. I began working for Safe Church Ministry. I have listened to many people's stories who have survived abuse. I have not only seen pain, but I have inflicted it at times. I have empathized with the deep loneliness that many of us face for a variety of reasons. I have come to see the unique challenges that keep many of us from living into our God created callings due to our society’s views of gender norms, ethnic norms, and disabilities.

I have also tasted a small morsel of the coming kingdom. I have seen Jesus meet so many people exactly were they are, amid the pain, shame, and bitterness, patiently walking with people as the sun continues to set and rise again—and as the world around us thaws from being frozen, and life bursts forth again. I have seen the power of the image of God in so many people, so full of resiliency, who have overcome; many by the blood of the lamb, and many who are not yet aware of Jesus and his Kingdom of peace, justice, grace and mercy.

I’ve learned there is power in listening and allowing others to see me for who I am—both where I’ve come from and where I hope to go—and that there is, in fact, power in being vulnerable and open. I’ve learned that while some may still be raging amid the storm, it is quite ok to allow them to work it out, full of sass, life, and transparency. The pain is all too real for far too many, and it’s time to “Let it go!” on their own time schedules (some things can never be fully let go). 

I have also become a father of two beautiful boys. When my toddler dances and sings this song, I often think about how I completely missed what this song meant to so many people, especially women and girls who have not felt safe to be honest and real, who felt immeasurable pressure to: “be the good girl you always have to be… [to} conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know.” I suddenly resonate with Elsa, and the pain others are going through as I sing along, knowing that Jesus is right there with them as the storm rages on:

“Let it go, let it go, And I'll rise like the break of dawn, Let it go, let it go, That perfect girl is gone, Here I stand in the light of day, Let the storm rage on”

To end, I have to wonder about this popular comment on the song's Youtube video: "Can you imagine how different the story would have been if Elsa's parents had brought her out to the mountain to practice her magic instead of just trying to pretend it doesn't exist?"

What are we doing as parents to allow our kids to work out their issues, struggles, abilities or disabilities? What are some ways we can provide safe and trusted spaces for all of us, children, teens and adults to work out our stuff in our church communities?

Feel free to discuss in the comments, and in the mean time, cue the music or read the full lyrics below:

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen
A kingdom of isolation
And it looks like I'm the queen

The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn't keep it in, heaven knows I've tried
Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don't care what they're going to say
Let the storm rage on
The cold never bothered me anyway

Let it go, let it go
Can't hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door

Let it go (go, go, go go, go go, go go, go, go, go go)

Let it go

Let it go

Let it go

It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I'm free

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You'll never see me cry
Here I stand and here I stay
Let the storm rage on

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back, the past is in the past

Let it go
The cold never bothered me anyway
Let it go, let it go
And I'll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand in the light of day
Let the storm rage on

Idina Menzel - Let It Go (from "Frozen")

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I just watched the first Frozen movie for the first time with my 3-year old granddaughter last week. She loves it and has been acting it out almost since before she could walk and talk (I have videos to prove it). One thing I liked about the movie was the reaction, the rebuke to Anna, who decided to get engaged to someone she just met - "no one does that!". And the message of true love being willing to sacrifice for the other. What better messages these are than so many previous Disney movies and fairy tales that suggest reality includes love at first sight and happily ever after with no downside. And I've had the song "Let it Go" in my head ever since - It's inspiring! Sometimes we need a little "sass" to get through what we're facing.