Yes, you heard it right, “happily ever after” doesn’t exist.
I grew up dreaming of a knight on his white horse who would come rescue me from my loveless life that I merely endured. Plus Disney set me up for the expectations of a prince charming who was near perfect. So I searched and searched for this near perfect man who would forever obsess over me and build me my dream house, you know, like Noah from The Notebook. This lead to major let downs and hurting some of the men who loved me. I was searching for something that didn’t exist.
Don’t worry, this isn’t some emo, pessimistic blog as the title may lead you to believe. You see, “happily ever after” doesn’t exist HERE on earth. I was longing for something that exists in heaven. I had false expectations of the men in my life because I tried to put them in Jesus’ shoes. Let me tell you, a lover makes for a horrible god!
After many failings on my part in being a good woman and let downs when the man I loved wasn’t flawless, I FINALLY learned that Jesus was my knight in shining armor who came to save me from the wreckage of my life. That’s when everything clicked for me. I was able to give grace and love more freely knowing that I was perfectly loved by an amazing God who built my dream home in heaven and soon I’d be able to go there and live happily ever after.
I married the man I was with since I was 16-years-old and though I knew we’d have work ahead of us and that love was a choice not a feeling, I still expected a “happily ever after.” You know, the white picket fence, four kids, a dog and my husband. One big happy, christian family. It didn’t wrap up so neatly.
If you’ve been following my blogs you’ll know that I felt very worthless at one point in my marriage because my husband had an affair with another woman for two and a half YEARS. It was the hardest most painful time I had ever gone through as a christian. I was so frustrated with God. I listed all the good I had done in my marriage, all of my loyalty, honesty and faithfulness towards my husband. My good deeds, me, me, me. I thought I deserved a perfect godly marriage but I was living in a nightmare.
At this low point in my life God had taught me SO MUCH. I was able to leave the mess that I so badly wanted to be my “happily ever after” here on earth. I learned to love myself and God grew me up into a more confident woman. I once hid in the background and didn’t really have a life outside of being a mom and wife and now I am fully emerged in an awesome ministry called “The Journey,” helping other women go from pain to their purpose.
Long story short, my husband eventually wanted to reconcile. I had imagined this moment in my head so many times and it was always reminiscent of a fairy tale. I thought he would return to God like the prodigal son and miraculously all of his dysfunctional qualities would fall away. Another “happily ever after” fantasy.
When we hear testimonies from other Christians they seem so miraculous and quick… Really they fit a lifetime into maybe 30 minutes. I’ve come to learn that change in Christ doesn’t happen over night.
Yes there are some things that he’ll remove miraculously but we are still left with other hurts, habits and hang-ups that we have to really take time and work through. Our life here on earth is a refining process to help us become more Christ like until we are finally perfect in heaven. And so, here I am, struggling daily to continue to forgive my husband for the unspeakable things he had done.
I’m trying to figure out how to love when I’ve been hurt so deeply. I am not an easy woman to be with at this moment. I have no trust and a lot of bitterness that I didn’t know was still hiding in my heart. I use coldness and distance to protect myself from pain. He isn’t the completely healed man who knows my every desire in a relationship. No, we struggle and we are learning to DAILY turn control of this situation over to God.
So I take delight in the little, daily victories. This will not be fixed overnight but little things improve each day and I’m thankful for that. Like an onion God peels off each layer that doesn’t belong on his children. This walk with God takes a whole lot of patience and faith even when it seems things aren’t changing. Progress may be slow but each year you’ll see the accumulation of change God has so delicately orchestrated in your life.
Your life won’t wrap up neatly with no loose ends for the perfect “happily ever after” fairy tale, you won’t live your best life now but you can live a BLESSED life now. The best is waiting for us in heaven. The true “happily ever after” fairy tale is in heaven with our perfect man Jesus Christ, where we’ll no longer deal with the negative affects of sin. That is what our hearts long for, that is the missing piece that causes us to run after this type of love in all the wrong places.
Let your weary heart rest in God, the safest place, the “happily ever after.”