I used to believe in fairytales. I used to believe when Disney said that the couple lived happily ever after, well, then they did. I believed the ending of Pride & Prejudice when Elizabeth is sitting there in front of her newly inherited mansion of a home, blissfully happy with Mr. Darcy (her new husband). And she tells him to call her “dear” when he is really upset with her.
As if when you’re really upset with someone you’re really thinking of a term of endearment. No no, most couples are thinking of other four-letter words… And so I believed the ending. Because I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know that the music I was listening to, the movies I was watching, the messages I was receiving both in and outside of the church, were only giving me half-truths. See, movies tend to end before the hard stuff begins. Can I say that again?
Movies tend to end before the hard stuff begins.
The butterflies, the romance, the giddy excitement, that’s the stuff that Facebook captures so easily with a snap shot at just the right moment that’s rubbed in the faces of singles who are, well, single. And this singleness, with its natural desire for butterflies, romance and giddy excitement, seemed suffocating due to its lack of receiving the aforementioned items over the last 10 years.
The unmet desire for what God eternally intended became a burden of a cross that was too heavy to bear and so He came alongside and helped me to bear it. He has helped me to bear it for a purpose and that purpose was to strengthen those weak muscles. As I carried this cross my back became stronger and I began to develop some serious backbone. My biceps started bulging and triceps became taught. My legs took form and shape. With each step forward my calves became steady and sure. This preparing, this training, was to build character. The character that is so desperately needed when one soul mingles with another. Because the butterflies fly away. The giddiness dissipates. The value of romance fails in comparison to someone who has a heart for continuous growth and maturity as the years go by.
I wish someone would have told me. I wish I could have learned these things sooner. But I am learning them now. In some ways just in time. I no longer believe in fairytales. When I hear Taylor Swift crooning:
All I knew this morning when I woke
Is I know something now, know something now I didn’t before.
And all I’ve seen since eighteen hours ago
Is green eyes and freckles and your smile
In the back of my mind making me feel like
I just wanna know you better
I appreciate her ability to capture those heartfelt emotions and feelings at the birthing of new love, but I challenge her to sing to me about being in love for 18 years as opposed to 18 hours. I’m grateful that even though I was under the illusion, God knew my heart. He knew I wanted that enduring covenant that would glorify Him and last for generations. And so, He showed me the way. His way. The way of sanctification. The way of selflessness. The way of maturity.
It takes time and obedience. But really, doesn’t everything that is worth anything?
I used to believe in fairytales. But I don’t anymore.