Happily Ever–When?

I’m a great expecter–with massive expectations of what my life should look like.

I fully expected to get through college, find a job and get married. Did that. The fact that I’m still married to that guy I dated all those years ago is a testimony to the grace of God.

I fully expected to have children. We did. Six of them. Again, blessings from the Lord.

I expected to raise them as decent human beings. I like and love my kids. They’ve all turned out well. Not a one has committed a heinous crime.

I’ve prayed they’d all marry well. With spouses who love the Lord and love them. Kind people with generous and forgiving hearts.

I’ve been richly blessed.

When Debbie informed us she’d gotten engaged, I was thrilled. Not because she’s the last one, and we can check off the box of family weddings. (Five daughters, one son–we should go into the business.) I’m thrilled because I’ve gotten to know the young man she’s going to marry. Taylor is a gift to us all.

It’s not enough that Debbie loves him. He’s becoming part of a family where everyone wants him to fit with our larger clan. Families get up into each other’s business, and we’ve made that practice an art form.

So the wedding is in the planning stages. I’m delighted.

I’m also aware of how many people I know who would love to be married. People who’ve been disappointed or hurt in past relationships. Those who’ve not yet found anyone who will love them well. Friends who feel like the wait for the right person is impossibly long and has no hopeful end.

Marriage appears to be the way out of loneliness into shared, affable companionship. Romantic love where music plays every time two people are together. Where “happily ever after” is the phrase left unsaid at the end of all marriage vows.

When I got married, I figured it would be eternal bliss with a guy I adored, and we could live life our way.

No one informed me that we’d have to work through (read “battle through”) differences of opinion and story. I thought he’d fully get me from the beginning. That there was more of me to understand–and vice versa–was shocking. And painful.

It’s been work.

My expectation was the forever love of novels. That it would magically happen without any effort from me.

Don’t we all want that?

What about those who don’t have the chance to marry? Who are disappointed in love again and again? Who don’t find their expectations of life fulfilled?

None of this comes easy. Work and disappointment are often underlying refrains for all aspects of life.

But there is One who chooses to love perfectly, be available continually and understand me completely and desires a relationship with me. And all who choose Him.

Jesus is my perfect Partner. The One who gets me even when I don’t. The best possible Husband when I feel misunderstood. Who loves me no matter what.

The Bible talks about Him being our Bridegroom. The best of the best match for everyone. To be fully experienced in heaven.

The real happily ever after.





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