Happily ever after…

20170930_083949As a child, I was enraptured by fairy tales.  What little girl wasn’t?  Dreams of castles, warrior princes and evil queens who were vanquished by good, took root in my soul.   My heart sang as I read these stories, and my imagination soared.  And like most little girls, I grew up…dreaming.  The dream of a Happily Ever After followed me through my life, and I looked for it with anticipation.

But instead of “Happily Ever After” the world offered me struggles, pain, broken relationships, a broken family and the loss of people I loved.  Yet deep inside I hung onto the dream that someday my Prince would come.  Year after year, the dream became more faded, doubts assailed me and the evil queen, Bitterness, tried to capture my soul.  For some years, I was in a prison of dark thoughts and disappointment that lead to depression and despair.  Where was my Prince?  Where was the kiss that would awaken me?  Where was the shoe that would change my life forever?

I married a good man, and I love him deeply.  We have been married almost forty years – I am blessed.  Is he the Prince of my little girl dreams?  No, and I am sure I am not the Princess he dreamed he’d be storming castles for.  Like me, he is looking for Happily Ever After too.

The funny thing is, Happily Ever After was there the entire time.   It took me  LONG time to recognize it and to accept.  My Prince had come. He rode in on a donkey and climbed heroically onto a bloody cross to rescue me from death, by dying in my place.  But He wasn’t through – He rose again, crushing death’s hold on His sleeping princess.  He is powerful, majestic…breathtaking.  My warrior King had been beside me all my life, protecting me, guiding me and comforting me.  Yet my eyes had remained shut.  I was still under a spell…asleep.

I was a believer.  I had trusted my heart and life to Christ, yet the dream of Happily Ever After and the life I was experiencing created in me an inner angst.  I finally began to believe Happily Ever After would come after I died and went to heaven.  I would never find it here and now.

Like Snow White, I had eaten from a poisonous apple offered to me by someone who wanted me dead.  “Happily Ever After was not possible in this life – it came only after death,” so the liar claimed.  The liar insisted that I needed to try to be as good as I could while alive, and maybe I would be allowed to enter that kingdom of peace.  But, the voice would whisper, “You are wasting your time.  Who would want you?”  Like Cinderella’s step mother and step sisters, my mind was full of taunts and reminders of my failings.  Like Sleeping Beauty a huge hedge of thorns surrounded my heart.  Was there no escape?

Enter the Hero.  With a single kiss of truth to my starving soul, light pierced the darkness and my PRINCE freed me.  I had been saved all along, but hadn’t grasped the breathtaking wonder while under the spell of the lies I had swallowed. I had been caught in an illusion; a flimsy web of lies.  Like the princesses of my stories, I didn’t understand my true identity.

The Prince is my Lord Jesus Christ and He reminded me that I am his sister and daughter of the Most High God.  He has clothed me in royal robes of righteousness, placed a ring upon my hand and a crown on my brow.  I am hidden in Christ, seated in the heavenly place.   I am not claiming to be God.  NEVER!  But I am His child by His Will and His doing.  Of all the maidens in the kingdom, He chose me; a bedraggled little nobody who slept by the cinders to keep warm.  He chose me.

And the beauty of it all is this:  This is NOT a fairy tale – it is real.  And even better still…Happily Ever After is here and now – not someday.  Everyday I get to live this life from a different perspective – a perspective of hope and assurance.

This life is temporary.  I am in the world but not of it.  All things work to the good of those that trust the Prince, Jesus.  I can do all things, face all things, in Christ. He is the author and perfecter of my faith.  I am safe in HIS hands and nothing can snatch me away and NOTHING can separate me from HIS love.    All these precious promises by one who ALWAYS keeps his promises.  AND then after this life – HEAVEN.  WOW!  I look forward to the day when I will see my Prince, face to face!

Will my life still have hardships and trials?  YES!  Will I sometimes forget, and be lost in the shadows again?  Maybe, but my Prince will find me and bring me back.  The beauty of it all is that my PRINCE is with me through thick and thin.  His sword is drawn, ready for battle.  He is fearless, for the victory is sure.   He is invincible.

I am living a Happily Ever After life and I have NOTHING to fear.   What an amazing savior!

 

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