“Happily Ever After”

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Disney princesses teach young girls a false understanding of what “Happily Ever After” truly means! The countless popular Disney movies with their “too good to be true” love stories!  

Like the story of sleeping beauty, who was poisoned by a wicked step-mother for her true beauty!  At just the right moment, her prince charming randomly galloped by and kissed her in a glass box and “wala” she’s awake… and they live happily ever after!  

My favorite story, Aerial the mermaid, who happens to fall in love with a “human”… And gives up her voice for 3 days for legs, in the hope to make Eric, her prince, fall in love with her!  In fact, in order to keep her legs, she had to get Eric to kiss her within 3 days! Somehow after a huge ocean sized debacle and one furious “King of the Ocean”, Aerial’s father,  they married on a dock overlooking the ocean.   And… of course they lived happily ever after!

As little girls, we grow up watching these Disney movies, listening to Disney songs, and reading disney princess books.  Fast forward, we little girls grew into women, with unreal expectations and dreams bigger than the world.  As a little girl, I too grew up watching the same Disney movies.  Except, my home portrayed the absolute opposite idea of happily ever after!  To spare you and me the details of my childhood sob story, let’s just say the memories of marriage from my childhood, was certainly not something I {ever} wanted to relive.

Thankfully, as a young 15 year old, I found Jesus!

I decided to trust and follow him fully!  This single decision I made, altered my heart for a lifetime!

Actually, that very summer I met my Lord & Savior, I also met my future husband at a Christian camp.  Neither one of us ever imagined we’d spend the rest of our lives together. In fact, having come from my upbringing, I never would have imagined being liked, loved, or admired by someone as dear as this youthful teenage boy.

However, the next summer at the same Christian camp, somehow this handsome boy noticed me!  By the third day, he was sneakingly holding my hand under the desks.  I will never forget the physical feeling of one who truly loves you!  There was fire in our hand holding and and chemistry in his gaze.  I recall in the church van ride back home, I made an announcement to anyone listening “I’m going to marry that boy”.  As you can expect, everyone laughed, snickered, and thought “yea right”!

Robert and I married at the young age of 21 and 22 years of age.  We were young and extremely happy.  We knew we had made the right choice in marrying!  During our newly wed days, we experienced normal ups and downs.  I recall the first years of marriage, long walks, Friday night Pizza Express, and all the tender {firsts} experienced as a couple.  I also recall, some pretty heated arguments, hurt feelings, and feeling tremendously misunderstood.  All in all, we knew our marriage was ordained by a loving and caring Heavenly Father, thus we always came together in commitment to God and each other.  

It didn’t take me long to realize the “happily ever after” experienced by the fairytale princesses from my childhood, was not exactly the “happily ever after” I was living. It certainly didn’t take me long to realize the multifaceted emotions experienced within the bonds of marriage. I learned one thing for sure early in our marriage;  Marriage is A LOT of work!

This past June 10, 2000, my husband and I celebrated our 16th year of marriage.  We have 4 children, aging 5-14.  Over the past 16 years, I’ve experienced love at it’s deepest and most profound depths.  Not to mention, we’ve experienced some heated and painful arguments. We’ve hurt one another’s feelings, focused more on ourselves than one another, and have gotten side-tracked with other facets of life.  Most importantly, the two of us have shared the joy of delivering 4 perfect and beautiful children into the world.  As a couple we committed to raising our children in the Lord, a commitment we still uphold today.  Our marriage has been complete with feelings of love, joy, grief, pain, anger; a wide spectrum of emotions.  I’d be lying if I told you every moment, day, or week together has been wedded bliss.  In fact, there have been moments in our marriage, where one or both of us wanted to walk away.  I have learned a few things about marriage over the past 16 years.  I have learned that regardless of what emotions we’re feeling and everyday life stressors, our love is strong!  I’ve learned that God is the glue that holds our marriage together.  I’ve learned there are times in marriage, when the only thread holding you together is God.  We have learned a love like ours is beautiful, wonderful, and the most wonderful gift on Earth!  As we have aged, my husband and I have observed marriages around us, fall prey to divorce!  This sadness our hearts tremendously!  However, these divorces have continually reminded us of the importance of keeping God at the center of our marriage!

A marriage without “real life” happening in the midst of the bonds of marriage… Is not possible!!!

16 years of marriage has taught me …

“Happily Ever After” is possible!

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