Yesterday I finished my first book (although I’m not completely satisfied with the end, but it’s not too late to revise!). Today I have been working on grammatical editing, but I need a break, so instead of doing the laundry (like a good girl would) I’m going to tell you a story. This is a true story.
There once was a young girl, almost eighteen years old, who desperately wanted to be loved and love in return. She’d seen every Disney princess movie, read countless historical Christian romance novels, delved into Gone With the Wind, not to mention devouring Pride and Prejudice.
And while these certainly must have influenced her sense of romance and desire, they did not ultimately guide her heart. She knew better than to suppose real life would look exactly like these stories, but part of her soul yearned to know love so sweet and strong. Even in her realistic mindset she was susceptible to the charms of fantasy.
This girl kept most of her desires tightly held within the secret places of her heart, but there was someone with whom she shared her longings. He never judged her on them. She trusted him with all that she had and he never disappointed her with his response.
Sometimes her desire for affection and companionship would overwhelm her better judgement, but thankfully, her confidant was nearby in her weakest moments. While she could have resented his gentle reminders and even his interference, she found that mostly she was just thankful that he was always looking to protect her and her heart.
One day this girl, though, she was feeling as though her heart would burst with loneliness. She loved her friend. He always loved her with a patient kindness that comforted her most of the time, but like other girls, she longed to be held in someone’s arms, to be cherished as a woman, young though she was. So, to satisfy the desire without acting out on it they worked out together what kind of man she needed and they talked about him often.
Our young lady’s heart desired that they share her friend in common esteem, that he be honest, kind, romantic, hard-working, gentle, strong, patient…the list went on. Maybe she was asking too much. Her dear friend assured her that he would be with her and that she only need be patient because she really wasn’t alone. And, truly, she believed him even though it was difficult.
Time passed; sometimes slowly and sometimes so fast it was gone like a gust of wind. She and her dear friend stayed together most of the time and stayed busy, but eventually someone came along that caught the girl’s eye. His words drew her in and as they conversed her mind cried out, is he the one? Is this the one I’ve been waiting for? She was fearful that he would turn out like others before him…ones that made promises with their mouths and eyes that they could not keep with their hearts.
The more time she spent with him the more she longed to be with him. Her dear friend was also a friend of his and the three of them spent a good deal of time together. There were no singing genies, or crabs, or dishes to help them along and no prejudices to be overcome. Eventually, though, her heart found it didn’t long for what she thought she needed, but for what truly mattered. This man had the things she’d talked to her friend about, but like all men’s ways, his were subtle and prone to be riddled with the holes of human weakness.
It didn’t stop her from desiring to own his heart and so she shared hers with him, hoping he would understand the woman within and be the man she longed to be loved by and love in return. She clung to her dear friend with a grip born in hope, wondering if her love would be spurned. Her friend always reassured her that no matter what any man thought of her, she was beautiful and precious to him. It was some comfort, but the romantic desires she struggled with still lingered strong.
It didn’t take long for her heart’s desire to be answered with one similar and sweet. He loved her! He thought her beautiful and worthy. Her dear friend reminded her that he always found her to be so and that even if her man of choice hadn’t responded so, it wouldn’t make it any less true. But now, her heart full, her body held, she was content in a way she’d never really known.
The road of love for her and her man was ever after full of potholes and various dangers along the way, but with the help of their dear friend and their constant combined effort they continued to become one. Their desires were hard to separate and the battle to keep their firm grasp on each other never wavered. Choosing to love, giving love regardless of the lack of Disney perfect endings, was the perfect kind of love after all.
Perfection the girl was not. A splendid prince, he did not portray. But, being held, loved despite of her flaws, cherished in the great moments, esteemed in the lesser ones proved to be the thing her friend helped her find. It was better than any dream she could have conjured up of any fairy-tale on earth.
That’s my story and fifteen years later I’m still grateful for the husband I’ve been given. He is not perfect, but neither am I, to be sure. Do we do everything perfectly in our marriage? Not likely, but one thing is for certain, we will continue to strive to love even when the other is unlovable and we will be the arms that Desire cries out for in the moments when Loneliness falsely ridicules the mind.
(later the same day…I need to just add here, though, that my main squeeze is a prince among men. Our entire married life he has striven to love and cherish me as well as care for the needs of our growing family, which let’s face it, is easier said than done sometimes. I hope that seeing reality overshadow the fairy tale doesn’t completely eradicate the dream from your own life. The two can coexist together with passion and compassion leading you instead of selfish desires. Have a great day!) 😉