Living Unhappily Ever After

When I was about twelve, I only had one dream. I was going to meet a guy, we would become friends, start courting, have a long, happy courtship….and it would all lead up to a single moment. Everything would be perfect. From my chain-mail dress to the beautifully forged sword by his hand, to the candles flickering in the pre-dawn light, I had every detail planned. That moment would be when my life became our life.

I’m not sure when that dream changed. What I thought would be the climax of my life faded into the background, until I barely thought about it at all. I think it was a compilation of little things. Lots of time with Paul for one. I used to go over Corinthians and think to myself “being single is great for him, but God intended for most people to get married.” And with that I would move on.

Every girl goes through a time where they feel that the best day of their life will be when they can begin living “happily ever after.” There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it would be a little bit weird if they didn’t feel like that. God designed men and women to work best together. However most girls (myself included) are tempted to believe that life is all about marriage.

You can’t be happy if you are single. You have to get married, court, date, have a boyfriend, be in a relationship, experience romance….I’ve been told all of these things by different people in my life. I’ve also been told that waiting for love is nearly impossible.

Because that’s really what I’m spending my whole life doing. Waiting. I’m just going to sit here and wait for Mr. Perfect to come along and rescue me from my hum-drum life of working, learning, playing and being a kid while I still can.

Oh. Yea…never mind.

Here are some things I’ve learned.

  1. Life is happening right now. Also, I love the life that God gave me. I’m learning so much right now, and doing so many things. If I had been married when I wanted to be I would be missing out on a lot of friendships and experiences that I get to enjoy.
  2. I already met one who is perfect. Only Jesus can ever fulfill that need in your life. Sin has destroyed any opportunity for you to have a perfect relationship with any other human being on the planet. Marriage has been poisoned by sin, just like everything else in life.
  3. This is why life is one long “unhappily ever after.” Marriage won’t make you happy. Expecting your whole life to be beautiful just because you bonded soul and body with another imperfect, sinful, sometimes-obnoxious, completely different human being will end in disaster and anything but happiness. Emotions such as happiness come and go.
  4. God didn’t say “thou shalt dream one dream and one dream only. Not two, not three…only one.” He has other plans for your life. Marriage might be one of those, but it isn’t the end all be all. For me personally, I am going to be a writer for as long as I live. (Lord willing.) I’m a passionate person. Everything I love will be given as much time and energy as I can cram into it. The Author of my life knew this about me and made sure I have plenty of family and occupations, lest one or the other would overtake all and become an idol.
  5. Relationships are ever changing. The most exciting relationship I’m in is eternal. God created me, redeemed me, loves me and knows me. Who better to spend the rest of my life with? Also, I can’t even begin to understand Him. The more I love Him, the more I learn to love others. His love permeates all of my relationships and makes them better than I ever possibly could.
  6. Romance isn’t lasting. Marriage is a unique bond, but it’s also part of life. The day you say “I do” isn’t going to be frozen in time. You will continue to desire new things and have new dreams. Life will be hard, exciting, boring, challenging and all of the other things it was before you decided to share it with someone else. You’ve had a family of some sort all this time….what did you expect?

Do I still want to get married someday? Definitely. That dream didn’t die, I just got my priorities straightened out. Sharing all of this crazy awesomeness is going to be great. But it’s also going to be a pain. Seriously, guys are aliens.

I’m living unhappily ever after. I’ve got good days and bad. But through Christ I’m learning to live with joy. I’m learning to walk in His ways, and listen to His direction. I fall daily. He picks me up every time. Life is an adventure right now. It’s always gonna be, no matter who else is in my own little part of it.

Don’t be afraid to live “unhappily” (better yet, joyfully) ever after. Live as unto the Lord. That’s the best dream you could possibly have.

Shalom. – Yael Eliyahu