Happily Ever After

I just want a happily ever after.
I just want to ride off towards the sunset with my princess,
Her beauty outshining the sun, putting it to shame cause she shines far brighter.
And if I learned anything from fairy tales,
It’s that there’s no happily ever after without a wedding.
So, I’m waiting for that woman who will outshine the sun.
Impatiently, day dreaming of the day
When this princess will prance from my fantasy to reality.
But life is not a fairy tale, and I am not a prince.

Or maybe I’m like every prince in a Disney movie
Who thinks it’s his destiny to possess a princess.
Like the knight who only fights dragons if there’s a princess as his prize.
Princes are insecure under their shiny armor disguise,
Disguising their insecurity as love.
It’s disgusting: they’re not loving, they’re lusting.
Prince Charming doesn’t really love Snow White.
He only wants her as his bride because her love makes him feel like a man,
He only sees her as a chance at finally capturing romance.
He finds his value in romantic success which leads him to romantic excess,
And if he fails, he feels worthless, which is why he starts all over again with a new princess.
Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty: It’s Prince Charming in each story.

Sadly, I still see so many similarities between PC and me.
Not in the things I do, but in the things I think.
So far I’ve been successful at trapping this all within my mind,
But these traps in my mind, trip me up all the time,
And I’m scared that someday these thoughts will escape,
Cause this fantasy pent up inside me starts to override me,
Until I can only think about women as marriage objects.
You see for me, sexual objectification happens from time to time,
But it’s romantic objectification that’s my more frequent crime.
Too often, I’ve met a woman and my mind jumps straight to marriage,
Too often, my first thought is not about her, but her ability to fill that baby carriage.

I’ve put too many princesses on pedestals
And as I start to open my eyes, I realize:
I’ve loved the pedestal more than the princess.
I’ve loved romance more than the object of it.
Sadly, it’s pretty rare that I care who’s standing on that pedestal.
My mind cycles through the most likely candidates, imagining romantic candle dates.
And just when I convince myself that the princess on my pedestal is the love of my life.
Just when I think that I’ve found my future wife…
I end up spending more time with another potential princess.
Then suddenly the one I thought to be my soul mate is replaced.
Her face erased, as I copy and paste a new princess onto my pedestal.
And in that moment I realize:
I didn’t love her. I loved the idea of being in love with her.

So, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for seeing you as merely an avenue to romance.
I’m sorry for seeing you as merely a means to an end,
A means of making my happily ever after.

And let me suggest this isn’t just selfishness, its idolatry.
Cause often I look to my romantic situation to find my salvation,
Seeing romance as my savior.
I cry out for romance to save me from feelings of inadequacy,
But romance is inadequate. You see,
The hole in my heart is just too big.
And I dream of a princess with a big enough personality to overcome the void in me.
But I’m starting to realize that that I’m dreaming up impossibility,
I’m starting to realize that no human being can complete me.
The lack inside of me is way too big to be filled by femininity,
Or my masculinity, I need divinity.
Cause I definitely can’t make my own Exodus from this slavery.
And it needs to be the Son of God who sets me free.
Cause this pedestal is taking over me,
Forcing me to my knee, making me swear fealty.

But thankfully, the true hero of this story is coming.
The true knight who shines so bright, that shining armor seems black as night.
He is the light; destroying the darkness that hides the dragon.

And I confess: I’m the damsel in distress.
But I’m not a damsel who is faultless,
Cause I got myself into this mess.
You see, I let the dragon into the castle.
I let these thoughts into my mind.
I let these feelings into my heart,
And at the start I liked the dragon’s company.
I liked the feeling of fantasy,
I liked forgetting I’m lonely.

And when the noble knight finds me, I can see that he sees I’m guilty.
He slowly draws his sword,
and I realize that I’m about to receive my reward.
I fall to my knees, begging him please to stay away.
But he ignores my pleas, advancing towards me.
I can picture his sword cutting off my head
and my body dropping like lead.
But his sword just taps my shoulders instead.
And he says, “I knight you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
You are my child.
Rise, dear son: Stand up out of your slavery.
Go, my son, and set your fellow captives free
And know that wherever you go, you can’t go there without me.
Cause I’m always with you.”

So I’m starting to understand that
My value doesn’t come from how romantic I am,
My value comes straight from the great “I am”,
And I am grateful, that my God is full of grace.
I am grateful that someday I’ll meet him face to face
And let’s face it, that day is going to be way better than my wedding day.
So, regardless of whether I ever find a wife,
I’ll live happily ever after in the afterlife.

But it’s not just about eternity.
Life is more than an inconvenient obstacle to the “ever after”.
Life is a gift.
And the one who gave us life, who gave his life,
Wants us to have life and life to full.
And I don’t fully understand that.
But I think that it means he wants us to have a life worth living.
And on that note, life is gift that just keeps on giving.
It’s easy to get greedy for life’s gifts,
Forgetting that getting to know the giver is the best gift of all.
No other gift matches that first Christmas present, his presence.

And romance is just one of God’s gifts.
So when I consider the giver, I see no need for romance to deliver me.
When I consider how Jesus has set me free,
I have no desire to idle in idolatry.
And God’s starting to change me.
He’s helping me to think less like Prince Charming and more like the Prince of Peace
He’s helping me to chip away at this pedestal piece by piece
Until romance’s tyranny starts to decrease,
Cause romance is a horrible master.

But, romantic love is a beautiful thing if it’s kept in its place,
If it doesn’t block out God’s face, if it doesn’t replace the divine.
And someday, on the pedestal’s doomsday, I’ll say:
“God, if there’s a princess in your plan for me,
I’m excited, but I’ll wait patiently,
Cause Jesus you’re enough for me.”

So maybe, someday, I will ride off towards the sunset with my princess.
And though I know that the shine of my princess’ smile will light up the room,
I’m completely certain that the sun’s radiant light will be much more bright.
And then me, my princess and the sun will all live happily ever after.