And they lived happily ever after…
Ah, the infamous words to those fairy tale endings. Prince finds his princess, they marry and ride off in the sunset to live out their lives in bliss. I imagine we all felt this blissfulness on our wedding days. Riding off to start our new lives, knowing that no matter what bumps the path would bring along the way, we would tackle them together. Somehow, we knew we could conquer anything. Knowing that the perfect plan of retiring and growing old together, was the beautiful image that kept us riding merrily along.
BUT, what happens if it doesn’t have a “happily ever after” ending? What if it doesn’t end the way YOU wanted?
I am sure you agree that we all know that feeling too well. The dreams of growing old together have slipped through our fingers and the reality of a “new beginning” demands our attention. It’s a new beginning none of us wished for, nor knew what to do with when it arrived. It makes all those dreams and plans dissipate as quickly as vapor, leaving us numb and scared. Certainly not fairy tale images!
Now, five years out, I can look back on my twenty-six years of marriage and smile at the fulfilling relationship it was. I can truly say, “I lived a fairy tale marriage with my prince!” Oh, he wasn’t perfect (after all, who is, but our Savior?) but, he was perfect for me. I was loved well and treated with warmth, compassion and respect. He was my sounding board, my friend, my helper, my lover and my dream. I was blessed. He was a provider to our family and a great father to our daughters. Fairy tale? Yes.
It did not end the way I had hoped. I pictured him walking our daughter’s down the aisle on their wedding day, holding our grandbabies and our old bodies sitting together on a church pew. God had another plan, and at fifty years of age, that “new beginning” was forced upon me.
The pain of that first year was indescribable. I was thankful the for the numbness that engulfed my body, so as to dull that pain. The arrival of the second year brought reality and a wave of deeper pain, as if that were even possible.
Time moved on, riding along.
And with the time, so did I.
What I’ve learned is important – you must allow God to move with you. It is important to know that although this was not your plan, it is His plan. I must remember that as much as I loved my husband, God loves him more. As much as my husband loved me, God loves me more. In the midst of this deep grief, He still has a plan for me.
He has plan for you as well! I do not know where you are in your journey, I hope you will one day be able to see His will for your life. I hope that you can reflect on your fairy tale memories and still look forward to a happily ever after. I know He has great things in store for each of us.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
I can say it has not been easy in this new beginning. I have made many mistakes. Thankful that God has walked it with me and has redeemed me from those mistakes. He has provided and opened doors for myself and my girls. I can not imagine walking this without Him. Period. I pray each of you will feel His presence even in the darkest of days. And when things get rough, you will know He is with you and He will provide answers for you. He still has a “happily ever after” ending planned!
Father, I lift each of these sisters up to you as we seek your plan in this new phase in our lives. I pray each of these precious women know how much you love them and your plan for them is still for good. And we can find there is a happy ending still in store for our lives. Amen.
Bonnie is a mother of two awesome daughters who bless her life every day. When she’s not enjoying long walks along the Florida coastline, she is flying through the skies as a flight attendant. Life took a radical change in the spring of 2009 when her husband was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. The walk through that journey was the hardest she had ever walked. How did she make it through? And how is she surviving? The answer is simple. Jesus. His love. His mercy. His grace. He carried her when she was at her lowest. And Bonnie carried Him in her heart even when she did not understand. He has been faithful in His promises – “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.” (Psalm 68:5) Bonnie has been called by God to share her story through writing and speaking.
To book a speaker email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more articles by Bonnie, click here