Things are going well with us. As far as marriage goes, I feel like we are getting it right for once. Being attentive. Thoughtful. Present. Communicating well. There’s a sweetness about it that wasn’t there before.
It’s wedding season. It seems everyday I see news of engagements or wedding pictures. Posts that say “I finally found my happily ever after.”
I find myself looking at those announcements, and wondering what’s ahead for them. Will they be happy? Will one of them eventually betray the other? I look at their faces. Full of joy. Of hope. Of love. Our faces looked like that once.
In our “before”.
It’s so rare. A marriage that stands the test of time. A marriage that holds true, til death do us part, unblemished by infidelity. Unmarked by betrayal.
My heart sinks at the thought of it.
I wanted that. I wanted to grow old together. Knowing that I had been his one and only love since the day we took those vows for all of our years. We all want that. Unfortunately we don’t always get what we want.
I look at those people, starting their lives together and I pray that God grants them that. I pray they treasure each other. I pray they never have to experience the pain of betrayal.
Happily ever after.
Or should that be happily ever, after. That comma. It changes everything.
After the betrayal. After the pain. After the heartache. After the devastation.
I’ve never really thought about that saying in quite that way before. The fairy tales always end with it. “And they lived happily ever after”.
We say we want the fairy tale love. In our minds we think of it as always happy, always good. A constant and forever love.
But in every one of those fairy tales, the couple goes through something traumatic.
Adversity, betrayal, loss, grief. It is only when they find their way through it that they get their “happily ever after.”
It comes after.
Be careful what you wish for.
I thought I didn’t get the fairy tale love story that I had wished for.
Turns out, maybe I actually did.
So from now on, when I see pics of young love, looking for their happily ever after, I hope they find their happily ever.
I hope they don’t need the after.
And then I thank God for His goodness. I thank God that there can still be happily.
Even in the after.
Amy Thurston Gordy