why “the search for happily ever after”?

I just wanted to write sort of an introductory post. Why is my title “The Search for Happily Every After”? You mighspain castlet ask. Am I searching for some amazing, handsome prince? Do I think there really is a happy ending out there?

The answer to these questions is yes and no. I believe there is a Prince, but he’s not anyone you’d expect. There is a happy ending, but it’s not what you’re thinking.

My title comes from a realization I had a few years ago. We women seem to always be searching for this “happily ever after” that we think is out there. First, we search for the perfect man. Most of us go through relationship after relationship searching for “the one.” After that we search for the perfect wedding, the perfect house, decorating the house to make it more perfect, having children and raising them in order to have the perfect family. Although we’ve grown up and moved beyond Disney princess movies, we still harbor this idea that life is supposed to turn out with us riding into the sunset completely fulfilled and unconditionally loved by all.

It seems like we spend our lives hoping it’s all gonna work out. Waiting and planning and sometimes even scheming to make life what we think it should be. It seems like we’re always searching for this happy ending, hoping this new person or job or house will be the key.

I know I’ve been guilty of this. I’ve been through so many failed relationships that I could write a book. But more about those stories later. Let’s just say I’ve realized in the past few years that I’ve always been searching for something to make me feel like life is finally going to turn out like the movies. Well, I finally realized it’s not. There’s not a “happily ever after” like the fairy tales. There’s something better.

You see, when we’re born we’ve already got this desire in us to be part of something bigger and this longing to be loved unconditionally. We’re supposed to long for these things. We’re supposed to want something to fulfill us. Or Someone. God put these desires in us, because he wants us to see how only he can fill that void. He’s the only one that can love us unconditionally. He’s got the happy ending waiting for us; it’s just not on this earth. He’s promised us amazing, eternal, more-than-we-can-imagine happiness with him in heaven. And, although he gives us hope and strength to get through this short time on this earth, he’s got a great future planned for us that will make this life seem like a forgettable dream. This is the happy ending we are truly longing for: his presence. Walking with him daily here in this life, and then celebrating with him at the amazing feast he has waiting for us in the next.

This is why I write of the quest for happiness, and somehow I hope that my words might encourage you to find your fulfillment in the Savior. He’s waiting with open arms to give you the future of your dreams.

“…I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”            John 10:10

 

 

freedom on a walk

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for. But that afternoon I wasn’t feeling too thankful. My parents were grumpily pushing everyone to “clean up this house!” It’s funny how planning for company coming makes you so grumpy that by the time they arrive you just want to go take a nap.

Anyway, to avoid the holiday grumpiness I took a walk with our curly little dog, Joy. She lives up to her name in all but her smell. So, as I walked Joy through the neighborhood streets lined with gorgeous fall leaves, I felt freedom. Exhale. Finally. But I noticed my curly companion wasn’t feeling so free. Now don’t get me wrong, she was having a great time trying to smell every smell in a ten foot radius, but she had a problem. She was on a leash. That little ball of fur kept pulling hard against that leash. And every time she did she felt the pain of the leash choking her stinky little neck. She wasn’t content sniffing the leaves and things in our path, she wanted to go her own way and it hurt. I thought back on the times that I took her walking with my toddler. I tied Joy’s leash to the stroller and Joy happily walked alongside us, not pulling on the leash at all. She went peacefully along, wagging that stumpy tail. She was content and unhurt because she accepted her boundaries.

I realized how much I am like her. God has placed me where I am right now, and this is where I’m supposed to be. But how often do I refuse to accept it and long for the “freedom” of my own way? When I go off on my own, trying to do things my way, I end up feeling the misery of the leash. The pain and disappointment of moving in a direction that I’m not supposed to go. I am so much happier, full of “Joy”, when I stay by His side focused on His plan for me. How many times pulling at the leash will it take for me to realize that? I didn’t have Joy on a leash today because I wanted to ruin her life. I wanted her to have the best walk possible, without getting hit by a car! In the same way, God knows what’s best for me, and it’s only when I walk in that way that I will find his joy.