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I Still Believe

Jun 10, 2010

pI was recently reading a news story on the demise of Al and Tipper Gore’s marriage, when a phrase caught me off guard. “For anyone still left who believes in happily ever after,” blah blah blah….” The writer went on to talk about how there are no fairy tale endings and how pretty much everyone will eventually break up. It was very depressing./p
pI guess was taken aback to realize that people seem to just take for granted that no one lives happily ever after anymore. I suppose it’s easy to look around and be convinced of it, what with all the affairs and growing apart and having to find yourself as reasons to end marriages./p
pWell, today my husband and I are celebrating our 27th anniversary, and I simply beg to differ with that author.  I’d really hate to think we’d invested all this time and happiness for no good reason. See, we actually signed on for “forever,” and didn’t stop to think we could just walk away if we felt like it. Not that there haven’t been some low moments.  But 27 years gives a person pretty good perspective on both the “happily” part and the “ever after” part of the deal./p
pI’ll grant you, perhaps the “happily” part is a bit misleading. If by “happily” you mean “skipping down a flowered path of life as you raise beautiful and smart children while enjoying a higher than average income level and maintaining your attractive figure,” you’ll most likely be sorely disappointed. If, however, you mean “building a life with someone and being willing to stick it out through the tough times because there is something beautiful about two people who love each other against the odds and who are ok with life not being exactly what they pictured and still find joy in it” well then, you’re probably pretty close to its true meaning. It makes me wonder if changing our definition of happiness wouldn’t be a good idea for all marriages in general. emIt’s a thought./em/p
pTom and I are still living out the “ever after” part.  With 27 years into it, I refuse to accept that just because many marriages fail, ALL marriages will.  As I look back over the years and see how God has been faithful to us, even when we’ve faltered, I can’t help but feel so very grateful.  He’s helped us to find strength in one another, to accept each other’s flaws and be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. We’ve chosen to find ways to grow with one another, rather than apart from one another. We’ve raised children who love Jesus, and who love being together as a family. Sure, there have been disappointments and heartaches along the way, but there have also been exquisitely beautiful times, great adventures and a lot of everyday stuff to savor. And there has been joy – in and around and through everything, especially when we’ve chosen to find it./p
pThere have even been some flowered paths to skip down./p
pI wish I could tell the gloomy author of that article that, yeah, there are STILL people camping out in the “happily ever after” group. Those of us who believe in happy endings should be loud and proud – and not feel ashamed to think that it still happens. We should tell every person who is single to hold out for God’s best, every divorced person not to give up hope, and every married person to hang in there a little longer.  Look for joy wherever you are at, and don’t be surprised when happiness finds you./p
pI still believe. Do you?/p
p /p
p style=”text-align: center;”img src=”http://www.goingbeyond.com/sites/default/files/blog/Picture%203_2.png” alt=”Rachel and Tom” title=”27 years!” width=”450″ height=”299″ class=”mceItem”/p