It's a Love Story

If you have been on planet earth over the past few weeks you may have heard something about a royal wedding. I couldn’t help but get caught up in the buzz…just a little. Now let me make it clear that I would not get up in the middle of the night for my own wedding, much less for a complete stranger, but I did have some curiosity about the big event, so I scoped out the news the next afternoon.

I have no explanation for my interest. Given the choice between a chick flick and football, I will choose sports every time. This is not typically my “thing.” As much as I loathe shopping for clothes, you could not accuse me of being obsessed with fashion…yet I wanted to catch a glimpse of “the dress.” As much as I despise the thought of crying in public, you could not accuse me of getting all emotional at the idea of a wedding…but I did get a goofy smile on my face when she started down that long aisle.

What can I say? There is a small part of me that loved the romance of it all. I loved the dress. I loved the pomp surrounding the ceremony that was so rich with tradition. I loved listening to the prayers and the vows because, let’s all be honest, everything sounds better in a British accent. I loved listening to the pure, authentic voices in the choir. I loved laughing at some of those silly hats.

It’s a love story. And, at the end of the day, the woman in me responds to that.

While I found the whole thing fascinating, there are times when I cringe at the thought of the royal wedding, because I know all of the gals are getting caught up in the idea of their own “prince” swooping in to rescue them from the pain and problems of their past and whisking them away to their very own well-planned out version of happily ever after. Having been married for almost eighteen years, let me just go on record as saying this scenario is not anywhere close to reality. Before you fall out of your computer chair and then climb back in it to send Matt mass emails full of sympathy because he has the sad misfortune to have me as his wife…let me explain.

I came into this whole marriage experience with a lot of expectations. Marriage was going to be the great band-aid that made me all better. I wanted happiness. I wanted him to fix me…and yet at the same time I held myself back from him because my entire past experience had led me to believe that men will always hurt you. Talk about a lose-lose situation. Poor Matt. He never stood a chance with me.

Matt is just about as close as a man can get to being the perfect husband. He gets me. He is not bothered by the fact that I am not into cuddling and sharing feelings--I need space--yet he knows I am romantic enough to appreciate flowers and love notes from him. He has incredible talent in the kitchen, and has made me some mouth-watering meals. His work ethic is off of the charts. He is very skilled, and is good at literally every single thing that he attempts. I have yet to see him take on a job that he does not complete well.

He surprises me with things that really matter to me…like a freshly painted office. He supports me in every single thing that I do. He is an awesome, hands-on dad. He always makes an effort to let me know how beautiful he thinks I am, and there is not a doubt in my mind that, four kids later, he still finds me attractive. And--this one is very important--he makes me laugh.

In spite of this very “princely” resume, he could not rescue me from my past, and he could not carry the full weight of my entire future happiness. No human shoulders can. No man can, for any woman. While I am sure that not every woman walks down the aisle with all of the issues that I had, I am equally sure that most women have expectations that cannot be met.

At least they cannot be met in a spouse.

The core problem with the whole courtship process is that it is usually based in façade. We always put our best foot forward. No one goes on that first date thinking, “Well, tonight I will unload all of the baggage from my past…that sounds like fun!” And when we do finally start going through our luggage with a potential spouse we usually take out the sexy black dress. The stained t-shirts and the pajama pants we wear when we are feeling fat get left in the bottom of the suitcase. In one of the zipper pockets on the side we leave our expectations. We rationalize that it would be silly to go through the trouble of pulling them out…after all, surely our significant other can guess what they are because we were made for each other. A few weeks after the wedding ceremony we start to unpack, and the ugly truth is revealed.

My truest and deepest wish is that every woman would open her heart to the healing grace of Jesus Christ…as I did. His extravagant love rescued me in the truest sense of the word. Not only did He save me from my sins, He saved me from myself. The discovery of the trustworthy character of God gave me the courage to trust my husband. I stopped sabotaging my marriage. The freedom that I have found through my relationship with God has allowed me to release Matt from false expectations. While his love for me has helped my restoration process, he is no longer expected to be my sole source of healing and happiness. He can just be my husband. A job that he is doing quite well.

God knows what lies beneath the facade, yet He is hard after our hearts. He has gone to extraordinary lengths to show us the depth of His compassion for us. There is nothing that He will not do to lavish His care upon us. He is the source of everything that is good and right, and He offers life-giving hope. He longs to fill every aching need that burns in our hearts.

It’s a love story.

~ Tracy


John Parker said...


Beth K. Vogt said...

Well written, my friend.
So well said.

Jamie said...

Love it! So well written, Tracy.

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