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Posts Tagged ‘Forever’

Happily Ever After …

That is what women want.

There is an image (just to the left) that is so representative of that to me. When hubby and I were planning our wedding, we would dream of the future (how is it that it is so easy to dream of the future before you are married, and so easy to dream of the past after you are married?). One of the ways we would speak of the future was when we would talk about many, many years off into the future, when we would sit in our rocking chairs on our front porch … and just sit … and rock … together.

It was the sweetest dream. It was OUR dream, and one that spoke of commitment, of a future of forever together. It said, of both of us, ‘I’ll be here forever,’ and ‘I’ll never leave you.’

Although it might drive young single men nuts, though it might go against our human natures, the stability of forever is what women want. But I’m not talking a ‘life sentence’, I am talking happily ever after.

If there is a ‘face’ of romantic … it’s a female face. I believe it is partly in our nature, but nurture does add to it, as well. We females are ‘fed’ romance and forever, from a young age. But, really, we can’t just blame Disney for force-feeding it to us. Reality is, Disney wouldn’t have made money off of their Princesses, if their customers were not willing to pay for it. And the reason their customers are willing to pay for it? We want it! And we want it, because somewhere, within our DNA we WANT ‘happily ever after. Heck, the picture to the right from the Cinderella book version I grew up with. And that picture, not the ones of her wedding, not the ones of her dancing at the ball, but this last picture in the book, under which, the only words written were “… and they lived Happily Ever After,” was my childhood dream.

That dream was about forever, but it was more. It was the dream the love does not fade, or disappear, or die. It was the dream that the ‘prince’ who would earn my heart … would never break it. And, I don’t think I am just speaking for me, but for all women, when I say our greatest fear is that we will have been wrong, and we will have given parts of ourselves away to one not committed to forever.

Recently, I read these words of a heartbroken, hope vanished, dream stolen woman …

“You broke my heart,

but even worse than that

your actions blew out the last light of hope

for a girls dream of happily ever after.”

She was in mourning. In mourning for the future, that she had dreamed of all her life, of the future that her parents had dreamed for her, of the future that even God dreamed for her. She could, eventually, forgive the one who had blown out the candle of her dreams, and hopes, but the scars left behind would never allow her to forget. Forget the hurt, forget the loss. She would never hear of a 50th, or 60th wedding anniversary and not feel the tugs on her heart, that she would never see, and experience in the joy of such a celebration.

In the safety of forever, women can give wholly of themselves to another. In the security of forever, women can be confident of today, and tomorrow. In the permanence of forever, women are never alone. In the intimacy of forever, women can continue to dream. In forever love, we can do anything we want it to … even create miracles.

Women want forever … happily ever after …

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Recently I was reading Psalm 107, and as I heard those words of hope, of provision, of redemption, of God’s faithfulness, of the history of His people, and I felt something bubble up inside of me … joyful hope!

Maybe it is because as I read the first line, “give thanks to the Lord, for he is good” I started hearing the worship song, “Forever” written by Chris Tomlin, and it’s upbeat music simply set the mood for my scripture reading.

I love this Psalm! There is a constant thread through it that God is faithful to his people, that there is a desire on the part of God to care for those who love Him. There is also a thread of justice that weaves throughout this Psalm … something that sometimes seems so absent in our world today. It is a Psalm that reminds us that we have not because we have not yet cried out to him.

I believe that to read this Psalm is to read it, not a something written for another person, at another time …

… we need to read it as written for us as individuals, for us, and for now!

Give thanks to the Lord,

for he is good!

His love

endures

forever!

PSALM 107

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands,
finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
prisoners suffering in iron chains,
11 because they rebelled against God’s commands
and despised the plans of the Most High.
12 So he subjected them to bitter labor;
they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress
14 He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
and broke away their chains.
15 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
16 for he breaks down gates of bronze
and cuts through bars of iron.

17 Some became fools through their rebellious ways
and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
18 They loathed all food
and drew near the gates of death.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
22 Let them sacrifice thank offerings
and tell of his works with songs of joy.

23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.

33 He turned rivers into a desert,
flowing springs into thirsty ground,
34 and fruitful land into a salt waste,
because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water
and the parched ground into flowing springs;
36 there he brought the hungry to live,
and they founded a city where they could settle.
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards
that yielded a fruitful harvest;
38 he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
and he did not let their herds diminish.

39 Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
40 he who pours contempt on nobles
made them wander in a trackless waste.
41 But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
and increased their families like flocks.
42 The upright see and rejoice,
but all the wicked shut their mouths.

43 Let the one who is wise heed these things
and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord.

The larger our platform becomes,
the more intentionally we have to focus on the heart of our calling:
to introduce people to God and to show them His glory.”
—Chris Tomlin

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Impressions come in many forms. There are the impressions we make on others, either by how we look, or act, or how we make them feel. There are also impressions, like the ones that imprint a physical lasting mark, like a tattoo or a scar.

I have an impression, a scar, on my left ring finger. It is an indelible impression, one that will never go away, one that is permanent.

Over a year ago I noticed a frustratingly itchy rash on my ring finger, the ring finger where I wore my wedding ring. I figured the best was to alleviate the non-stop irritation was to remove my wedding ring.

Sure enough, it worked! Not over night, but eventually (and with the use of a good healing cream), the rash and it’s nasty irritation were gone.

But, I have yet to return to wearing my wedding band. I had gotten out of the habit of wearing it, and that is really saying something, because, other than the few times I was in a hospital, I had never removed my wedding ring (night or day) since my husband placed it on my finger, over twenty-two years ago.

Now, over a year after removing it, there is an impression of that ring still visible on my finger.

It has faded a bit, but only slightly. I have been altered by the symbol of the vow I made all those years ago. It is a permanent scar, forever there to remind me of that vow I made with my words.

That is what the impression of a scar does, it reminds us. It can remind us of when we were a child and suffered a deep wound. A scar reminds us of the surgery that may have saved our life. A scar reminds us of pain.

But a scar, like the one on my ring finger, can also remind us of the hope of a new life with someone, of dreams fulfilled, and ones yet to happen. It can remind us of overcoming pain, of beating struggles, of memories made, and secrets shared and children shared, and a sense of oneness with another that can only be shared by two who bear the same scars.

One of these days I will pull that gold band back out (or maybe hubby will) and place it back on my finger. Until then, there is a permanent scar, an indelible impression that reminds me every day of the past, and the present, and the future to come.

“Children show scars like medals.

Lovers use them as secrets to reveal.

A scar is what happens when the word is made flesh.”

Leonard Cohen

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