For the next few weeks we will be reposting from He’s Not Your Prince Charming, reaching way back in the archives to remind and reteach and rethink what we’ve been learning together. I have asked my blog team to help choose their favorites, and I am hoping you will add fresh comments to shed new light on these posts.
In the meantime I will be writing ahead for the new series, studying, reading, thinking, and praying about what to say and how to say it. Any suggestions and thoughts about what you’re wondering about will be most welcome— after all, you are my girls!
From my heart,
Yesterday I listened at length to three stories. Three women needing a moment to be heard. Good women, normal women, seeking-after-God women.
The first story was beautiful. Over and over she said it, her face radiant with joy, tears welling up, I can’t believe it! I just can’t believe it’s real.
Just the day before her boyfriend had asked her to marry him in one of the most romantic proposals I’ve ever heard. There was music and dancing on the beach and candles and a photographer. A ring just like she wanted but the diamond switched out— bigger and brighter, a startling declaration of his love.
The second woman’s crystal blue eyes brimmed with a different kind of tears. Her husband of just a few years isn’t romancing her at all anymore. No dates or surprises or declarations of perfect love.
He goes to work, comes home, takes her to church on the weekend and starts all over again on Monday.
And she’s more than a little disappointed— she’s mad. She wants more, needs more, hoped for more from this man she pledged her life to.
The third woman grabbed my arm just as I was leaving church. “Can we talk?” More tears pooling in huge blue eyes. When we settled into two black plastic chairs, her angst came pouring out.
Haunted by a not-so-good relationship in her past, she’d grabbed hold of redemption and risked her heart on one particular good and godly man in the church. They’d become friends, then wondered if there might be more. When he’d made it clear that friendship was all this would ever be, she was devastated. Rejected. Remorseful. Months later, she just cannot let it go.
Three very different stories from three women so much alike.
And aren’t we all really alike?
Every woman I know wants the same thing: To be known and loved and valued and cherished and wanted… forever.
We’ll do just about anything to get it.
How many of us have embarrassed ourselves? Given away our bodies? Worked too hard to impress? Ranted and raved and insisted? Sulked and withdrawn and simpered?
Our wanting wears us out.
And our wanting pushes him away. It scares the boldness out of brave men, shutting them down and making good women the butt of backroom jokes between harried husbands and ex’s of every age.
Three stories, three good men.
And three women who honestly, really hope that a good man will fill that aching, endless hole in their hearts.
And he won’t.
Because he can’t.
And he doesn’t actually want to anyway.
Because way back at the Beginning, God did not design a woman to be the object of a man’s attention.
She’s not supposed to be his everything. He’s not supposed to spend his every waking moment thinking about her, dreaming about her, planning the next romantic date or making her feel loved.
I know, shocking, isn’t it?
And of course you know that, girls. But we forget. Everyday I forget. All of us forget. And we shame each other for our forgetting. We gossip and giggle about another woman’s ridiculousness. When all the while we’re all the same. Needing, wanting, wishing for more.
In the Song of Solomon there is another story. This one is of a woman getting what every one of us want: romance, passion, attention, friendship, commitment, ecstasy and intimacy.
But she wants more. Seriously!
One night he comes to her and she can’t be bothered. She turns him away and pretends she’s sleeping, then she changes her mind and calls him to come back.
She wants him now. Right now. And she’s kind of miffed that he isn’t there where she wants him, when she wants him, because she wants him.
Every time I read that part of the story, I know I am that woman. Because, you see, I’ve been well loved for 35 years.
My husband has showered me with gifts every Christmas. He’s worked when he hasn’t wanted to. He’s listened endlessly to my confusing swirls of struggling emotions, pretending to understand when I can’t even figure myself out.
He thinks I’m beautiful, wrinkles and aging and all. He’s a strong spiritual leader, a selfless lover, a good friend, a committed provider. He gives me romance and attention and time.
And it’s not enough. Seriously.
I want more, I always want more. I am a bottomless pit of more.
And so are you. So is every woman.
But there is this one man…
He is rich, compelling, fascinating, so alluring I cannot stay away. And he claims to be enough, promises to satisfy that endless craving. He claims to love me with a love that will never lessen, never let go.
He says… he says he will never, ever leave me. No matter what.
This is a story I want to be fully my own, always. To be that woman whose eyes shine with the love of one who is enough. Because my good and godly husband cannot be that one. If I try to force him there I’ll bury him under my own endless need.
I know that, and so do you, my dear ones.
May this be the year we learn what it really means to find all that emptiness filled up with Him.
May this be the time of our lives to tell a different story, a story of a love so great we overflow it onto that man who cannot be enough.
May this be the year we learn who our Prince Charming really is... living happily ever after… forever and ever… in His arms.
From my heart,
P.S. And you? Are you getting it? This message of He’s Not Your Prince Charming? If He is and if you are… will you email me your story? I’d love to collect stories and post them here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: your stories give the rest of us courage.