I always envisioned the Fairytale.
Isn’t that the message we imbibe at every turn?
Commercials, movies, magazines, reality TV, social media…
All these put together moms and shiny, thankful kids and gorgeous families sharing tender moments together at every turn. I mean, have you seen that Nutella mom’s kitchen?
We are told over and over and over if we can just get our lives looking a little more like THAT or if we can just get this one THING…
The right house, the perfect job, the amazing spouse, the smokin’ hot body, the adorable children, the awesome friend tribe…
Then certainly we will live happily ever after.
I spoke on the phone recently with a very dear friend who is struggling in her marriage.
She’s scared to death because…
What does their crumbling marriage convey to her daughter?
Is this the type of relationship she wants for her daughter someday?
She hopes, more than anything, her daughter will find someone who makes her happy because…
Doesn’t her daughter deserve the Fairytale?
We’ve all been there before I think.
I hope my daughter is happy. I hope she never has to struggle. I hope she has EVERYTHING I’ve never had. I hope she meets a prince charming and has a beautiful family and lives a dream life…I hope she has the Fairytale.
But it’s a lie, you guys.
I’ve learned slowly and painfully the Fairytale is a lie.
Real life doesn’t look quite like they show us in the movies. I think there are a few details missing on the feeds we scroll through on social media, don’t you?
Sure, sometimes I have a moment that absolutely stops me in my tracks. A moment so beautiful I want to cry and I can’t imagine ever wanting to be anywhere else. A moment when I’m filled with love and gratitude and joy and, yes, happiness right up to the tippy-top.
But if I’m being perfectly honest, many days are ordinary…and HARD…and some are downright awful.
The jig is up, moms.
If I’m hoping my kids will achieve the Fairytale I think I’m selling them short because this is an invented and impossible standard.
No matter what they do or how hard they strive and no matter how tirelessly I attempt to pave the way for them…
Pain and sorrow and disappointment and loss and sadness. Just plain hard day to day life.
Perhaps our job isn’t fulfilling. Or maybe our spouse isn’t quite who we expected.
Our kids might have behavioral issues or personalities that conflict with our own.
We may struggle financially living paycheck to paycheck almost never able to provide the fancy extras.
Or worse, maybe tragedy strikes…divorce or illness or death or natural disasters or affairs or bankruptcy or loss of a job…just LIFE.
And isn’t life SO HARD sometimes??
Aren’t there so many parts of life that are simply out of our control?
But haven’t we all met those people who in the face of devastating disaster or life’s pain still exude hope and contentment and joy from every pore?
Isn’t THAT my greatest hope for my children…that when life inevitably gets hard, they can still walk confidently with the Lord filled with contentment and a deep, burning JOY??
It’s ironic because my friend is EXACTLY that type of person.
She is loving and kind and considerate. She works hard for her family and serves those around her. I’ve watched her in the face of loss and pain and sadness turn to her faith and pull herself up every single day to keep marching forward, one foot in front of the other. She is one of the strongest women I know. And she lives a life of true contentment and JOY through it all.
I’m sure that’s what her daughter sees…not the shortcomings in a marriage, but the incredible strength, faith, and JOY of her absolutely amazing mom.
Life can be SO HARD…but you guys, let’s rewrite the fairytale ending.
My greatest hope for my children???
That they live joyfully and contentedly in Christ ever after.