I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True . . . Revelation 19:11
I was at work one day in the summer of 1994 when one of my co-workers approached me with a rose and a note. The message on the folded page read, “Your prince is waiting for you outside with his white horse.”
Smiles adorned the faces of the staff as they watched me exit the store in pursuit of the messenger. When I stepped into the sunlight, my eyes rested on my fiancé leaning against a white Mustang convertible with another rose in his hand. He had driven 8 hours from Pennsylvania to surprise me. I truly thought I was living the fairy tale.
On Monday, my husband and I will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary. Like most couples, those 18 years have held both ups and downs. Thankfully, we’re still here.
One thing remains certain. What began amid a swirl of romance and butterflies has grown into a deep love and companionship that far surpasses the intoxicating newness of budding love. I can’t express the comfort it brings. I can hardly remember life before “us.”
Now “us” has grown to include two amazing sons and our sweet Aussie, Annie. (You may have met her in one of my recent posts!) Happiness dwells within our home. Far more frequently than anger and tears, joy and laughter filter through its walls. I’m grateful.
You see, I know what could have been, had God not intervened. I know who I used to be before I allowed Jesus to begin His transforming work within my heart.
Early in my marriage, I looked to my husband to fill my empty places. I carried many wounds from past rejection, and I thought Steve would rescue me from my hurt and make everything better. You know—the stuff of fairy tales.
You’ve probably discovered as I have that fairy tales are just that. Life rarely measures up to the dream.
But most of what I wrestled with didn’t come from anything my husband did to me. It came from within. I couldn’t get free of the fear that he would stop loving me. My insecurity and self-doubt drove me to desperately need his assurance—and his attention. Without realizing it, I pushed him to perpetually demonstrate his feelings so that I could be at peace. I never was. No matter how much he poured in, I never felt full.
I’m certain my insecurity wearied the man who adored me, whose love never seemed to be enough.
Jeremiah 2:13 explains the reason for my unhappiness.
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
My husband is a broken cistern. So am I. An imperfect man in an imperfect world, he can never hold enough to fill me up. But that’s okay; he wasn’t made to.
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Thankfully, after the birth of my first son, I learned to drink in the Living Water. I encountered a Savior I trusted was worth loving and surrendered my heart and life to His care.
I discovered something marvelous. He never empties.
He always has enough, and He never withholds it. He never tires of my insecurities or becomes impatient with my imperfections. He just loves, perfectly. And that kind of love can do what no other kind can. It fills.
And as it fills, it heals.
That did something wonderful in my marriage. I stopped pressuring my husband to meet my needs. I could just enjoy who he is instead of demanding what he couldn’t give me. And once I stopped taking, I was able to give.
That’s the beauty of loving Jesus. Loving Him doesn’t take away from our ability to love anyone else. It enables us to love better.
I’m so grateful Jesus has taught me how to love. I’m still learning. So is my husband. But Jesus is the cord that binds us together. He is the true Savior. Riding to our rescue on His white horse, He saves us from ourselves.
Life on this earth may not be a fairy tale, but in Jesus you can discover a capacity for joy you’ve never known. And one day, when He returns to claim His throne, you’ll get your happily ever after.