He Is Not Your Prince Charming.

Photo by Tim Monson He is not your Prince Charming

My heart has been heavy with the burden of relationships. The story of this American country and the facade of a "perfect couple, match made in Heaven" is destroying, not only the relationships, but the humans within them. We are told that if we look hard enough, there is one out there who will: •Come to our rescue at any given moment •Let us walk all over them, using them for our personal gain, and call it "love" •Understand our every emotion, our every word, and our every part of us without needing any sort of explanation. "They just know you." •Meet the {unrealistic} expectations that this facade of perfect boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife brings; the unrealistic expectation to be our core identity, to cheer us up every moment we are down, to carry us when we are broken - even though they may be broke n, to literally be our source of life & joy.

Oh how full of self this is. The idea of this person {the "one"} is destroying individuals far and wide. When, not if, but when the boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife fails to meet these {unfair} expectations, the person expecting them feels, what? Worthless. Value-less. Empty. Not good enough. Not attractive enough. Completely worthless. I know, because I have felt it. I know, because I set those subconscious unloving expectations on a human at one point, for two long and quite miserably empty years. The poor man. When he continuously did not meet the savior-like-expectations, I made certain he knew. I was sure to passive aggressively let him know how unloved and how imperfect and how value-less I felt. I made sure he knew that I was doing all I could to give him value, because I am simply the best, and yet he completely dumped my value on the ground to stomp on.

But that's just the thing, girls {and probably guys}. He didn't devalue me. He wasn't the one to remove my worth.

I did that.

I removed my value because I placed it in him. And he is a human and a human has no possible way to give me 100% value, peace, joy, and meet my every dying breathing physical, spiritual, emotional need.

I was so empty that I craved the attention of a human who would devour me with his own human-need.

My story changed. My story changed from the girlfriend: who was never satisfied, who felt empty but would never dare admit it, who craved to marry this man in hopes it might make him "love her," who dressed and changed her hair the way he said was attractive, who gave too much of herself in hopes that he might "love" her and better yet marry her {because we all know that marriage makes life easier...boy, oh boy, the lies}, who waited every minute of the day for this boyfriend to text or call her; I was once the girl who dreamed of a perfect Prince Charming to swoop her with romance, who wanted desperately to know she was loved, valued, cared for, worth fighting for...my story changed from those chains and restrictive ideas to a story of a love so great that I overflow it into the man {who is my husband} who cannot possibly be enough. He cannot be "enough" by the standards above, because he is human. Don't get me wrong, Loren is such a great leader to me, so wonderful, amazes me every day, and loves me so well. I am struck with awe and gratitude time and time again, thankful that Jesus has given me as a gift. But he is human. And I cannot be "enough" because I am human. We would suffocate each other if we put these expectations on one another that the world says are attainable.

Together, our love story has become so great...greater than ourselves, and we get to overflow a powerful love into each other.

husband and wife washing feet How loving it is to remove the restriction that we use to trap a human; to release the savior-expectation is to love that person and it is freeing for all involved. In removing the expectation to be our identity, we actually allow the other person to flourish and grow. We don't hold their imperfections over their heads, as a tool of manipulation, but we walk in the freedom of grace. We allow each other to be human: perfectly imperfect.

All of our once emptiness is now filled with Him. With Jesus. Now I am filled so full of Jesus that I no longer crave the attention of a {hu}man who would devour me with his own need.

Ephesians 6: Bible

If only I could describe in words the complete peace I receive in the early, silent hours, reading His word and letting His presence soak my being.

If only I could describe in words the relief that washes over me when I remind myself that my identity lies in Him. Not my work performance, not my Christian life, not my wife-dom, and not in Loren.

If only I could explain the real and complete freedom I live in, choosing Christ as my Prince Charming, as my reason to breathe, as my purpose for life, as my identity.

If only I could explain the joy I am filled up with every time I get a chance to shower Loren with grace, because he isn't enough. He is imperfect. If only I could tell you the depth of gratitude I experience when he covers me in grace when I don't deserve it. Grace with no strings attached. Because with strings, that is not grace.

If only I could put into clear words the value I know that I have, because of His unending and fierce love for me. A love that expects nothing, but invites my heart's submission. If only I could describe the joy I receive every single time I choose to submit my heart to His word, which is His will.

Then, then you would not dare waste another day, wishing a mere human would meet your constant needs and desires. Then you would not live another day feeling empty, alone, value-less and worthless. Because your identity and value would come from Him, and you would know it, and you would be set free.

Photo by K. Barnes Photography

[You may or may not have heard of or read Diane Comer's blog. She is the mother of John Mark Comer, pastor of A Jesus Church in Portland, OR. One of her main lines and topics is one that has been heavy on my heart for years: "He's Not Your Prince Charming."]