For the Love of Fairy Tales

Freda Howell McMahon   |   June 29, 2019 

We had just come back from school a little while ago and just like the last few days, I was logged into a Rediff chatroom. All the cool girls in class had boyfriends or boy friends and I had neither. Being an overweight fourteen year old, the chances of finding love at school were slim, but the internet could work. All I really wanted was to fit in with the girls... which meant finding a boy.

Some months later, I broke the news to my parents. I had found the man I wanted to marry. No, we hadn't met, but he was 'it.' In retrospect, shockingly, my parents didn't tell me that I was completely mad, but rather calmly asked me to wait till I was at least an adult before deciding who I wanted to marry. There went my first love.

When would my fairytale happen? Nancy Drew had Ned, Elizabeth Wakefield had Todd, and one day I would have my someone and life would be uh-mazing.

Spring turned to autumn, days turned into years, until one fine day everything changed. I met him at my cousin's wedding; I was the bridesmaid, he was the groomsman, we walked down the aisle together. But I reigned in the emotions. If anything was going to happen, he would have to make the first move. I didn't have to wait long. The next day, he pulled out a ginormous tablet and asked for my number. We spoke, we spent time not speaking, we prayed. One evening when he was at my place, he asked my dad and mom, if he could have them as his parents, and me as his wife. The rest, as they say, is history.

Five years later, I can tell you one thing for sure. My husband is not prince charming. He really, truly isn't. Apart from stinky farts, his idea of an ideal evening is not spending time talking to me about just anything. He doesn't whisk me away to the beach for long walks. He loves me, he is a good man, but... he is not the man of my dreams. He is Jason, and that's often not good enough.

I had always thought that God was God of my life, until I got married. Turns out, I had some idols which like all idols, failed to satisfy. I had been misled by the books I read. As I went back to the Bible, with a disappointed heart, I began to find that the best love story ever written is the Bible. The most charming prince to have ever lived is Jesus, and huge bonus - He is real. The more I cling to Him every day, the better my marriage gets. I stop expecting my husband to be my knight in shining armour and instead rest securely in the Lord of Angel Armies.

Every single day, I have to choose to find my sufficiency, my worth, my hopes and dreams, in Christ. The moment I take my eyes off Jesus and put them on my husband, the poor guy is in for a rough time. As I have started to devour the Bible, God has begun filling the empty spaces within me. Unlike my own judgement, He doesn't think me doing laundry and washing dishes, is a waste of time, but instead accepts them as acts of worship unto Him. He assures me that choosing to raise my child, and putting my dreams of career advancement aside is good and okay.

When I fail to organise my house just perfectly, He reminds me that He alone is perfect, and His perfection is enough; I don't have to strive to be godlike. Jesus calms my anxious nerves, like no man ever could. I don't have to verbalise all my worries to Him because He knows and He accepts me just the same. He loved the insecure, overweight fourteen year old, and He loves me even today. When I look away from Him and seek to find my satisfaction in my husband, He still loves me, and His love makes me long for more and more of Him.

My favourite character in the Bible, by far is Jesus. He alone outweighs all the other characters I've met, read about, dreamt about or lived with.


Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

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Freda Howell McMahon

Freda McMahon lives in a little Goan village with her husband and two daughters. She is a counsellor by profession, a homeschooling mom, and in constant need of God’s grace. Dark chocolate with sea salt, good conversation and solitude are a few of her favourites.

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