I’m 34 years old. I’ve been married for almost 16 years. I had my first child at age 24, and my last at 28. I have a prepubescent tween daughter and two boys who have turned my hair prematurely gray, which you’d never know because Lady Clairol. We’ve owned four homes, I’ve voted in five presidential elections, and I am excited about the new broom I just bought.
In other words, I’m a grownup.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I was swept away by the tide of very public romance, clamoring to hear more, read more, see more about the real-life fairy tale unfolding before my (our) eyes. I would’ve thought I was too old, too disillusioned maybe, to be caught up in the hype over a British prince’s engagement to an American starlet, but apparently I’m not.
I mean, c’mon ladies…Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?! RIGHT?!
I love Meghan Markle from her role in Suits (great show that’s laden w/filthy language—consider yourself warned), but I’ve never paid much attention to Harry. Don’t you think he’s probably felt a bit overlooked for much of his life? He’s the goofball little brother of the heir to the throne of Great Britain. Prince William always seems so poised and proper, and Harry seems like he’d be the one putting a whoopee cushion under Queen Elizabeth’s rear end right before she sits down to Christmas dinner.
Now, though, with the spotlight on the prince and his bride-to-be, the world is viewing Harry through a different lens. He’s more mature and manly and he has that ridiculously great British accent, which immediately raises anyone’s credibility level, amiright? He still has the impish grin, but he seems cool and calm and…in love. And Meghan seems head over heels for him, too.
And we, peons all over the world, can’t get enough. Can’t. Get. Enough. I. Tell. You.
The question is, WHY?
Why do we care about a man we’ve never met from a country most of us have never visited who’s marrying an actress most of us have never even seen on TV? Why are we excited about a wedding we won’t attend and the royal babies to come whose lives have no bearing on our own existences whatsoever?
I think the answer is much deeper and much more profound than any of us might imagine upon first thought.
I’d wager most of us are drawn to the fairy tale. Prince meets peasant(ish), prince and peasant fall in love, and a regular old gal, someone just like you or me, ends up a princess. There’s a royal wedding to end all weddings, yet it’s the prince’s and peasant’s true love that outshines even the most lavish decorations.
We long for that kind of story, because stories like Harry’s and Meghan’s restores our faith in love. In happiness.
In the happily-ever-after.
Yes, we know that they’re only human and that their relationship probably isn’t as perfect as it appears and that they still put their pants on one leg at a time just like us, but the beauty and whimsy of the story sweeps us away.
If you’ll allow, I’d like to make a suggestion: we love the story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle because it represents the happily-ever-after that we were made for.
We aren’t meant for this broken world, friends. We aren’t meant for sickness and suffering and conflict and death. We aren’t meant for abandonment or poverty or abuse. We are meant for the happily-ever-after, but we currently live in the most unhappy, broken place in existence.
Everything was once right in the world, and then sin came in. Now there’s a haze of disillusionment that hangs over all existence, and it can suck the hope of happily-ever-after right out of us. We live as the blind leading the blind, the lame leading the lame, the broken leading the broken, and it’s hard to see a way out.
John Eldridge says it so well in his new book, All Things New: “We appear to be suffering a great crisis of hope. When I speak of hope, I mean the confident anticipation that goodness is coming.” He goes on to say, “It would take a pretty wild, astonishing, and breathtaking hope to overcome the agony and trauma of this world.”
The good news? That hope is alive and well, and it’s not just a hope, but a promise. Eldridge writes, “What we ache for is redemption; what our heart cries out for is restoration. And I have some stunning, breathtaking news for you: restoration is exactly what Jesus promised. Despite what you may have been told, he didn’t focus our hopes on the great airlift to heaven. He promised ‘the renewal of all things,’ including the earth you love, every precious part of it, and your own story (Matthew 19:28). The climax of the entire Bible takes place with these words: ‘I am making everything new!’ (Rev. 21:5).”
Fairy tale existence, the kind that isn’t wrought by sin and death, is coming. God has promised to make all things not only right, but new—like they were never broken. When Jesus returns (and He will return), heaven will come to earth and God will reign here eternally among His people. Sin and death will be no more and fairy tales won’t be a spectacle any longer; they’ll be our reality. Happily-ever-after will actually and finally exist.
We grasp at anything that points to that hope, and I believe that’s why a royal wedding holds such a spell over us. We grasp at hope, and that hope is coming. John Eldridge concludes, “How we feel about our future has enormous consequences for our hearts now. If you knew that God was going to restore your life and everything you love any day, if you believed a great and glorious goodness was coming to you—not in a vague heaven, but right here on this earth—you would have a hope to see you through anything.”
Do you have the hope that will see you through anything? If not, I’d like to introduce you to Jesus. Get in touch with me and let me tell you about what He’s done and what He’s going to do. It’s a story like none other, I promise you.
In the meantime, and until Jesus returns, let’s hold on to the fairy tales that light the spark of hope deep within our hearts. Join me, fellow voyeurs, as we stalk the royal family online and wait for a beautiful royal wedding steeped in tradition and class. Let’s adore Meghan Markle’s style together and try to find her favorite jeans at Nordstrom, because they’re honestly amazing. And more than any of that, let’s live with the hope that sees us through anything, because it’s not hoping in vain. It’s hoping and believing God to do what He promised to do, and He always keeps His word.