Once upon a time there was a young girl. She had grand adventures and laughed and loved life.

When she was a little bit older she had sleepovers with friends. They talked about life and love and boys and made silly lists of all the qualities they wanted their future husbands to have. They had many dreams of what their lives would be.

When this girl was older still, she got married. He did not have any of the qualities that were on her silly lists from childhood but she told herself that was okay. Because real life is not a fairy tale, after all.

She did not notice it at first but she no longer laughed as she used to.

It wasn’t long before the girl was hurt. And hurt again. and again. until the laughter was gone altogether. There was just the hurt and stress and pain. and tears. Her dreams were gone.

She believed you don’t give up. So she didn’t. But sometimes it doesn’t matter what you believe. You can’t make someone fight for you.

He was gone.

She was b   r     o      k          e           n.

But there were people who loved her. They helped her through each day. And then there was a baby. A baby born shortly after he left. A precious baby with the pinkest cheeks and the bluest eyes and the sweetest laugh. And the girl laughed again for the first time in a very long time.

Slowly she healed. Some wounds are deep but God’s love is deeper still. His love washed over her like a salve. She was renewed and refreshed in a way she never had been in all her life. She had Joy. The truest, deepest joy she’d ever known. Life was good and the girl was content. She would love, protect, and teach her daughter. She would take her on grand adventures. And it was enough.

But God had other plans.

One day, a few years later, the girl’s best friend got married. An old friend attended the wedding. He had the bluest eyes and the kindest smile. . .and oh how he made the girl laugh! He asked her to dance. He asked if he could call her after he returned home. And he DID. And all of the things from her silly list (which was an awfully tall order). . .he was all of those and more. And the beautiful baby girl with the bluest eyes and the pinkest cheeks and the sweetest smile adored him too.

There was a time when the girl had no idea it was possible to be loved so well or to love a boy so much. But the boy chased away any lingering hurts or lurking fears.

Just a few months later, on a perfect rainy day, with the baby girl napping beside them, the boy asked the girl to marry him. They decided to become a family. Exactly six months later they did just that.

Now they try to serve God and others and each other every day. They try to teach their exuberant daughters to do the same. They have grand adventures and laugh and love life. They are not perfect but their life together does feel pretty perfect and they thank God for it every day.

Today they celebrate seven years of marriage. And their life surpasses all the girl’s childhood dreams of what her life would be. It turns out, some fairy tales are true.

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