Fairy tales all end the same way: "And they all lived happily ever after." It is an ending, a completion. They reach a culmination and then it's over. We are left, as the reader, to assume that they went on to live lives of contentment, without worry or strife, that they have suffered enough.
But have we ever suffered enough? With Good Friday and Easter in our rear view mirror, it's hard to believe that that will ever be enough. I'm not a fan of suffering, I like my life happy and perfect. I like to live without struggle. But it's in the struggle that we find joy. It's in the struggle that we are reminded of the good times, and when those good times return, we appreciate them so much more.
Once upon a time I lived happily in the peace of Christ. Then something terrible happen, my heart was broken and my faith was torn asunder. I lost myself completely. In the midst of this I found my husband. The phrase in my mind, that I wrote during that time, is "I lost myself, but I found you." And it was true. I searched, I walked down the wrong path. I walked down no path. I was faithless, I was unhappy. I suffered, because I lost the one thing that truly matters in this world. What truly matters, is the love of God. When I found it, when I came back home, prodigal and stained, there was nothing like it. There is nothing like it. Being back in union with Christ is the most wonderful thing in the world. God is so good and loving and forgiving. He takes our broken paths and he makes them whole. Because I was lost, my finding was that much more wonderful. I was the lamb, and Christ came back through fog and rain and stubborn refusals to carry me back to Him. And here I am. I won't always be perfect. I will fall. I will doubt. But I know now, in my heart of hearts, without a single doubt in my mind that God is love. That God, through tragedy and sorrow, loves us wholly and completely, and nothing will change that.
And I live happily ever after, knowing that my after, is with God.