I've read the books. I've seen the movies. As a little girl, I can remember dreaming about my own Prince Charming. I don't remember him whisking me away on a magnificent white horse or anything, but I do remember one very important thing: he was perfect.
Didn't grow up in the height of Disney-adapted fairy tales? Here's a recap: Prince Charming was brave, strong, handsome, charming (I couldn't resist...), and most importantly, he loved his maiden enough to battle evil to be with her. A love-struck hero who is willing to sacrifice himself to save his maiden in distress? He sure seems like quite the catch.
It's usually the case that girls start liking boys first. In my head, it goes something like this:
Little girl: "He's dreamy. Oh, he looked at me! Time to start planning our wedding."
Little boy: "Ewww, why is she looking at me? I think I need another cootie shot...just to be safe."
That was definitely the case with me. I started liking boys at a very early age, much to my parent's dismay, I would imagine. And I remember them telling me a story from when I was probably in preschool. I had asked where we were going, and my parents had replied that we were heading to church. Apparently, my response was, "Oh goody. There's boys there."
Of course, much to my disappointment, boys my age still thought girls were the grossest thing on the planet, and let's remember that little boys like some pretty yucky things.
Fast forward to middle school. Boys were finally getting the idea that maybe girls weren't really so bad, and that maybe they were even kinda pretty. There was really no point in dating, as nobody could go anywhere without their parents driving them, and therefore supervising, but still young romances prevailed. I remember talking with my friends about the boys we thought were cute and could be "the one," and wishing and hoping for my turn. As humiliating as it sounds now, I remember showing up to school and thinking it was a sign that we were meant to be together if my crush and I were wearing the same color of clothes. Yup, that was me, pathetically and perpetually boy-crazy.
Continue on to high school and college. There were some almosts, that's for sure. And even almosts can cause some heartbreak. But there was never any official boyfriend & girlfriend relationship, much to my dismay (though I'm sure that it helped my father to sleep more peacefully). I remember wondering if there was something wrong with me, if I was destined to be an old bag lady.
If I look back, part of why it never happened was because I was really particular. I didn't want a boyfriend just for the sake of having one. Especially past high school, I wasn't interested in simply dating for fun. I wanted it to be real. I wanted it to last. And I had quite a mental list of the qualities I wanted in a significant other. Not that I was necessarily looking for Prince Charming, but you get the idea.
Now, almost 2 full years out of college, I am in that lovely stage of watching all my friends get engaged and married. I'll be honest, sometimes it really hurts. Sometimes I feel left behind. I look at the people from high school and college, and so many of them are married and already have little families of their own. And then I look at myself, single and with no marriage prospects (boy, I sound like a character from one of Jane Austen's novels...). Sometimes I'm relieved at this. I know I'm not ready to have my own family yet. But I would like someone to share my life with. I want somebody to love that will love me in return.
And then I realize, there is someone who loves me more than I can imagine, more than everyone else in the world put together. Someone that died so that we could be together forever. Someone who knows absolutely everything about me and still loves me anyway. Someone who loves me no strings attached. Someone who is fighting a huge battle for me, and who asks me to bring Him my worries, doubts, fears, struggles, and problems so that He can help me through them. Someone who is always there and always has time for me, no matter how silly the problem seems to be.
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what Prince Charming is all about, only at least a thousand times better?
Over the past 24 years, I've spent a lot of time thinking, hoping, and praying that one day, God would bring a special man into my life. And I will continue to hope and pray for that. But, I will remember that I already have my Prince Charming. He's been there by my side every step of the way, and there He will remain, for His love endures forever.
To all my single ladies (myself included), stop looking for Prince Charming, and look to your creator. He's more of a Prince Charming than we could ever hope for, and He'll bring the right earthly men into our lives when the time is right.