Prince Charming: Except from Authentic Beauty

"After years of convincing myself that all my searching for love had been in vain, a most unusual thing happened. I discovered my prince. All of my confusing female desires and seemingly foolish princess dreams now found their purpose…in him. This love story did not happen merely because of an amazing stroke of good fortune. It did not occur simply because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. This beautiful romance was made possible by something far more tangible, something that lies within the grasp of every young woman. The following account of the love story I discovered may seem like a surreal daydream, but it is far closer to reality than you might guess. So please don’t be tempted to write it off as unattainable. Your feminine heart may be much closer to finding true love than you think.

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He was someone who I had known for years. He had been a close family friend. He had many appealing qualities, but I had never really thought about him in a romantic way. It was true that he had a sensitive and tender side that I had seen on a few occasions. But he also was extremely passionate about truth and I felt that he sometimes came across a little too strong on certain points. To be honest, he intimidated me. It also seemed that he was a little too involved with “church stuff.? When I thought of him, I was reminded of Sunday School lessons with flannel Bible story characters or gold offering plates – this was not exactly the atmosphere for true love!
He was one of those people with a piercing gaze that can see straight into the depths of your soul. Because of this, I had gone out of my way to avoid him for the past few years. For some time now my life had been a chaotic mess of compromise and confusion. I didn’t want him to see what I had become. If he found out what I had done, I was sure he would sternly reprimand me and remind me that it was too late for me to ever discover anything more. But I soon realized I was very, very wrong about him.
I found him waiting for me by the apple trees near my back gate one day as I headed out for a morning walk. I was startled to see him there, surprised that after all these years and all the times I had ignored him, he still wanted to spend time with me. I gave him a tentative glance, and he smiled at me – a tender, intimate smile that made my heart lurch in spite of myself. I quickly looked away.
“Can I walk with you?? he asked in a gentle voice. I nodded, still avoiding his gaze, and he fell into step beside me. We made our way in silence for a while, listening to the occasional chatter of a squirrel or high-pitched
high-pitched chirp of a robin. I kept my eyes on the gravel path at my feet.
“I missed you,? he told me simply. Though it was obvious to both of us that I was the one who had put the distance between us, there was no hint of accusation in his tone. I bit my lip and nodded again, unsure what to say in response.
We walked a little further, and I realized his presence was both refreshing and comforting. I could feel his tender eyes watching me, silently telling me how important I was to him, though I could not figure out why. Nothing else was said during the rest of our time together that day, but I sensed that something more was about to happen between us. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready.
Our friendship slowly grew. The more time I spent with him, the more I realized how utterly different he was from any man I had ever encountered. In him, there was nothing of the sex-hungry glances I had received from the guys at school growing up, not a trace of the flirtatious teasing that had always surrounded me, and not a strain of the seductive charms I had grown so accustomed to in men. But somehow I knew that he loved me. That he deeply desired me. That he found me beautiful. I hardly dared to hope that I had finally found the one man that could fulfill those long-forgotten dreams of mine. Even if he could be my prince I was sure I had found him too late.
“This is completely crazy,? I told myself aloud one night as I tossed and turned in my bed. “He wouldn’t want someone like me.? I was convinced that his love for me would shrivel up in a second if he truly understood how many mistakes I had made. I didn’t think I could risk becoming attached to him. I had been hurt so many times I didn’t know how much more pain my heart could handle.
I had another worry. He didn’t live his life the way anyone else did. He stood out like a neon billboard on a lonely desert highway. He was mocked and misunderstood by quite a few people in my life. I knew he would not fit into my world, would not be accepted by my friends, and would not be at home in most of my surroundings. How could I possibly love someone like this? What did he expect me to do – walk away from everything in my life just to be with him?
I wrestled with my fears for weeks. He never pressured me to make a decision. He simply reminded me, in a hundred different ways, that he loved me and that he longed for me. He was infinitely patient, tender, and sensitive...the kind of prince I had dreamed of for as long as I could remember. He made the immature romantic wanna-be’s that had historically gained my affection seem like pitiful counterfeits. After seeing the real thing, I couldn’t believe I had fallen for such poor substitutes. But at the same time, I couldn’t help wondering whether or not he might just be too good to be true.
The more time I spent around him, the more something
something inside me desperately wanted to just surrender and fall into his waiting arms. But I was afraid to let myself trust him. I was afraid of what that decision might cost me.
Over time, gradually, like the moving of the hour hand on a wall clock, my guard came down. No matter how many times I pulled away from him, his love remained unmoving, like a majestic unwavering mountain overlooking a tumultuous ocean. I had even tried to convince him that I was not good enough for him. I’d told him in detail, with hot tears flashing in my tormented eyes, exactly what I had done with my life, heart, and body over the past years. But instead of judging me, I sensed he was inwardly weeping over every piece of my shattered heart. Coming face to face with this kind of infinite kindness left me stunned.
One morning as I was sitting alone on a bench in the crisp spring air, I felt him softly approach me. He didn’t have to speak. I took a long look into the unfathomable depths of love in his eyes, and I melted. With tears coursing down my face like a cascading waterfall, I fell into his arms and told him passionately that my heart belonged to no one but him. At that moment, my life, my pursuits, my friends, everything I had built my world around faded away into nothingness. None of it seemed even remotely important anymore. Nothing mattered now but him.
As I whispered my devotion to him, a brilliant peace crept steadily into my heart and began to quietly mend its broken pieces. His eyes were wet with tears of unspeakable joy. I felt like an eagle gliding freely along the majestic mountain peaks following an afternoon storm. I had finally found my prince. He had gallantly searched for me and rescued me from my horrible dungeon of captivity. He had loved me in spite of my wretched ugly condition. He had taken the filthy rags I was clothed in and given me the sparkling gown of a beautiful princess. His amazing love had fully revived my shattered, wounded, bleeding heart. And though I knew that now I must sacrifice all I had ever known in order to be with him, there was not a shred of doubt lingering in my mind. It was like giving him a pile of worthless pebbles and receiving a houseful of priceless jewels in return."
- Leslie Ludy, "Authentic Beauty"

All my life I've dreamed of the day when I would walk down the aisle, wearing a big white dress and gloves, with beautiful pearls around my neck and in my hair.
I've dreamed of meeting HIM. That guy who will sweep me off my feet and hold me and be there for me through everything.

But all I have to show for my search for this perfect man is a broken heart. Now that's not to say that every guy I dated treated me horribly, because that's far from the case! But in the end, I've just come out of the whole dating process in general scarred. I have painful memories and things I regret. I think back to my dream in a white dress and I have to ask myself...
Could he even love me? I mean, really. I've messed up so much. I am a failure... is there anyone out there who will love me like the princess I want so badly to be?

It's like suddenly I don't deserve a big white dress with beautiful satin gloves and pearls-- but rather a trashbag and a string of cheap plastic beads..

Who doesn't want what Leslie described? What girl would honestly turn away from that?

Stop telling yourself that you can't have that too- that she took the "last prince".

Although their story is absolutely beautiful, the memory that Leslie described was not of her and Eric.... but of a Prince so true and faithful that He will never leave, even though He knows her deepest secrets- jesus.

He knows everything about me, there's nothing I can hide from Him, even though I try. It's so hard to look Him in the eyes sometimes and say "please... I'm so sorry". I've caused Him so much pain-- yet He still stands there, waiting.

And He stands there waiting for you, too.

Every princess needs a prince. My one True Prince will hold me close and NEVER ever let me go. I have nothing to offer, but He loves me- every shattered and broken and tainted piece of me.