I am a hopeless romantic…sometimes.
When I was younger I longed for the day prince charming would come on a horse, scoop me into his arms, and ride away with me into the sunset. I loved fairy tales. All of it was magic and the worst that could happen involved dragons and bad guys but always ended in prince charming coming to the rescue.
Now, I see more than the romance. I have watched relationships crumble and as I become close to my married friends I see the truth. Love is work. Sometimes it involves rose petals and kisses in front of sunsets, but it also involves doubts, heartbreak, and imperfect people.
There is this running joke I have with myself: I am always in search of Mr. Darcy.
Pride and Prejudice has always been one of my favorite stories. Growing up I read and re-read the book. There was a time in my life when I watched the movie weekly. I love the dancing scenes, and the dresses, and the part when Mr. Darcy proclaims his unbending love at sunrise. It is all so romantic, but my most favorite part leans more towards the reality of love. In the 1996 version Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are in a room and in the 2005 version they are under a roof supported by pillars in a storm. Regardless of the place, the same event unfolds: Mr. Darcy proposes and Elizabeth rejects.
Love is not always easy. In my favorite moment Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy realize all of their misunderstandings. They see that love doesn’t just involve two people, but also all the people around them. They are honest and brutal and in love. It takes time, but they both realize their mistakes. Mr. Darcy loves Lizzy so much he is willing to let her go. He puts her happiness above his own. Elizabeth re-evaluates everything she ever thought and she opens her heart back up to the one she thought she would never love.
They fight for love in a real way.
There is certainly pride and prejudices, but there is also hope and passion. In the end Mr. Darcy swallows his pride and Lizzy fights her prejudice. An unlikely romance blossoms, just the way it should.
Many people are in search of romance, but there is always reality following at the heels of our heart’s desires. Maybe we shouldn’t build unrealistic expectations for romance. Unfortunately, we live in a world that tells us what it should be like: all magic and no problems. There will be more fights and fears than the stories tell us. What makes love strong is coming through the fights and fears together.
I still haven’t found Mr. Darcy. Him being a fictional character may have something to do with it. Either way I know I am loved. The most romantic love story we could ever get wrapped up in is the one that started with nails and a cross. Jesus is our bridegroom and everyday he romances us. Sometimes we are too busy chasing down Mr. Darcy to notice the one who loves us with an all-consuming fire.
One day we will walk out of fire and into flowers to kiss the one who holds our hearts and paints the stars for our pleasure.