“And they lived happily ever after.” That’s how most of the books I read as a child ended. And if it didn’t say those exact words, it was clear that the good guys had won and all the problems the characters faced were over.
Take Cinderella for example. A mean step-mother and two nasty step-sisters. Forced to serve them all and dressed in rags. Can’t go to the ball. Gets a miracle and catches a glimpse of a better life, only to have the spell end and wind up back in the same situation. But wait. The prince is searching for the girl who fits the slipper so there is hope. For a moment it looks like she’ll be passed over … then it happens. The shoe fits, she marries the prince, gets away from the step-family, and lives happily ever after.
Now that I’m all grown up, I still want a happily ever after ending. Somewhere deep inside I want the assurance that evil will be punished and good will be rewarded. Even if it gets really dark for the characters as they approach what writers call the ” big black moment,” there is still a shred of hope that somehow things will turn out all right.
I believe the desire for happily ever after is implanted within us by the Creator because it reflects the truth of God’s Word. It will get worse before it gets better, but there will be an end to these troubles. Justice will prevail. Evil will be punished and eliminated. Good will be rewarded and established. The bride and groom will sit down for the marriage supper and then live happily ever after for all eternity.
So when I write, I want my stories to offer hope and a glimpse of eternity. It’s always darkest before the dawn. It will get better. And if it’s not better yet, it’s not the end.
What about you? What’s your favorite childhood story? How did it end? Do you still like a happily ever after ending? Do you believe you’ll get one in real life?