Where's My Storybook Ending?

I love to read. I love to read more than almost anything else. Getting lost in a book is one of the greatest feelings on earth, and if I weren't so busy with school right now, I would probably be reading far more than I currently am. I have been so serious about this book obsession at a few points in my life that God had to intervene and remind me about that good, better, and best thing. What's my favorite part about reading books you ask? (let me clarify first that at the moment, I am solely referring to my obsession with christian fiction romance books)Anyway, I just LOVE the fact that the author starts every book with two main characters who will ultimately fall in love. Now don't get me wrong, there will be trials and tribulations along the way, but they ALWAYS end up together. Considering my nonexistent love life has never been existent, I have always relied on these books to be predictable and unchanging. Although sometimes you may think that the couple will never find their way back to each other, the last chapter always finds some miraculous resolution, and cue my happy dance. I just love it. Given this unhealthy obsession is probably one of the main reasons why I struggle with my singleness now, God weaned me off of these books this past summer. I wrote about my decision to read more self-help (as I like to call them although "God-help" would probably be more appropriate) books when I was on vacation which led me to the book Every Thought Captive, one of the best books ever. Well, every now and then I allow myself to read one of my christian fiction romance books especially the Karen Kingsbury ones which only come out like once or twice a year ... mostly because I have been reading this ongoing story line/series since I was in 9th grade. Well, up until Karen's last book, all of her books have gone exactly as expected. The typical: boy meets girl. boy and girl fall in love. boy and girl get married. boy and girl live happily ever after. Sure there were a few deviations from my simplified plot line, but for the most part, she has always provided me with such stability in her books.
Well, when I read the last book, I was outraged. And by outraged, I mean that I almost put down the book and didn't finish it. Which by the way is absolutely unheard of for me. I decided to stick it out and read it anyway. I finished it although I was no happier about the situation than when I almost chunked it out the window. The last book of this entire series just came out yesterday, and sometime between reading the last one and the release of this newest one, I decided to put my feelings aside and read it anyway. I'm only 4 chapters in, and I've already cried angry tears like twice. This puzzles me greatly. Why do I care? These people are NOT real! It baffles me that I can get so angry and worked up over something that is fictional. I decided to ask God about it, and I got a very clear answer. This is just one more lesson that He is teaching me in order to draw me closer to Himself.
As hard as this is to admit, I enjoy books because I don't have to worry about controlling the situation in order for it to turn out the way I deem to be perfect. I'm a control-freak. If you know me well, you just said "no duh" and probably out loud. You can probably already see how God and I clash on a regular basis over my need to control everything. I seem to get it all mixed up in my head. If I am in control, things can't possibly go wrong. TRUTH: Everything goes wrong when I am in control. Okay, so over the years I've had to give over this whole control issue over to God and trust Him in every aspect of my life. Ironically, the books I was reading were giving me my "control fix." Yep, I definitely just made that term up, but we're just gonna go with it. These books were just so easy to control without even controlling it. Ahhh ... the sense of satisfaction I feel over something turning out exactly the way I see it and want it. I know, I know ... still an unhealthy habit.
Back to the current book I'm reading, I could tell the author was setting me up for an ending I was not gonna be happy about. When you've read as many books as I have, you can just tell when an author starts dropping little hints and changes here and there to warm you up to the idea of something different than what you had originally expected. Let me clarify ... I never read these books for their surprise endings. There are never surprise endings in these books. I'm telling you I've read them all, and never have I been so caught off guard by a plot change. Talk about devastating. (note to self: STILL NOT REAL PEOPLE)
In one of those "AHA" moments, I realized just why I was so angry over this surprise. I had lost control of the one thing I thought I could still control. I wanted to put the book down. I wanted to throw it in a fire and watch it burn. This is dramatic, but I'm not exaggerating whatsoever. God told me to keep reading. I wanted the book to go the way "I" wanted it to go, and that is all there is to it.
God has been teaching me something very valuable through all of this. I can't control these books anymore than I can control my own life. My life is in His hands. I've read about halfway through the book at this point, and I'm seeing the bigger picture. The book's big picture has no relation to my life at all, but nonetheless, I hear God telling me loud and clear that in ALL things, He works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. I'm still struggling with this singleness stuff, and I just can't figure out why God doesn't just take the pain away. I don't care one way or the other (married or single), but I do pray that God would just make the ache in my heart go away. I know I'm only seeing the little picture, and I know in these heart-wrenching moments of loneliness and self-pity God is drawing me ever closer into His warm embrace. There you go, my big picture is falling into the arms of Jesus. I may not ever get my storybook ending I've always dreamed of, but no matter what ending I get, I think God and I will have the best love story of all.

If you actually read all of this, God bless you ... this post must have been meant for you and you alone. I don't think I would even read this post all the way to the end (due to all of my craziness), but God placed it on my heart for a reason.