I have always considered myself something of a hopeless romantic. It was a term I liked; a term that inspired visions of maidens wearing flowing nightgowns and looking longingly into the night after a promised love. A term that whispered of unrequited loves and starry nights filled with prayers for one true aspiration. However, I recently took some time for introspection, and I realized that my term, hopeless romantic, contains the word HOPELESS–without hope. So, if you take the term at its word, then that damsel I’ve been envisioning never finds her promised love. That unrequited love would remain just that–unrequited, and those prayers for one true aspiration would go unanswered. So why would I want to be a hopeless romantic?

I think the answer to that question is that, for me, anticipation is everything. I love to dream about events to come; I love the feeling of being that damsel in waiting. When the dream is realized, it’s over, but the anticipation is marvelous!

Last night I went to a party in Atlanta with Lauren. The thought of leaving Pace behind for an evening and embarking on a girls adventure could have offered enough excitment in itself, but this party we were going to was something I’d heard about and tried to imagine for over a year! The hostess was Lauren’s friend Lanier, and this lady is the person I would aspire to be if I were brave enough. I think I have completely weirded her out by my unabashed ardour, but she is so talented that I just can’t help myself! I am sure that she has her faults, but I honestly don’t want to know them. I am satisfied with the illusion. I could go into the reasons why I think she is so great, but that would take up this whole blog, and it is not the point I am driving towards. What I will tell you is that she is the type of person who throws an Antebellum Christmas party every year (with period attire!), and the entire house (which is a mansion built in the early 1800’s that she and her husband have completely restored) is lit by fire and candlelight. A party where the decorations include holly she trimmed from her own yard and draped lovingly over each picture frame. A party where mistletoe hung enticingly from discreet doorposts, and little girls in sweet dresses collected silver punch cups for re-washing. Heaven forbid we have to use anything made out of paper! It was a night that can best be described by my feeling of wonder when I awoke this morning truly questioning if it had all just been a dream. This was a party created for a hopeless romantic, but as I’ve mentioned before, the hopeless romantic should never be capable of being satisfied by the actual event. The hopless romantic is doomed to be always hoping and never satisfied.

My Dad has been sorely concerned that my life would be one big disappointment that could never live up to my dreams. However, I haven’t found that to be true at all. In a small sense, Lanier’s party last night far exceeded any expectation I had, and I assure you those expectations were high. I even went so far as to call Lauren yesterday afternoon to be sure she was savoring the anticpation like I was. I tried to heed my Dad’s warnings and think of all the horrible things that could go wrong at the party, but that romanticism was still there, assuring me that THIS would be a magical evening–and it was.

On a grander scale, my marriage was something that could have never met up to my expectations, because marriage was something I had been dreaming about for around 20 years! Just think of the potential for being let down! While there are some days that Jeremiah and I make each other want to pull our hair out, there are also those days that create a melody so sweet that only God could be the composer. There are times that we let each other down, and there are times when I couldn’t have imagined such a sacrificial love.

So, I would now like to rename myself. I am no longer a hopeless but a HOPEFUL romantic. I am a person who loves being hopeful in life–loves waiting expectantly for the joys life may bring. I hope that all of those hopeless romantics out there find that there IS promise in whatever they are waiting for, and that there are days in their lives when reality exceeds their dreams.

7 Responses to “HOPELESS Romantic”

  1. Caroline Clark says:

    I am so happy to hear that you had a wonderful time at the Blast from the Past Christmas Party!!! You deserved it!! I love you much dear sister and wish only the best for you and your family over the holidays! Many blessings from Dothan..:)

  2. Lanier Ivester says:

    You are so precious, Abby! And I can truly say that having you and Lauren at my party made my joy in it complete. I was so touched that y’all came all that way–next year you’ll have to plan on spending the night!! I insist! 😉
    And I cherished your words on anticipation. As a former ‘hopeless romantic’ (‘former’ as in before I read your beautiful post–now I will always consider myself a ‘hopeful romantic’ right alongside you!!)I can completly identify with your thoughts on the good things that our Good Lord wants to give us if we have the courage to believe that they actually exist…I’ve never seen such sentiments expressed so well, Abby. You made my day. And now that I’ve written a post in your comment box ;), I’ll just say that I hope you and Jeremiah and Pace have the sweetest and happiest Christmas you have ever known…
    “Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed…” Isaiah 49:23
    “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Ps. 27:13
    Love you,

  3. Abby Maddox says:

    What a fun surprise to see a comment from you! Thanks for the encouraging words and for reading 🙂


  4. Anonymous says:

    haha..its funny that i am asked to choose an identity…could write a blog just on that right there…anyway, i just wanted to tell you how beautiful your writing is, but even more beautiful than that is the heart and mind behind it…wow…just my time with you on the ride to the ole cousins was such a blessing…thank you for the interest you take in my life…you are such a treasure of a person abby, i hope you know that..thank you for your effort in bringing yourself and pace down this christmas for all of us to see..,i love you so much and im so proud to be your sister…what amazing talent God has given you…

  5. John says:

    Merry Christmas from a foggy London town.Now as Christmassy as this city is i think your writing is one of my Christmas highlights this year.So thank you Abby from a Dickensian looking London and I hope you,Jeremiah,Pace,Alex and the whole Maddox Family are having a splendid Christmas.love JLF.

  6. Abby Maddox says:

    Alex, it is funny how they ask you to “choose and identity”. Why don’t you start a blog and let that be your first entry. I, too, really enjoyed our ride in the car. It’s crazy how you can feel like you know someone and realize with one simple question how much more there is to know. I think you are so intriguing and talented, and I can’t wait to see all the ways God is going to use you! Thanks for your comment

  7. Abby Maddox says:

    John! What a surprise, thank you! I wish I could see what London looked like at Christmas. It’s funny that you mention Dickens because Jeremiah gave me a set of 8 antique Dickens books for Christmas! The only one I have read is Tale of 2 Cities, so I have a lot of good reading ahead of me. Great to hear from you.

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