I am a girl who loves me a good Hallmark Channel movie. You know the kind, the predictable but romantic, full of hope, happily ever after ones. Yes, I know that the plot of each of the movies is pretty much the same. The girl thinks she has the “perfect” guy, but right before the wedding she meets a guy who is “irritatingly charming” and through some comical, magical moments, falls in love with him (in like a week), realizes the first guy was all wrong, calls off the wedding, and in a romantic twist ends up with Mr. Right.
Zoom cameras for the kiss, cue the gentle snow, run credits and it’s the “happily ever after” The End.
Sadly, I find my life to be much more like a Reality Show than a Hallmark movie. Seldom does snow mean anything good. There’s the episode where I found out I was pregnant with the child I had been praying for only to lose them to a miscarriage. There’s the episode where I was married to my college sweetheart and we were building our dream house but lose both in a divorce. The latest episode is where I have a great job and potential for new ministry only to wake up one day with what feels like the never ending flu.
Role credits, no “happily ever after” there.
Could that be why Reality TV has become awfully popular in the last couple decades? I can thrive on seeing others struggle because I struggle. Yet, because I still long for hope, I tune into the Hallmark Channel for movie after movie because I want to believe in the “happily ever after”.
I found myself watching one of my recorded Hallmark movies just the other day because I was looking for a distraction from my chronic pain. Just as the movie ended, however; it was like the whisper of God was showing me something I had not noticed before. Though the movie was technically over, I realized it was really not the end of the story. The writers had only highlighted a part of the story so it was actually more like a “Hallmark Moment”. Most of the story had remained untold. I assumed they lived “happily ever after”. Did they? We will never know. In showing us only part of the story the writers can give us a false notion of what the whole should be like.
God confronted me right then about looking at only parts of my life and judging the whole. Just because parts are not like a Hallmark movie does not make the whole that way and vise versa. I need to look at the big picture to understand that both “Hallmark Moments” and “Reality Shows” will exist during a lifetime, but most importantly, a perfect ending has been provided. Where do I go to find that out, God’s word.
I turned to the first book of the Bible and saw that we were created in a Hallmark setting called Eden. I saw there a place where Hallmark would have filmed their latest release because it was a perfect place, full of provision, purpose, peace, love and most importantly, the powerful presence of God, himself (Genesis 2).
Zoom cameras on Adam kissing Eve, cue snow (well maybe not) and they live “happily ever after” Cut, scroll credits right?
Sorry, not how the story ended, it was just a “Moment”; one that was interrupted by the “Reality Show” of a serpent, a sin, and a curse. (Genesis 3)
Truth is, life is, because of that moment, full of a “Reality Show”. Thankfully, we don’t have to assume how it ends because another very important “Hallmark Moment” is revealed in the New Testament where a “irritatingly* charming” guy shows up, dies on a cross to give us our “happily ever after” if we chose to fall in love with Him.
As a nine year old girl I fell in love with Him (in like a week) and accepted His free gift of salvation(Eph. 2:8-9). I was given that day eternal life and will get that real “happily ever after” in Heaven someday (John 3:16). Plus, now I understand, I am given some of those “Hallmark Moments” by my loving Father, God and must make note to thank Him for them.
Here are some I just found recently:
1. I went to bed last night in pain (Reality Show) but my husband wrapped his arms around me and kissed me confirming his love. That was a Hallmark Moment
2. I had to pay a bill (Reality Show) but noticed the financial provision God blessed us with though an unexpected check. That is a Hallmark Moment
3. I sat down at the computer to discipline myself to write this post (Reality Show) and saw that my husband had changed the desktop image to say “I love you”. That is a Hallmark Moment
4. I needed to eat some lunch but my fatigue is making fixing that meal feel overwhelming (Reality Show) then, my good friend shows up at my door with a bowl of freshly made soup on this very cold winter day. That is a Hallmark Moment.
As I continue to take the time to look for these moments I will realize that “the God of all hope” puts them all around me to fill me with hope.(Romans 15:13) Every time I see provision, purpose, peace, love and most importantly, the powerful presence of God, I know I am having a “Hallmark Moment”
* Some of you may be offended by me referring to Jesus as “irritating” but just read in the Gospels how the religious leaders felt about Him and you will see my point.