Living in a Hallmark Movie

I want to live in a Hallmark movie.

 I want to walk down the cobblestone Main Street into the corner coffee shop where everyone greets you with a smile and a Merry Christmas. I want to move to a new town where you immediately become acquainted with everyone and your child makes instant friends at school and there’s always time to bake Christmas cookies and decorate trees and drink hot cocoa with peppermint sticks.

I want to live in a Hallmark movie.

I want to live in a place where people rarely look at their cell phones and social media is a thing of fiction. I want people to look in my eyes when I speak to them, as though what I have to say is important. I want to walk my child to school holding hands and have him tell me how much he loves me and what a great mom I am. I want to live where kids don’t make bad choices and parents don’t make mistakes. Where the toughest decision is whether to stay in the small town where you grew up or chase after a promising dream in the big city. Where things always just work out.

And the movie always ends with a kiss from your true love and snow. Always snow.

But life isn’t a Hallmark movie, not even close.

Because in my life, people look at cell phones quite often, including me. Social media works its way into the fiber of our days. People are distracted, so distracted. Kids make bad choices. I make mistakes.

So many mistakes.

And during those mistake-ridden days when things aren’t going quite right, we don’t even have a corner coffee shop where I can escape to, no warm hugs from local townspeople and no neighbors knitting me scarves. No, none of that.

But when the pains of this life happen, and I’m bombarded with bad news and a constant barrage of decisions that have to be made today – not tomorrow, there is a place I can go. A place that provides more warmth than a cup of coffee or a cozy fireplace ever could.

I won’t find this place in the picture-perfect world behind the TV screen, but that’s OK. God’s promises do not include a Hallmark movie life, but the life He promised is even better.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus spoke these words to his followers to ensure they knew the hard truth. Life would have trouble. But with that painful reality came a hope-filled promise that holds steadfast for us today. Jesus is the hope in our not-so-Hallmark lives. And His presence gives us glimmers of light in our darkest times. The sweet presence of Jesus shines even more brightly in an imperfect world.

So I can rejoice in the midst of the chaos. I can find sweet moments in the middle of the madness.

Yes, I’m letting go of my Hallmark wishes today and grasping hold of something real – something eternal. The best movie ever made will never match the joy and blessings of the life we’ve been given through Christ. This imperfect world finds significance in our perfect Savior, and the unequalled gift He so willingly gave.

So let’s thank God today for our less-than Hallmark moments. Let’s praise Him for His everlasting gift. No happily-ever-after even comes close to the unending love of Jesus in our lives.

Photo courtesy of Cyndi Cox-Bennett.