Our Hallmark-Worthy Movie Moment
Updated: Feb 2
When I was in high school I worked for a Christian bookstore nestled in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. I would drive my old red Mercury straight to work after school most days and work until the bookstore closed around 10 pm. I didn’t have much time to think about a relationship between school and working most weekdays and weekends stacking books and ringing customers up at the cash register.
Until a few months away from starting my senior year of high school.
I met a boy on Facebook. He was handsome, funny, and drove a really rad Dodge Charger. I wasn’t looking for a relationship at that time, or any time in the near future, but decided to give him a chance. We met up at a local shopping center and hit it off which led to a movie theater date and then finally that led to our much anticipated first kiss.
Those moments were special but I’ll never forget later on that summer, July 4th, 2013 to be exact, when we had a Hallmark movie-worthy moment.
I had to work the holiday hours at the book store that evening. Luckily, we closed early so I would get to go home and eat a cold hot dog to ring in Independence Day.
After the last customer left, I turned off the kid's corner TV that blared Veggie Tales music all day while I waited for my coworker to finish locking the safe.
As we walked outside and locked the door behind us, I noticed a rad Dodge Charger parked beside my car. Surprisingly, the handsome guy I had been talking to for a few months just so happened to be standing beside it. He was all decked out in his camouflage Civil-Air Patrol uniform and utility boots (which he still owns to this day).
I was surprised to see him and thinking about that moment still gives me butterflies eight years later.
My coworker drove off and we were alone in an almost empty parking lot. We talked for a moment and then he leaned in to kiss me. The boy got right to the point. HA! The second our lips touched, fireworks exploded in the distance while lightning simultaneously flashed across the sky.
It was a perfect moment. A Hallmark movie worthy-moment at that. We were two naive kids who were falling in love in a parking lot way past our curfew. We had no idea what to expect or even how to love someone other than ourselves. Nor did we anticipate what the next few years would bring.
But as nearly eight years have passed now, I’ve held onto that mental image of the firework and lightning moment.
We’ve had fireworks and we’ve definitely had lightning moments in our marriage.
We’ve had the beautiful fireworks display flashing vibrant colors and we've had lightning strikes around us followed by a loud boom. Do you know what fireworks and lightning both have in common?
They're both beautiful in their own way.
Fireworks are normally a sign of celebration. Firework moments in marriage have been seasons of deep closeness, welcoming babies, experiencing career advancements, and laughing through life together. Most of the firework moments included times of great communication and very few arguments. Those moments created a deep connection where we felt as if we couldn't love one another more than we did at that moment.
Lightning moments in marriage have been seasons of walking through loss, depression, cancer and chemotherapy, and many weeks spent apart during busy work seasons. Some lightning seasons have caused us to drift apart a bit and others have caused us to take our stress out on each other unfairly. Some have even forced us to fight to remember how much we love one another more than whatever might have been stressing us out at the moment.
And you know what? Both have been beautiful in their own way.
So maybe you find yourself crying into your pillow at night wishing you could go back to simpler times when you really felt close to your spouse. When it was easy to love them and life wasn't as complicated. When you felt like they truly adored you and you adore them. I think we all feel that way at times and it is okay to admit you're lonely in your marriage. It happens whether you've been married one year or thirty years. The biggest detail Hallmark movies leave out is that marriage is hard. It is not easy to put someone else's needs before yourself and love them without stipulation.
But it is still beautiful.
Perhaps God uses the lightning seasons to mold us and strengthen our marriages and the firework seasons to remind us just how desperately we need our spouses because they are one of life's greatest gifts. ☕️