Some (okay, all) of my favorite movies are romantic comedies. I love siting around with the women in my life over a cup of coffee, and having heart-to-heart conversations about their lives and relationships. If you were to 'friend' me on Facebook, your feed would soon be full of all the relationship articles I post. YouTube suggests that I watch wedding videos, engagement stories, and promposals. Pinterest literally only suggests wedding items to me anymore (even though I got married almost a year ago!).
And don't even get me started on Disney movies. Growing up, I'd spent my summers catching up on all the Disney movies that had come out over the year. I even have a Disney soul sister - Anna from Frozen. I love how she jumps head first into love.
I can't help it . . . I love love.
There have been many times where I've been labeled a 'hopeless romantic'. Everyone from my mom to my friends in college would point out how I love a good love story. I'll admit it - I have an old fashioned heart that believes in timeless, pure love. I love breakfast in bed, deep conversations, mountain views that take your breath away, and hikes in the snow followed by (what else?) more coffee. In a world of 280 Twitter characters, I prefer 3 page love letters.
But I'm not a hopeless romantic.
What is love without hope? Hope is the virtue by which we on earth desire the goodness and beauty of Heaven and eternal life. We are called place all of our trust, every ounce of it, in the fact that God is a good father. That He's going to show up. That He's going to keep his promises. In the book of Hebrews, Scripture reminds us of this, telling us to "hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful".
Hope is the virtue that keeps our hearts from sinking into discouragement. Hope sustains us in the dark times, and it opens up our hearts in expectation and receptivity to the beauty of eternity and the knowledge that God does have a plan.
I'm not a hopeless romantic because I'm a hope-filled romantic. Authentic love in our relationships with ourselves, those around us, and (most importantly!) God isn't something that's unrealistic or ridiculous. We can never have too much hope in God's love for us and His plan for our lives.
God, whose very essence is love, is the original romantic. He delights in showing His love to us. We can't let our busy, noisy lives lead us to be unaware that we're constantly being pursued by Him.
We're made by love, for love. Romance is written on our hearts, stamped into our DNA. We're all called to be hope-filled romantics.
God loves us each day - even in our messiest moments. He loved us from the cross, splayed out on wooden beams and burdened with every sin ever committed. Paul tells us in Romans, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
I don't know about you, but that's better than any romantic comedy I've ever watched.