When I am bored and looking for something mindless to do, I watch the Hallmark Channel. Yes, I confess. I watch the schmaltzy stories that always have people living happily ever after. It is usually a story of a woman who has been scorned by love, or who is angry with her family, or who has experienced something that makes her alone. The leading lady is always very independent. She is focusing on career, or a business, or something else in order to compensate for her losses. Then of course, some handsome man comes into the picture. He tries to love her but she makes it very hard. They usually end up going separate ways, only to have a twist at the end of the movie where they end up together forever.

I wish this would happen in real life, but it is just a fairy tale. In one recent version of these Hallmark movies, it was pretty interesting the way a young woman had kept people away.  She recognized that she wanted it that way. She pushed people away so she would never be hurt again. As I watched, I thought to myself that this is so true of our lives. We get hurt and we put on armor and we keep people out just to protect ourselves. This only makes our lives smaller and smaller and smaller, and pretty soon our life is so small there’s nothing left. We are in exactly the place we were trying so hard to avoid. What has happened is what we most feared. We are alone, and it’s because we put on that armor.

If I could somehow get a message to my younger self, I’d tell her that while being bold and courageous and living out loud is scary and it can hurt and you can be harmed, and yet that is what life is. I am not suggesting young women throw caution to the wind, but proceed with wisdom and discernment. Gather people around you that you can trust to give you wise counsel, but in the end live boldly. This is the only life that you have.

The last line of this particular movie was a perfect summary, “I kept this armor on to keep me safe, but in the end it only kept the real me in.” Instead of wearing armor to protect your heart from being hurt, put on the armor of God and forge ahead fearlessly!and forge ahead fearlessly!

Ephesians 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”