© Paramount Pictures 2019
© Paramount Pictures 2019

By Shaunti Feldhahn

I never imagined that in my family’s darkest moment would come a miracle. Perhaps in the heavens there are greater things at work than what we think we may know. And when it comes, sometimes it can be as soft as a whisper. And so I’ve learned to never stop listening. (Buttons: A Christmas Tale)

My daughter and I love Christmas movies. It’s a tradition to snuggle up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and lose ourselves in the magic. We’ve been known to watch the same movie multiple times each Christmas season—because who doesn’t want to see their favorite stars in a movie that leaves you feeling hopeful that all can be right in the world? That’s what Christmas is about after all . . . the birth of a baby that changed the world!

This Christmas, say hello to the movie Buttons: A Christmas Tale starring the incomparable Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, Robert Redford, Kate Winslet, Roma Downey, Jane Seymour, and with a song written by Sir Paul McCartney. Written and directed by world-renowned composer Tim Janis, Buttons is now on DVD and Digital, so families can snuggle in, grab their popcorn and regain the magic and hope this Christmas.

Buttons: A Christmas Tale

In Buttons, a little orphan girl named Emily finds herself sick and alone in a hospital on Christmas Eve. Having nearly died escaping the orphan train, her only wish is to celebrate Christmas with a family.

Suddenly a mysterious woman named Rose (Angela Lansbury) appears at her bedside with hot chocolate and an amazing story of hope, direction—and a reminder of God’s love for her.

When the characters in Buttons suffer the pain of their circumstances and hardships, they start losing hope. But God has a plan for them. He sends angels to remind them that God will never leave them alone on the journey.

Just as He will never leave us. He is there. And He asks us to believe it and hold on to Him.

That’s actually the main reason I wrote Find Peace: A 40-Day Devotional Journey for Moms. For many of us—especially moms!—there seems to be no end to the things our hearts can worry about. Even if life is going smoothly, we often find ourselves worrying about the “what-ifs”. And when trouble hits—sickness, safety, jobs, fear—we need reminders that God promises us peace even in the midst of the storms.

In our family, the storm that changed everything also hit during Christmas Eve. We were at my parents’ church, in their idyllic small town in the mountains, cozy and warm as we stood to sing Silent Night. Soon, we would be back at their cabin, sipping hot cider, getting the kids to bed, and wrapping the final presents. One moment, our 10-year-old son was fine. The next, he was having a massive seizure. The following few hours were a blur—the minutes Luke was without oxygen during his grand mal seizure; the equally scary “postictal” state of being semiconscious and unresponsive; the long race to the nearest hospital, which was much too far away. In the months to come we faced the scary diagnosis of epilepsy and discovering that medication would stop Luke’s bodily seizures but unfortunately not the spikes in his brain. Our class-clown son suddenly struggled to listen, read or interact with friends. Our world felt like it was crumbling at our feet.*

It was in those moments—and every moment moving forward—that I needed to remember. Remember that God is with us on this journey. He has us in His hands. That is what keeps me going. And that is why even in difficult times, the Bible promises that we can “rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5:3-4.)

In This World We Will Have Trouble . . . But Take Heart!

Just as in the movie, life provides plenty of struggles—and we don’t always know what to do about it. But what we do know is what not to do; if we put our faith in the things of this world, we can pretty much count on feeling permanently hopeless and full of anxiety.

In a famous Bible verse (John 16:33), Jesus tells us that yes—in this world we will have trouble. But He also gives us this amazing promise: we can take heart! Because He has overcome the world!

It’s often easy, in the chaotic, painful moments, to feel as if we are alone on this difficult journey. When we get that diagnosis or lose that job or are faced with that tumultuous relationship, it hurts. We may question how any good can come from such a horrible situation.

But I’m here to tell you: There is purpose in our journey. And we can find peace because we can always find God. Even in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Hope Prevails

All this is why taking in beautiful Christmas stories isn’t just a frivolous luxury: it is a meaningful action when the holidays get hard. Because it reminds us of the eternal truth underneath both these stories and Christmas itself.

As Robert Redford, the narrator, says at the end of the movie, “The heart found more than the eye could see. Hope prevailed. And help came from the most unexpected places.”

We may not have Dick Van Dyke or Angela Lansbury showing up to give us a pep talk. But we can be assured that we are never, ever alone. God is with us: that is the meaning of the Christmas word “Emmanuel.”

And that message of hope is something I want to hear this Christmas over and over again.

**
Find more peace and joy this holiday season by watching Buttons: A Christmas Tale on DVD and Digital this December. And check out Find Peace: A 40-Day Devotional Journey for Moms by Shaunti Feldhahn.

*excerpt taken from Find Peace: A 40-Day Devotional Journey for Moms

Shaunti Feldhahn is a popular speaker, social researcher and best-selling author. Her findings have been featured in media as diverse as Focus on the Family, the New York Times and Cosmo. With a master’s degree from Harvard University, Shaunti has worked on Wall Street and Capitol Hill. She now applies her analytical skills to uncovering and sharing important truths about life and relationships, including through her devotionals and Bible studies, such as Find Peace. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Atlanta with their two children. Visit Shaunti at www.shaunti.com.

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