Until Forever

It’s not easy to make an upbeat film about tragedy.  It’s not easy to drive home a positive faith message in the face of difficult life challenges; Until Forever accomplishes both.  Faith-based films are at their best when they are willing to confront the hard questions of faith head-on.  Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?  While the answer to this question isn’t expressly provided in this film, it is considered and dealt with in an honest way.

This is the true story of Michael and Michelle who are devoted high school sweethearts.  Their relationship is full of fun and honest emotion.  This looks like a romance that will last forever.  Then without warning, Michael develops a rare form of leukemia and begins living his life in the hospital.  Michelle stays by his side along with his whole family.  A Bible believing Christian, Michael hears a voice from God calling him to minister to others in the hospital.  He begins using his upbeat personality to bring some moments of cheer to his fellow patients.  One patient, an older man named Fenton, rejects Michael’s devotion to God but still becomes his friend with the understanding that he wants nothing to do with the Bible.

In time, Michael’s cancer goes into remission and he is released from the hospital.  Michael’s slightly younger brother, Matt, has been recruited as a bone marrow donor should Michael’s cancer return.  Matt loves his brother and is more than willing to make this sacrifice; however, he is suffering depression issues of his own and the thought of him supplying bone marrow without positive results haunts him.  In the end, Michael’s cancer does come back and Matt’s bone marrow donation is not able to save him.  Coupled with his growing depression, Matt becomes suicidal and it is Michael who has to help him gain control over his despair.

As Michael’s cancer gets worse, Michelle doesn’t want to see her one true love go away.  She makes a suggestion to Michael that they should get married.  At first Michael is reluctant, not knowing if he will live or die; regardless, he follows through with a formal marriage proposal and the two are married even though it is clear he will die soon after.

Until Forever is the story of a man who will not allow his circumstance to shake his faith in God.  He will not allow a bitter old man named Fenton to destroy his faith with his difficult questions.  And he will not give up on ministering to others in the face of his own fatal destiny.  This is also the story of a young woman, Michelle, who never lets go of her love, even when all hope is lost.  It may be difficult to see how this film can deliver anything but tears, but I can tell you sincerely, you will find joy in your tears in the celebration of a life well lived.

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