Originally published Friday, 14 February 2014.
I am going to do my best to not write a cliché post about a cliché subject on a cliché Holiday, however, I am not making any promises that if you are one of those people that would rather swim across the Arctic Ocean right now than talk about Valentine’s Day: Well, you may still very well hate it.
As I started thinking about this holiday, seeing all the decorations and cards lining the grocery stores, I starting to think about a group of people in particular: Those who avoid this aisle completely.
For whatever reason, this holiday seems to trigger that deep feeling in their hearts that struggles with the word, “love.”
Maybe they don’t have anyone to share this Holiday with and they have been praying about finding that someone for years.
Maybe they recently experienced loss and the thought of jumping up and down in giddy excitement without that person by their side makes them weak in the knees.
Maybe they have never truly felt loved; maybe life has not been generous with their circumstances and they were robbed of ever hearing the words, “I love you.”
Maybe they have been betrayed, lied to or deceived by someone they desperately loved and no longer believe in the word itself.
Maybe they are in a relationship and to the outside world all looks fine and dandy, but the reality is the conversation is limited, the affection is absent and both parties are broken and bitter.
I don’t know all the reasons or the specifics that may attribute to these cases, but as I sit here and pray for them, I just wanted to tell them something.
To the broken, the bitter, the confused, the hurting, the resentful, the abused, the betrayed, the lost, to every heart that aches on this Holiday, please please please listen to me:
I know I do not know your circumstances.
I know that while I may attempt to put myself in your shoes, I can’t really fathom what you have been through.
I know I am only 23 and you may think I view love as a wishful fairytale, aloof to what’s really going on.
And you can think all those things but please just listen to me when I tell you what you should focus on this Valentine’s Day.
Focus on the fact that you are LOVED. So deeply, so unconditionally, so unwavering, so mightily and powerfully and consumingly.
It’s when we allow our broken hearts to be open to the realization that the most important relationship we can have can never be broken.
Our hope is not lost.
Your Jesus, your Savior, He loves you with an EVERLASTING love.
Through it ALL, He loves you.
Maybe I am wrong, but I feel as though when we focus on the fact that we are loved rather than being resentful or hurt or mad that we do not have anyone to “love” in that romantic, mushy-gushy type way, we begin to see something incredible happen.
We begin to be okay with seeing others be affectionate towards one another even when our hands have no one to accompany them.
We cheer on the marriages of our friends, even when ours are a daily battle.
We seek people out and we serve and love on them rather than focusing on the lack of love we have always received.
We open our mouths, we push our pride aside, and we tell those difficult, harsh people in our lives, “Hey, I love you.”
We approach February 14 as a reminder of how much we are loved and we stop being angry at every grocery store and Hallmark card that screams of all that sappy, love stuff.
(Except the extremely cheesy stuff, like some of those presents, will never be okay.)
It just changes.
I know that this doesn’t mean this is your favorite Holiday nor does it mean that the pain in your heart will not ache so deeply some days, it feels unable to be restored.
I realize you probably won’t go out and buy one of those massive bears and sit on it while writing love notes.
However, I just hope you know how much you are loved.
Your story is significant and it is being woven by a Creator who sees the Big picture. He is your first love and you can trust Him with your heart.
I am cheering you on, I am your groupie!
I firmly believe that whatever situation or circumstance you are going through, “love” is not your worst enemy and candy hearts are not your worst nightmare (okay, maybe those are!).
To those who are in the midst of the pain, the deep side-aching cries, I do not pretend to intimately know your struggles but I marvel at your ability to keep going and love others, even when you are hurting.
To those who have lost someone precious to your heart, I pray today you feel them close to you. I hope that in some way, it can feel more like a celebration of their life than an aching goodbye.
To those who wonder if you will ever have a Valentine, let me encourage you in God’s timing for your life and His sovereignty. I pray you are reminded of His deep love for the desires of your heart to come true and until then, that you trust Him with those.
To everyone whom is faint at heart, for whatever reason it may be, I am praying today that you are just reminded of His love for you.
I salute you for your strength, for your courage in the midst of your hardship and for the desire to keep going and press forward.
You, my friend, are pursued and loved SO, so much!!!!!!
That is not a candy heart or a sappy card that holds no weight: That is a complete life-changer truth that you must believe and know no matter how you feel.
I hope your Valentine’s Day is filled with reassurance from your first Love, the very definition of love itself.
Be of good cheer, He has overcome the world, and He calls you MINE.
You aren’t eating Ben & Jerry’s alone- He is your constant companion.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!
“The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” –Psalm 34:18
“My lover is mine and I am his.” –Song of Solomon 2:16