It's the day before Valentine's Day...I've been wearing my red-themed outfits since Sunday. Whether or not I had a reason to celebrate has never stopped me from having a good celebration. But I can honestly say I've never quite understood all the hype. It's a holiday I've only celebrated at face value in years past. Maybe it was my bad attitude or hurting heart. Maybe it was the fact that it was only 5 days before my all-time favorite day to celebrate. Maybe it was my belief that you shouldn't need a national holiday to remind you to tell the person you love that you love them.
This year I've got a lot to celebrate. Last night I let my little boy pick out special gifts for a few people he wanted to buy for. He was so proud to give his gifts, especially the heart-shaped Dora balloon he picked out for his baby cousin. This morning he asked me if it was Valentine's Day and I explained he had one more day to wait. He then got sad and said something was wrong, "Mom, I forgot to buy you a Valentine." I kissed him on the cheek and reminded him that HE was my gift and I loved him very much. He was "mostly" satisfied, but then intently said, "Mom? Do you know that I love you?" <<<HEART MELT>>>
Today I walked down the hall carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world. I was well aware of the stares, the "awww's" and sighs, and those who were secretly hating me. I know. Truthfully, I count myself among the blessed to be celebrating, but to some of you I am among the despised and scorned. I get it. And I've been there. It was just a year ago that I was still dreading the holiday and making up every excuse to not let it get to me. This Valentine's post is dedicated to those of you who are bracing yourselves for the onslaught of tomorrow.
You are the single moms who are celebrating the love you have for your children in hopes of masking the loneliness you feel.
You are the wives whose hearts are breaking behind closed doors as you try to pick up the pieces of your shattered dreams.
You are the single young ladies who are hoping and believing in this thing called true love.
You are the young women hiding behind the smiles as you try to be happy for those around you.
You are the hopeful romantic who's desperately trying not to lose hope...
You are the one who's given up hope that you are worthy of love.
You are the faithful daughters clinging to the everlasting love of your Heavenly Father, yet praying for a tangible earthly expression all the same.
No matter how much you convince yourself you'll get through it, you can't escape it. You can't walk into any store without being bombarded by pink and red hearts consuming the aisles. 8 billion conversation hearts will be eaten. 150 million cards will be sent. Almost 200 million stems of red roses will bedelivered. More than $1 billion worth of chocolate will be consumed.
Even my dentist office was celebrating. I went in for a regularly scheduled cleaning and walked out with chocolates and a single red rose. Had that been last year, I probably would have thought "How sweet..." then burst into tears once in the car.
I know many of you would be happy to have just one box of those little conversation hearts. Or even a single red rose would suffice. Assuming it came with the message - and meaning - of love. It's not something you can buy. It's not available in stores or online. Oh I know. Some of you are desperately searching, mingling, and praying for a match. If you find yourself dateless, flowerless, cardless and chocolate-less, if you are bracing yourself for what you know will be another day to choke back the tears and conceal the emptiness, I have no words of wisdom. (Let's be honest, if you're battling loneliness during the "loveliest" day of the year, I'm the last person you want to hear advice from.) So don't listen to my words. Listen to His.
"Child? Do you know that I love you?"
He has loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
He will rejoice over you with gladness and quiet you with His love (Zephaniah 3:17).
You are His beloved.
I know that doesn't take the place of the bouquets and heart shaped box full of chocolates. But it is the assurance that He loves you and wants what's BEST for you. No immitations, exchanges or refunds. This is so much more then mending broken hearts and patching together shattered dreams. This is love - THE REAL THING - lavished upon you and honoring you as His chosen. Even while your heart is aching, He is working it all out for your good. Love is not just in the air - it is not just for a day. This is love everlasting.