Yesterday I walked around the grocery store fighting back tears as I put things in my cart that would go into meals and care packages for friends facing the unimaginable. I prayed for many people that Valentine’s day would go by swiftly and the 15th would be a welcome relief. Let’s face it, any holiday has the potential to be difficult depending on what life is lobbing your way, but Valentine’s Day seems to hold a special challenge.
For one, it’s made up. MADE.UP. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about celebrating relationships and love and doing special romantic things, but still, it’s made up. Which brings me to my next point: People who say things like, “I don’t care about Valentine’s Day. It’s a made-up holiday anyway. I’ve never celebrated it. Forget Hallmark, who cares?” seem to be those who could celebrate the Hallmark way if they wanted to so, of course, they can say that. Okay, maybe that’s being overly general, but it can seem like that, amirite?
Let’s just get real for a minute. Like really real. Realer than the realest of people who take one bite out of a chocolate and put it back when it’s that bizarre orange cream flavor. Part of us (yes, alllllll of us, or at least 99.9% of us) care a little bit about Valentine’s Day. But why? I think it’s because we are created and designed for relationships. And not only that: We are created and designed for the one Perfect relationship that will never fail or disappoint us. This longing and desire are built into the fabric of our souls, and for a good and holy reason. It hopefully brings us face to face with our need for Jesus and with His perfect love.
But Valentine’s Day? Well, it’s all about relationships, and earthly ones (read: imperfect ones) at that. So, when our relationships feel broken, are broken, or don’t exist in the capacity we long for, it can bring all sorts of hard feelings to the surface. Sometimes, Valentine’s Day is just the worst.
I don’t know what stage of life you’re in or whether your Valentine’s Day was the best, the worst, or just…meh, but I do know that we live in a broken world that can leave us sad sometimes. I do know that none of us escapes that reality. I know that funny anecdotes and nice platitudes can be a temporary balm, and while they are necessary and the right prescription at times, I also know that we need Truth. All.of.us. The Hallmark celebrators and those of us crying ourselves to sleep. We need to know that we aren’t alone, that we are loved, that our pain isn’t the end, and that even our earthly joy is but a small taste of what is to come.
Sweet sister, however your day has gone, I am praying for you.
I pray that you know how deeply loved you are.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (I John 3:1)
Whatever pain is in your life, I pray that you know a God who loves you so much that He did not spare even His only Son.
He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32 NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
I pray that you know a God who never leaves you or forsakes you; who is as close as your very own breath.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:15 NIV)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Hebrews 8:35-39 NLT)
I pray that you have peace that surpasses understanding.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jesus, John 16:33 NIV)
And I pray you are reminded that, if you are in Christ, this brokenness is temporary, but our joy with Jesus is perfect and eternal.
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:1-7 NIV)
These aren’t nice Christian sayings offered flippantly. They are the Truth. Take heart, dear ones. He loves you. He is Truth. These Words are real.
Love to you, friends. (And I’ll see you at the store tomorrow for 75% off candy because, hey, if Valentine’s is the worst, February 15th is kind of the best, if you like chocolate on the cheap. 😉 )