Valentine’s Day is a joyous, romantic holiday about love and relationships. Gestures of affection are abundant, sweet cards are exchanged, flowers are delivered or brought home, and more often than I can count, this one holiday has framed the perfect occasion for a marriage proposal or wedding.
Just scroll through social media and every picture-perfect moment in detail is displayed:
“Our happily ever after begins today!”
“She said yes!”
“My perfect day!”
But Valentine’s Day isn’t fun and romantic for everyone. In my small corner of the world, I could tell you about:
– A friend who visits the memory care unit at the nursing home every day to feed his wife who no longer recognizes him.
– A young military family separated by an ocean for over a year.
– The family struggling with their mom’s grave cancer diagnosis.
– The single woman aching to be married, afraid she’s getting too old to have a family.
– The wife who escaped an abusive husband, afraid he will find her again.
– The husband of 18 years whose wife left him for another man.
– The family who lost a daughter that turned back to drugs and overdosed in their living room.
They each mourn what is gone or missing. Each day for them right now is full of real pain and heartache. I may not be able to walk in their shoes, but I so want to walk beside them and help ease their sorrow.
A casserole doesn’t fill the void left by a loved one. There’s nothing I can say to fix what’s broken or bring back what’s missing. Kind gestures, but they feel so inadequate. I pray and cling to God’s promises for us. I don’t know if Valentine’s Day brings you joy, pain, grief, or if it’s simply awkward.
If it’s a holiday that brings you sadness, I’d like to share this with you:
You are loved beyond measure.
Romans 8:35-39: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You are not alone.
Isaiah 43:1-5: “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you…”
He knows every detail and feels your pain.
Psalm 139:1-17: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me….For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”
Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
You matter & God has a purpose for you.
1 Peter 1:2: “You were chosen according to the purpose of God the Father and were made a holy people by his Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be purified by his blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure.”
Jeremiah 29:11: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘Plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’”
Whatever good or bad experiences color your view of Valentine’s Day, they are yours and they make your story unique. God can use your story if you let him.