Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy, Happy Valentine's Day!

Alright, I know Valentine’s Day is a visceral issue for people, especially single ladies, but I’d like to challenge your perspective.

Although I am in a relationship right now, I celebrated Valentine’s Day as a single girl for 27 years. Trust me, that wasn’t my plan, but I learned to embrace it. I was never one of those woe-is-me girls who would tweet “Sigh…another year of being alone” or “Hey, it’s Singles Awareness Day!” I think it’s a little sad to taint the day with that sort of self-focus. OF COURSE my heart’s desire was to be taken out to a nice restaurant by a guy I liked or surprised with a special delivery of flowers or something, but I didn’t put the responsibility of feeling content in other people’s hands. (What a way to guarantee constant misery!)

Instead, I have enjoyed every Valentine’s Day eating cute chocolates, wearing red or pink, often making cupcakes for my mom’s class, sending and receiving valentines and cards to my friends and family, sending a surprise to a friend now and then, and sometimes even getting a sweet surprise from friends. What’s not to enjoy about a day like that?

I really don’t care if it’s a commercial holiday created by Hallmark. I don’t care what my relationship status is. I don’t care what other people are doing. Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, and although I don’t need a designated quasi-legitimate holiday to remind me to do that, any excuse to express my gratitude to God and the people I love is one that I’ll gladly take, to love and feel loved.

I don’t want to minimize anyone’s desire to be in a relationship and have a wonderful date on February 14th someday, because that’s a legitimate desire and I really want that to happen. But…until then, remember that we are dearly and eternally loved by the God of the universe. His name is Immanuel, which means “God is with us.” Do you want to feel loved, prized, cherished, pursued, protected, and cared for on Valentine’s Day and every day? Do you know the only source of that perfect love that will never forsake or forget you or let you down?

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 1 John 3:16

Oh, how he loves us. How he loves us so. What a reason to celebrate!