With Love On Valentines

I’m a sucker for Valentine’s Day. I always have been and I’m pretty sure I always will be. And I’ll shamelessly admit it to anyone who asks or doesn’t ask.

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When I was a kid, Valentine’s cards were the very bestest. Every year, Mom would let us pick out a package we liked and then we’d spend beautiful hours picking the right ones for the right people and writing their names out, usually on February 13th. And then I’d bask in the multitudes of Valentines I’d receive myself. Each one had a special memo and picture, just for me, I felt. Some were even home made. And the more I received, the more affirmed and loved I felt. It was absolutely glorious.

Now I’m a university student and although the idea of making Valentines for treasured friends still appeals to me, I didn’t write a single card this year. Now I’m at the age where friends are either going on dates or complaining over their lack of a love life or ranting on the stupidity such a day. And I received a total of two Valentines cards this year.

I spent the day at school, though I didn’t have classes. Instead, I spent an average day in the life of a theatre major; I shot a promo video for my upcoming play, postered campus for the said production, and I worked on set pieces, for, you gussed it, that show I’m in. I didn’t do anything totally out of the ordinary, for me at least. And to be honest, the fact that it was Valentine’s Day didn’t change a lot of stuff.

But still, it was Valentine’s Day and I spent it with people.

I laughed and did silly stunts and commiserated with friends. We talked of first meetings and became giddy over the silliness of things that were once serious.

I worked with people. We finished tasks and we helped each other and smiled at the fruits of our labour. It was hard work, but the presence of others eased the pain.

A friend and I traveled home together. Both exhausted from fighting terrible bugs and a long week of school, we shared the week’s ‘gossip’ and beauty and giggles.

And I see the people, from my window, running to catch busses or trains or getting in their cars. I see them walking. A man carries flowers as he strolls down the sidewalk. A couple walks a pair of German shepherds who can’t seem to get enough of each other.

There are people. All around us. Walking, working, laughing, learning. Loving.

Tonight I spend an introverted, university-ish night, reading Chekhov and rehearsing lines. But family drifts in and out and I’m reminded of the people and love that comprised my day.

There is love all around. Valentine’s Day is just a glimpse of that. A reminder.

Yesterday, my mom recalled what I’d said to her when I was a disappointed and disillusioned seven-year-old, who didn’t receive as many Valentines as her sister had: “I don’t see what’s so special about Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day isn’t special. I don’t know why people said it was special. There’s no family. There’s no dinner.”

I beg to differ now, with my once disappointed self. Valentine’s Day is special, whether it’s spent with flowers and dinner or as an ordinary school day. It can be special, if we spend it with those around us and choose to see the world with a window of love.

I realize I’m being a bit poetical and aarie-faerie here. I realize also that those kind of words don’t often mean much to all people.

But think on this. The roots of Valentine’s Day are in a man called St. Valentine. He was a martyr to love, specifically the God-designed institute of marriage. He died for what he believed, for a noble cause, for a relationship and heritage that still breathes joy today.

It is a legacy. A passing down. Of joy, family, friendship, love.

We were created in the image of God and made for relationship. Whether we are married or single or love or abhor the sticking tradition of Valentine’s Day, that is the truth.

The day is nearly done now. There’s about three more hours of this day when chocolate is expected and secret admirer notes are acceptable.

Yet I encourage you, to embrace Valentine’s Day, for all it’s worth in the short hours that remain. I beg of you more to take hold  of the attitude of sacrificial love that inspired it. Most of all, I call you to love people and in loving people, you love Him as well.

The Greatest Of These

His words caught me off guard. I love you, Elizabeth. Maybe because he didn’t speak English. Maybe because I’d just met him. Or perhaps because we just don’t say those three words enough. Regardless, the moment when my Mexico amigo said I love you is a memory that I won’t soon forget.

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In our human imperfection, we often forget how much we are loved. I know that I need to be reminded and re-convinced of it every so often. Sure, we can hear the words a million times, but sometimes it takes much more to truly believe it. This week, I learned that I shut myself off from relationships without evening thinking about it. In doing so, I ostracize friendship, love, and God; I lose the freedom to live in love.

Today I learned how to find that freedom again. Suddenly, the world became unmasked and I began to see the love all around me. I remembered that I am not alone and that brokenness is real but not what we were created for. I recalled that the greatest of all is love.

The most important commandment… to love the Lord your God.

And the second…to love your neighbour as yourself.

And we love because He first loved us.

This is one of the days where I’d say that God does have the perfect timing — its Valentines Day and I feel extremely blessed for the love in my life.

Happy 14th of February! Remember, always, that you are loved.

Date With God

This year, I have a date for Valentines. For the first time ever, I was asked out. Well, actually that would be a lie. He’s asked me before and I’ve accepted and rejected. On this day, I’m coming back again. 

Some of my friends don’t like Valentines Day. They complain about “not having a boyfriend to spend it with” or a “valentine to bring them flowers and chocolates.” In the past, I’ve kind of ignored the day for those reasons. I haven’t been bitter or anything, but to me, it’s usually just been another day of the year. Really, it is just another day of the year with an excuse to eat chocolate. However, last year, I began to realize something new: as a Christian, Valentines Day can be very special and important.

A year ago, I realized that God was wooing me. It didn’t matter who or what else was or wasn’t. I had Jesus and He loved me more. He was my Valentine and I didn’t need anything else.

Today, you find me a year older and not much wiser. I’ve changed and grown since then. I have new scars and wounds. I have to admit that in the last few months I’ve lashed out at God. I forgot His love and latched on to other things. I felt discontentment in relationships and blamed it on Him. I worried excessively and lost my trust in Him. When the going got tough, I tried to content myself with something else that I cherished. But when that got tough, I felt hopeless and alone. Needless to say, I’ve been angry and dissapointed and not totally in love.

God still pursued me. It’s funny to think how far away I thought He was when really He was right beside me. He provided all the provisions I needed. Every week, every day that I thought would turn out badly was taken care of in the end. I was taken care of. My heart was saved. He rescued me. It was the greatest chivalry ever performed. He is the best knight you could ask for.

So today, I’m going on a date with Him. I can’t ever fully repay Him for the services He’s shown, but that’s not the point. I’ve realized, that I want Him again. No matter what else happens or who enters my life, I need Him. I desire Him, deep down. So we’ll celebrate Valentines together. We already read the Psalms at breakfast. Soon, we’ll study Biology together, make some raisin bread and chocolate hearts, play the piano, study more Biology, write a history paper, and watch a movie. It’ll be the best Valentines Day ever. It won’t stop there. No, this is just the beginning of happily ever after. From now on, I want everyday to be a date with God.

He Is Wooing Me

I’ve got a special admirer this Valentines!

I walk down the halls at school and I see boys and girls holding hands and kissing. And for a moment, I wish that I had a someone to share that with, to walk with and hold hands with. But only for a moment, cause He’s wooing me.

I watch a movie, I read a book and I see a happy romance unfold. And for a moment, I wish that I were in their shoes, walking down the aisle of happily ever after with my beloved. But only for a moment, cause He’s wooing me.

I see friends and family members around my age happily dating, both equally enamoured with each other. And for a moment, I wish that I had someone who was in love with me. But only for a moment, cause He’s wooing me.

I think back on yesterday, when there was a boy who liked me and who I liked back. And for a moment, I wish that things were the same again. But only for a moment, cause He’s wooing me.

Yes, holding hands and kissing may be nice, and having someone special all to yourself must be grand but who am I to ask for that when I have so much more? When I have a special someone who loves me with all the love imaginable, who thinks I’m beautiful just for me, and wants to spend all his time with me…yes that’s the someone who is wooing me.

His name is God and He is my best friend. He is Jesus and He died for me. This special someone is Christ and I am His bride. He thinks about me more than any crush ever could, cares for me more than a boyfriend would, and loves me with the love of a thousand lovers and more.

So who am I to need a boyfriend on Valentines or any other day when I can spend it with my Lord? Yes, one day perhaps the special someone will come along and that will be wonderful but for now that is not my place. This February 14th, this day, and this moment, God has chosen especially for me to seek Him in a new way, to know and love Him more and more, and to focus on serving Him with all I have. There is no one else I need when He is wooing me.

I’ll be off now, for I’m late for my date with God!

Whom have I in Heaven but you? And on earth has nothing I desire besides you.

Psalm 75: 25

PS I am proud to be writing my fourteenth post on this fourteenth day!