Valentine’s Day. I’ve always loved it. As a child, my dad would always come home with heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and a teddy bear for me and my little sister.
It was a delight. Daddy loves you. Who doesn’t thrive there?
When I hit my early teen years my dad’s gifts kind of trickled off but my Granddaddy began to send me flowers through the mail. It was such a heart-filling act that, as I write this brings tears to my eyes.
My granddaddy is no longer on this side of Heaven, but the fruit of his acts live on.
My Granddaddy loved and loves me.
In undergrad or university, the guys in the art department pooled their money and purchased all the ladies in the program flowers, chocolates, and teddy bears. Then they went around campus delivering them to us as a surprise.
Wow, unexpected care and appreciation. They saw me…they saw us.
Now as a single woman, well in my thirties I realize Valentine’s Day has always been more of an ‘acquaintance’ of a holiday for me. We knew each other but weren’t terribly intimate, not in the way of the typical romantic view and expression of the day.
I have always been grateful for the love and expression showed me by the men in my life but have never had the pleasure of experiencing Valentine’s joy from a man who showed a genuine interest in me as a woman, and I know that I am not alone there.
Sadly, year after year, I’ve watched others, both men and women, mourn as the holiday draws near because of their single status and I’ve always been made to wonder why such a big deal was made of it. Why the sadness, the negative memes on social media, or the bad jokes about being a party of one?
It’s only now that I realize why my heart has been so full even when my arms have been empty, why although I still have genuine longings for the sanctified love shared between a man and a woman, that I don’t see the day as a dark cloud slowly moving over the horizon to remind me of my single-status.
The reason? The Father’s Love.
Now, let me preface this by saying that I know there are many Believers who still struggle with this despite being loved by God the Father. There are also many who have not had pleasant experiences of love from their earthly fathers. Still, there is much to be gleaned, I believe, from wherever you are in this romanticized season.
My testimony on Valentine’s day is this, that because my earthly father gave small gestures of love on this day, because my granddaddy showed love, because the men in the art department at Central State University made a sacrifice and showed love and appreciation, that now I today have not a glass half full or empty, but a glass that contains something good with the joyful expectation of so much more. I now realize that I have the capacity to receive and to image more.
“What shall I render to the Lord For all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the Lord.” ~PSALM 116:12-13
The beauty for you as well is that you too have a glass or in this case a heart and soul that has received so much good from our Heavenly Father that you too have the capacity to have and receive more: more love, more joy, more grace, more appreciation.
Maybe your earthly father missed the mark and didn’t bring you chocolates or send you flowers but your Heavenly Father brought you redemption and made you a new creation when He sent you His most prized possession, His Only Begotten Son, Christ Jesus.
Maybe you didn’t have a great experience in undergrad or university where your classmates went out of their way to show their appreciation for you. But you do have a Savior Who went out of His way to redeem you and make you His bride even when we were yet sinners and His enemy (ROMANS 5:1-8).
And what is more, He still goes out of His way to show you how much He truly loves you.
This Valentine’s Day, breathe Him in. Bask in His love. Celebrate the gifts He has given you and know that you are not forgotten. Take the time to look back on not just this day in the past, but every day and magnify the little love-moments He has blessed you with. Write them down. Read them out loud and let Him fill your cup to overflow again and again and again (ROMANS 15:13)!
Happy Valentine’s Day from your Heavenly Father & Savior!