As a little girl, Valentine’s Day was my all-time favorite holiday.
I adored the special school day jam-packed with colorful homemade cards, heart-shaped sweets, secret pals, and oodles of words of love and kindness.
But as I grew older, Valentine’s Day lost its luster. No longer was my mailbox filled with glittery handmade notes with bids to “Be Mine.” While everyone was being wined, dined, and showered with gorgeous long-stemmed roses, I watched Beverly Hills 90210, counting the fat grams in my store-bought treats. Although Hallmark still declared, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” those twenty-four hours were dreadfully long and lonely, and I lost my “happy” along the way.
I wonder if you can relate?
Whether married or single, female or male, rich or poor, young or old, Valentine’s Day has the potential to leave us isolated, exhausted, or feeling let down.
But here’s the good news: one day doesn’t have to define our “happy.”
Sweet friends, we have a choice. We always have a choice.
I learned this life lesson the hard way. You see, while in my late twenties, I was faced with my most agonizing Valentine’s Day. Ever.
You may be familiar with my story. In 1998, while in the midst of planning a dream wedding, a traumatizing event occurred. My beloved fiancé was killed in a freak workplace accident, and without warning, I was abruptly left heartbroken and alone.
Just eight short weeks later, February 14th marked the calendar. Again.
Everything in me wanted to spend the dreadful day in a puddle of self-pity. Stay in my mismatched pj’s. Stuff myself with chocolate covered cherries. Leave the phone unanswered and the blinds pulled, while numbing the pain and wallowing in my grief.
Thankfully I remembered the wise words spoken over me, “Cindy, you have a choice. You always have a choice.”
It’s true, I did have a choice. I could choose to trust God. Or I could choose to believe Valentine’s Day stinks.
What did I choose?
- I reluctantly got out of bed and asked God to help me face the day.
- I accepted the invitation to share my story at church. I publicly declared through my tears, God was still good, trustworthy, and loving.
- Not wanting to focus on what I didn’t have, I reflected on what I did have: Health. Family. Hope. Community.
- I spent the afternoon with my favorite aunt creating and delivering sparkly heart-shaped cards to special friends.
Was my Valentine’s Day filled with sadness and tears? Yes.
But what could have been a dreadfully depressing day was sprinkled with precious moments of gratitude, kindness, and even a smile or two.
Sweet friend, please consider: You have a choice. This Valentine’s Day and every day, you always have a choice.
- Will you count the blessings you do have or the things you don’t have?
- Will you spend your time loving outwardly, looking inwardly, or scrolling mindlessly?
- Will you choose to be content with your circumstances or constantly compare your life to others?
- Will you choose to receive God’s love for you or look to others for your value and worth?
And who do you know who might have a “stinky” Valentine’s Day this year?
- Recently widowed woman
- Single mom down the street
- Adolescent girl looking for love on Instagram
- Friend in the hard marriage
- College student away from home
I wonder if a phone call, simple flower, or quick text stating, “Hey, wanted to remind you that “YOU ARE LOVED” may help soothe the sadness? Why not mark your calendar to send a love-filled message now?
Remember: one day doesn’t define our “happy.”
Thankfully we all have a special love-filled message already spoken over us. God’s Word declares, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! —1 John 3:1”
His Word is the very best love note of all.