credit: Jessica at www.bohemianbowmans.com
You know what is really annoying? No, not Valentine's Day. No, not being single on Valentine's Day. It is being accosted by people in person and on every possible form of social media who think that being alone on Valentine's Day means you're automatically a) bitter, b) depressed, c) jealous of anyone you know who's in a relationship, or d) any combination of the three.
Thankfully, no one said anything that offensive directly to me, but I've seen evidence of this seemingly in every direction I turned today. Instead, this is what I tweeted this morning.
Because really, y'all, there is so much love to celebrated today beyond the love of people who are dating/engaged/married. This is a day when kids bring in cards for every single kid in their class, even the ones who might otherwise get left out. This is a day when my friend Kami and her husband make the day about their kids instead of each other. This a day when my friend Jessica's boss's husband brought in flowers for the entire staff. This is a day when I spent more than an hour scouring a website for presents for one of my best friends..
And I meant what I said in that tweet. I have so much love in my life, more than I know what to do with.
I have the love of a Heavenly Father who sent His child to die for me before I even existed, who loves me unconditionally, whom I can run to at any time, who saved me even when I hated Him, who gave me everything I needed and only asked that I love and pursue Him with everything I am.
I have the love of a mother who loves me with everything she has to give, who has fought for me from the start, without whom I probably would not be alive, who pushed me because she saw greatness I didn't see in myself, who rarely takes a moment for herself because she's so busy giving to everyone else (and you wonder where I got it from).
I have the love of sisters and an extended family who, even though we are not close, are always there for me when it counts.
I have the love of friends who have shown me how to find my self-confidence in the Lord, who distract me when I need it, who comfort me when I'm crying, who aren't shy about telling me when they think I'm being an idiot, who are always protective of me even when I think I don't need it (and usually I actually do), who show me what it means to love someone even when they seem unlovable, who make me a better person and more passionate about knowing Jesus just by being my friends.
I have so much.
But it was when I watched this video by Jeff and Alyssa Bethke (who, by the way, are one of the cutest couples ever) that I think God spoke to me about my singleness and why I'm 4 months from being 21 and have yet to ever have a boyfriend.
I haven't been content with the stage God has me in. I've been waiting, hoping, praying, that a guy I've been interested in for a while would be "the guy"....only for him to get a girlfriend. I've been wondering why God hasn't brought me a relationship yet.
I've been completely ignoring the fact that I may still be single because there is work God has still to do in my heart before I have the emotional stability and maturity to be in a Christ-centered relationship. He has a plan and a purpose and He has not forgotten me. Just this past week, I have seen evidence of Him working in my life in a major way. God doesn't not pick and choose; from the start, He's wanted a complete and total overhaul and remodel of my life. My love life, the love story He wants for me, isn't excluded from that.
I've been so focused on the future and the man that is hopefully waiting for me there that I've missed out on the joy I can find in life right now.
I've been so focused on wondering when a man will want to love me that I've gotten distracted from where my self-worth lies...in Christ alone. I've forgotten that God's love is actually enough to fill me with the peace I need to wait for His timing. I am a daughter of the King. That is who I am first and foremost, always. That will not change no matter if I'm single, dating, engaged, married, divorced, widowed, or a crazy spinster.
That is where the passage at the top comes in. Ephesians 3:17b-19. I saw it on Jessica's blog and it hit me hard. Even if I do find the love of my life and stay married for 60 years, the love I receive from my husband will never even come close to rivaling the boundless, all-powerful, unconditional, burning love of God. The God who used 4 strangers to pique my curiosity about what it meant to find your identity in Christ and be filled with His love and joy. The same God who used a painful medical trauma to make me realize how much I need him. The same God who got my mom to give me a plane ticket to Nashville. The same God who stopped a skin infection from getting in the way of my trip. The same God who chased me down and broke me in a church in a city I didn't know surrounded by 600 strangers.
As humans, we all have our limits about things we just won't do. Mine pretty much involve anything illegal or that will cause me to knowingly hurt another person. But God? God will do anything for me. For you. For all of us.
For the first time in my life, I can honestly say it didn't bother me not having a Valentine today. No cutesy card, no box of chocolates, no bouquet of flowers, no declarations of love can match the incomprehensible love of the Lord that is with me every second of every day. In the words of Alyssa, He is for me.
That's all the Valentine's gift I need.