Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. This day is all about romance, all about love – dedicated to sappy couples. To us singles, it is often just a brutal reminder of how alone we really are. We can’t ignore it because every time we walk into a store we see big red displays; hearts plaster the walls and flowers bud in every aisle The advertisements may start as early as the first week of January, leaving us to hope, dream, and be disappointed for over a month. To make matters worse we can’t overlook all the excitement on the actual day. Bouquets sent to coworkers and friends’ gleeful cries over what their sweethearts’ gave them forbid us the peace forgetfulness offers.
I have to admit, I have shed some tears on Valentine’s Day. My very first heartbreak occurred at a school Valentine’s Dance. But Valentine’s Day doesn’t bother me nearly as much as it used to.
It started in high school. Two of my male friends had crushes on me. They’d been pursuing me for weeks. Valentine’s Day was just around the corner. I was terrified that these boys would get me Valentines and expect me to respond romantically. They were my friends and I did not want to hurt them. But they were my friends and I also did not want to date them. I dreaded the awkwardness that awaited me should one of them give me a gift and ask me out.
On the other hand, most of my peers were dating and I knew they’d be getting gifts. And I knew that I would hear them gloat over their wonderful relationships and then I would long for someone to give me a beautiful gift. I would yearn to feel special, feel loved. So I prayed.
I didn’t know what to ask for. I understood that asking for a Valentine, just to make me feel good, was selfish. I also realized that if I told God I didn’t want any Valentines I would be lying. If I didn’t get any Valentine I would probably wallow in self-pity, because that was the mood I was working myself up toward, and that self-pity had the great potential to turn into anger at God over my loneliness.
So I decided to spill my guts to God and tell him exactly how I was feeling. I didn’t know what I wanted, but I wanted something. After pausing and contemplating, babbling and stuttering, it came out kind of like, “Dear Lord, it would be awfully nice if someone who didn’t like me at all gave me a Valentine.”
Along came the big day. I went to school. Not a single gift. Thank you, Lord, those guys didn’t buy me anything. I went home mostly satisfied with the way things had turned out. I didn’t have to face any awkward conversations or accept anything I didn’t want. But I have to admit underneath all the positive feelings, I still carried a little disappointment.
Then I got a phone call. My next door neighbor asked me to come over. She was an elderly lady whom I talked with almost every day and had practically adopted as my grandmother. I walked over to her house and to my delight she held a great big pink dog with a huge heart attached to his collar. He was absolutely adorable and as soft as could be. Best of all, he was for me.
I knew that dog, Duffy I named him, wasn’t just from my next-door neighbor. God looked down at me that Valentine’s Day and decided to remind me that He loves me. If He loves me, what more do I need?
Since that Valentine’s Day I have had a few on which I didn’t receive a thing. But that doesn’t bother me anymore, because I know how much my Jesus loves me. That’s all I need. And for now, I would rather not be getting any Valentines than getting them from men I don’t like. 😉