Today happens to be St. Valentine’s Day, a day that we celebrate here in the United States with gifts of flowers, chocolates, or jewelry for our loved ones. For many single people, it can be a day they would like to discount or avoid since they may be experiencing heartache from a broken relationship. For me, it is the honoring of the saint that was instrumental in bringing the message of God’s love and healing to others. This devoted man gave the most expensive gift possible, by losing his own life so others might find new life in Christ. This is my favorite holiday because over time, I have come to realize more and more the importance of showing my love and appreciation to those I have been blessed to be in relationship with. Because God first loved me, what is more important that loving others? And because of the symbolism of love that defines St. Valentine’s life, I am motivated to walk similarly, so others may be touched by true love.
Since I am a devoted follower of Christ, every day is a celebration of his birth and reality in my life. It’s like commemorating Christmas (the birth of Christ) and Easter (the resurrection of Christ) as a lifestyle rather than just a social event. I cherish the family time and events of Christmas, however, the stress of the materialism and the deadline of this holiday leaves me still longing for more opportunity to express my affection for others. I’ve found that this opportunity lies within St. Valentines Day.
I am so grateful for all the successful love relationships we can celebrate, what would life be like if there were no loving kindness in the world? However, there are also the many stories of heartbreak and loss; stories of real people who must face life every day, despite the loss of a loved one through death or through the failure of a relationship. Reflection upon our past or present may result in great pain for us. On our journey through life, we are faced with the challenge of recovery and healing from wounds.
Today, I wanted to express to all the folks who may read this, that no matter how devastated or hurt or lonely you may feel, and no matter how “stinky” love may appear right now, God is here for you personally, and he knows exactly what you’re going through and cares for you deeply. There is life beyond a breakup or divorce or the death of a spouse or loved one, one little baby step at a time. I encourage you to keep stepping forward. From my own personal experience, I can tell you that taking those steps while holding his hand, has made all the difference for me. By trusting his love for me, I have the strength to continue on and to grow and discover the good things he has in store for me. I would have missed some really sweet blessings if I had chosen to hold on to bitterness or if I allowed my failed relationships to define me. I choose to walk in love toward those who have hurt me as well as walking in forgiveness of my own faults! No, I am not perfect, but every day I am attempting to do the right things, to make progress, and keep moving forward.
In the city I live in, there is a billboard that sits just above a large Planned Parenthood building. There is this photo of a large hand gently clutching a tiny hand with the words, “Take his hand, not his life.” I encourage you to take his hand, and let him take your life. You can trust him to hold you, to lead you and guide you through this season of your life, and in all seasons of your life. God will be faithful unlike any other human being you’ve known. He longs for you to know his love for you and to heal your broken heart.
So, I dedicate this article to all those feeling heartbroken and skeptical. May the love and peace of God find you today, and may it bring you into new hope. May you experience a new measure of healing and strength and new opportunities to show your love to others just as St. Valentine did. Blessings to you!
P.S. If you have recently experienced new hope and healing, please share your good news, would love to hear from you!