It’s that time of year again. I can already feel the hot sting of disappointment that plagues me in an attempt to make me feel unloved, unworthy, and rejected. It started in the 6th grade as I sat in Homeroom. I watched as the Student Counsel passed out carnations. I silently prayed that someone…anyone…would think I was special enough to ask me to be their Valentine. As the stack of carnations dwindled, the disappointment grew. “Please, please, please call my name! I just want a stupid flower!” My heart sunk as the last flower was handed out, and none of them were for me. It was my first time to experience the rejection that said “You aren’t special to anyone in the whole school.”
I re-lived that experience all the way through Jr. High and High School. Each year it was the same thing. Each year I experienced the same rejection. Each year my heart took a beating. I tried with all my might to pretend that it didn’t matter, but in all honesty it mattered a great deal.
You’d think that as I grew up, Valentine’s Day would get better. No such luck. I NEVER had a date for Valentines. I didn’t get flowers or chocolates. I spent each year alone, lonely, and feeling once again…rejected. At least as an adult now I could lock myself in my apartment and avoid the day altogether…unless I had to work. Then it was like 6th grade all over again. I’d watch with hope that quickly turned to dread each time the delivery trucks arrived with flowers, balloons, and candy. My name was never on the card. I never had a Valentine.
Once I got married, I thought this pattern would change. The husband is obligated to buy his wife flowers and chocolates…right? Well, my sweet hubby has tons of amazing qualities, and I love him very much. He loves me too, but he has one flaw that is magnified each year on Valentines. My husband is “Romantically Challenged.” While he gets straight A’s in many aspects of our marriage, he simply isn’t any good at the “make me swoon” stuff that Valentine’s Day seems to call for.
As the February 14th holiday approaches, I am pondering the lifetime of disappointment inflicted upon me by Valentine’s Day. I pause and wonder what can I do to avoid feeling rejected, unloved, and disappointed. What is the cure for my recurring case of Valentine-itis?
It makes sense that the cure would be in the heart of the holiday…love. So I must start with love. What is it and where does it come from?
1 John 4:8 says “God is love.”
He doesn’t just love, but He IS love! That to me is a good start to my cure. I need to connect with the love that is God, not the commercially branded love that leaves me disappointed and feeling rejected or unloved. This means love isn’t a limp carnation…I must desire Him over the elusive flowers.
Just knowing what love is isn’t enough though…We desire love that lasts and will not reject us.
Deuteronomy 7:9 tells us to “Know, therefore, that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments…”.
God will not turn His back on me because His love is steadfast… not wavering or changing. That’s a love that you can count on beyond one day of the year. Its more reliable than that box of chocolates that does turn on you as it grabs ahold of your thighs and doesn’t want to let go.
Perhaps this quote by Rick Warren sums it up pretty good. “God is love. He didn’t need us. But he wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.”
Deep down, it was never about the flowers or the chocolate. It was always about wanting to be wanted, and God wants me! He wants you too!
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