It’s Valentine’s Day again!
I’m pretty positive that this is the one day of the year more than any other where people feel either completely loved or completely alone.
It’s ironic that this one day out of the year could manage to bring out two such different extreme emotions depending on the person.
I’ve been divorced since 2006 and I’ll admit in the beginning this was a really hard day for me.
The fact that I had been married for 11 years made this day feel all the more vacant.
The fact that my ex-husband had told me shortly after Valentine’s Day that he didn’t love me anymore and wanted a divorce made the holiday all the more memorable for me.
I definitely spent a few years swimming in self pity and staring at my empty flower vase.
Something happened to me around 2008.
An epiphany of sorts.
I just woke up one day filled with the realization of the fact that God loves me.
Not only does He love me–but He adores me.
He literally loves me and adores me to the point that He would die for me.
That He would come down from His throne and willingly subject Himself to the cruelty this world offers.
While Jesus lived here, He experienced rejection from those He cared for.
He was abandoned in His darkest hour by those He loved.
He was laughed at, spit upon, and mocked by the very people He came to save.
And after all of that, He was beaten, tortured and killed.
It took awhile but I finally realized one day that there is probably no one out there that really understands the way I’ve often felt more than Jesus Christ.
I was married once to someone I loved.
I remember wanting to please this person.
I remember spending hours trying to come up with the perfect present just for him.
Waiting impatiently for him to open it and watch his face light up.
I remember working to create the perfect meal so when he came home from work he’d feel special.
And I remember most of all the wedding dress still hanging in my garage that I wore the day I married the person I thought would be by my side the rest of my life.
Instead, I was told that I didn’t make him happy anymore.
That he didn’t love me.
That he was so in love with someone else that he could not stand to spend one more second in my presence.
I watched him pack his suitcase and walk out the door.
And there I sat.
Alone in the dark watching my babies sleep.
Looking at the empty space in the bed.
He slept on the left side and I slept on the right.
And it took me 2 years to move to the middle.
For 11 years that had been his place and some part of me felt that it needed to stay empty.
Like a memorial to what was.
Like some makeshift grave to our marriage.
Then one day it dawned on me that Jesus had felt humiliated like I had.
He’d felt rejected, despised, and abandoned.
If anyone understood those feelings, it was Him.
We were a bit like kindred spirits.
And then there was the fact that He loved me.
I had never met Him in person.
But He had left me a love letter that let me know I belonged to Him.
That long before I was born, He had loved me enough to die for me.
And that He wanted me to be with Him forever.
And then I began to realize that I didn’t need someone to tell me I was special.
Oh well…it’s nice of course…but I didn’t NEED it to believe it.
I needed to remind myself of it, though, from time to time.
And that’s when I began buying myself flowers.
Flowers for Valentine’s Day, my birthday, Mother’s Day, and for no reason at all.
This was God’s gift to me. And I deserved it.
We are all special people.
If you’re married, divorced, widowed.
If you’re a single mom, single dad, or even if you’re married to someone who just doesn’t notice you anymore.
Whatever your circumstance, God loves you.
So you’re not alone.
You may feel alone but you’re not.
So if this is your day of mourning instead of dancing, let me pass along a video that really touched my heart. I hope it uplifts you and encourages you.