Valentine’s Day: Surprised by Love

It’s coming up. This Sunday. The biggest day of failed expectations and disappointments.

I know I’m not the only one, but I’m still embarrassed to admit that I’ve thrown more than a few pity parties because this love day didn’t turn out how I wanted.

I’m just hoping I won’t ruin a perfectly normal day for my family because of my own sad let-down. Which usually just happens all in my head. I actually have a very loving family.

It’s crazy up in there. In my head. There is a stirring of fantasies and desires to receive grande expressions of love. Love that will make me melt with happiness and make life worth all the living.

Usually the dream includes flowers, poems,  awesome get-aways. Of course, I have a new cute outfit, husband smells amazing, and the kids’ faces are clean. If the fateful morning even begins off-kilter from my expectations,  I start to inwardly pout.

A thought will overtake my mind: “Valentine’s Day won’t happen for me if I don’t make it happen”. Love is up to me. I’ve got to give love to get love.

Oh, I’m a smart one. My kids can’t be “expected” to give love. They need to be “taught” how to give love. I will teach them. Kids, let’s make these awesome Valentines! Kids, I will make you heart-shaped pancakes!! Kids, listen to the many reasons why I love you!!! Let’s all group-hug!

I’m a genius wife too. My husband can’t be “expected” to give love. Love must be given to him. I will call him and sing “I just called to say I love you”!!! 🎶 I will text him a sweet love note. I will cook up a favorite meal!!!!

But at the end of the day, I will be sad. I will be resentful. I will act out in frustration and anger that nobody loves me on this special day of love! Boo! Hoo! on me. In all the loving I have done, I was expecting something in return.

I didn’t give beautiful selfless love that my family deserves. Love that gives life. I was giving to receive. And when my unspoken expectations failed, I moaned “yeah, who am I to think that I would receive good love anyway…”

This year is a new year. And God is in the business of making all things new. Even me. The way He is making me new?

He is surprising me with Love.

A new song came out by Chris Tomlin a few months back. A song that is changing my life. Because I am daring to believe the lyrics.

Take a listen: A Good Good Father

The guy starts out singing about his personal experience with God:

I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that you’re pleased
And that I’m never alone

How I enjoy whispers of love. God’s love is eternal, supreme, and available to me anytime I want it. ❤️. Even in my darkest moments.

Somewhere in the middle the song sings words straight out of the bible, about what God can do:

Cause You know just what we need
Before we say a word

Oh how I long to feel secure and loved in the daily grind of life. God does that for me in my chaos and loneliness.

This Valentine’s day I want to lean into God’s love for me. Believing that I am His, and He is mine. ❤️. And that truth is more than enough love for any and all Valentine’s days.

But, why am I surprised?

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The other day, I bought a chocolate for my husband, Mike. His favorite. While making dinner, I thought, “If I want to have Valentine’s chocolate, I have to buy it myself.”

I dug into the grocery bag, found that chocolate I bought for my husband, and ate it up. Not two minutes later, Michael walks in the door, with a heart-shaped box of chocolates for me. Can we just say “It’s not even Valentine’s day yet”?

Surprised.

God knows that I crave displays of affection from my husband that I didn’t verbally ask for. ❤️
I confessed my negative thinking to Mike, and was surprised again. Mike was understanding and sweet. We laughed about it and shared the chocolate with our kids.

Later,  I found a bunch of sparkly heart cut outs. “Mom, those are for you.” A sweet gift to decorate the fridge.

Surprised.  ❤️.

God knew I wondered if my boys thought about me in ways other than “how will you feed me?”

Michael shared with me this week that he wants to “study” me.  Huh?  In essence, he wants me to know how much he loves me and is willing to show me how he notices me.

Surprised. ❤️.

Honestly,  I have longed to hear something like that for many years.  And my husband is backing those words with beautiful actions that I don’t feel I deserve.  God knows what I need. And He is providing in ways beyond what I can dream up in my head.

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1John 4:10.

God’s love is way bigger and better than the love of a husband or our children.  Even so, He shows us love in a language we can understand.  Through our people.  God delights in surprising us with Love. May we believe in an eternal love.  The love that saves us and makes us new:  God’s love.

What are your thoughts on love and Valentine’s Day?  Have you been surprised by God?

2 comments

  1. I have been single all my life. I have never been married, nor have been in a committed relationship longer than a year. In the beginning, Valentine’s Day would come and go and I would be sad. No one chose me. No one loved me. As I grew older, I would either be in the budding stages of a relationship where celebrating Valentine’s Day was not yet appropriate or I would be in the midst of a “non-committal, yet mutually beneficial” relationship where the guy would run out to the nearest liquor store to grab the last wilted and browned bouquet of flowers and hand them to me with the $2.99 price tag on it. Thus far, men and St. Valentine were at war each other and my romantic heart was the innocent bystander. Then I had children. Male children. Ah ha! THEY love me with all of their heart; in fact, NO WOMAN will love them more. Surely, they will be my Valentines and shower me with cute little drawings and cards and flowers…and it will be enough. The drawings, cards and flowers came, usually coordinated by my awesome sister… but it wasn’t enough. I smiled and was grateful…but I felt a deep sadness. Would anyone ever SEE me without me prompting them for attention? Would anyone find me worthy of loving without motive? But year after year, I always loved Valentine’s Day. Sure, it was over-commercialized and often cheesy. Sure, it set up false expectations that usually rendered one half of a couple disappointed. But I am a sucker for love. And any day that celebrates any expression of love is a day worth celebrating. So I remained hopeful, yet year after year…I was A. LONE.

    Then one day I had a vision of Jesus. He looked at me. In me. Through me. He smiled, put His hand on my cheek, and said, “I see you.” I can’t accurately convey with words the roar of tears that poured from my eyes and release of the pain in my heart. My father expressed love only when I did something right. My sons expressed love when I fed them or kissed their boo boos. Jesus expresses love, seemingly when I’m least deserving of it. I’ve never known a love like this before.

    Valentine’s Day comes and goes each year and for the past 5 years or so I have not been the least bit sad or alone. In fact, on each Valentine’s Day I am filled with joy. Why? Because 1 John 4:8 says, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I look at all of these couples on Facebook, in restaurants, walking hand in hand down the street and I say to God, “I SEE YOU.” I wonder if the same amount of tears rush down His face when we see Him? I wonder if my seeing HIM releases a pain in His heart left by the billions of people who don’t?

    My boys are growing into men. I can teach them all day long how to treat a lady and the right things to do on Valentine’s Day. But I cannot teach them to see. That is God’s job. I hope to celebrate Valentine’s Day with someone special some day, but mostly to participate in my 3rd favorite holiday (Behind Christmas and New Years). I am in no longer in a rush to run out and grab the last wilted and browned, $2.99 worth of relationship just to say that I did. Whether that day comes or not, I know that I am seen and loved with a love that cannot be equalled here on earth. I am. not. alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you just gave me the most awesome Valentine gift ever! Your testostimony of God’s love for you and yours for Him! You make my heart sing and dance. Praise God! What a beautiful love that reached out to you in a supernatural way… The real-est bestest kind of intimacy. May you go deeper still with Him. 💖 Thank you so much for sharing! Happy Valentine’s Day!

      Like

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