Psalm 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.”
Last night, as sweetheart and I pondered the state of the universe (our code for my idle chit chat while he’s trying to go to sleep and I’m wide awake), we found ourselves talking about our memories of childhood Valentine’s Days. Since we haven’t had young children in a while, we wondered if the elementary school’s still celebrate the holiday at all. There is so much about our world that has changed, what with the need for “sameness” and all those other society issues.
In the “old days” we would spend the days before February 14 securing and decorating a shoebox to hold the valentines our classmates would give us. For the boys, it meant mom forcing them to at least put their name on the outside of the box. For us girls it meant snipping intricate little hearts, placing them just so on the outside of the red, pink, and white box. If we were lucky, we had secured some stickers or some glitter or best of all, glossy perfect hearts that we had carefully cut out of our mom’s magazines.
The valentines were small, usually about the size of a playing card. They had all the usual silly lines about “Bee mine” (picture of a bee and a heart), “you make my heart flutter” (picture of a butterfly and a heart), and the ever popular handmade card with tiny candy hearts glued on. You always hoped you would get one of those from the cutest boy in class or one from that girl you wanted desperately to be friends with. What you usually got was a box full of same old, same old.
I shared with sweetheart how much I detested Valentines Day when I was younger. Or for that matter, pretty much my entire life. It had always been a holiday that meant that someone had to prove they loved me by how much they gave me. I usually ended up feeling let down, left out, and unhappy. No matter how big the card, how bright the flowers, how expensive the chocolate, there was always that nagging feeling that it just wasn’t what I wanted or needed.
After a few minutes, when I realized that sweetheart had long since given up listening and was deep in sleep, I found myself pondering the fact that this year it was different somehow. I wasn’t going to bed unhappy. At that moment I realized that it wasn’t because I finally received what I wanted. I had finally stopped looking for others to fill my valentine box with pretty cards to boost my ego. I finally stopped trying to find joy through what other people gave me. I finally stopped trying to give my heart away to someone as imperfect as I was.
My heart is filled with joy because I have placed it into the Hands of the only One who can truly give me what I need. Because the Lord has given me what I truly need, everything else is truly a gift. I am able to take each valentine out of the box, hold it up in the light of His Love, and accept it with a heart of thanksgiving.
Dearest Father God, Thank You so much for teaching me this lesson on love. Thank You for the blessings that are in my life. Let me always decorate my life in anticipation of what You are going to fill it with. You are a most awesome God, giving joy where it is not deserved. Bless my dear friends with the knowledge that only You can give them the perfect Valentine. Everything else is just an imitation. In the name of Christ, our Brother, Amen
Ps…to my dear readers….just so you know….my sweetheart gave me the second best perfect Valentine (after God’s of course). A cinnamon sugar donut, a frying pan, and a leisurely breakfast at our favorite local restaurant, La Madaleine’s(click here). I love you sweetheart. God has filled my heart with joy and you have filled my life with happiness.
copyright@2012 Michelle Welch, The Unclaimed Gift, Breath of Life Women’s Ministry