I'm spending Valentine's Day with my love, and it's kind of a cool feeling.
Now, those of you who know me are probably raising an eyebrow right now. You have a love? Why didn't I know about him? Yes, and no. I do, and not really. Read on, and you'll see.
And those of you who have been reading for long enough are probably rolling your eyes, if you haven't already browsed elsewhere, thinking This is going to be one of those cheesy single girl posts about spending the day with Jesus. Hardly. Those are cheesy. More importantly, they are misleading. I don't like the idea that God should just fill every vacancy in our lives, that we can pacify ourselves with more of Him. There's a very real longing, at least in me, there is, for love. And while God is all-loving, and I have a certain thing for my Savior, it does not satisfy this created longing. Let's not pretend that it does.
Yet God is in the very midst of it, as He always is.
I'll admit this is kind of a new thing for me. I've never had a valentine until this year. Have never really given much thought to it. There won't be any flower deliveries gracing my doorway. There won't be any chocolate waiting on the table. (Good thing, too. I'm allergic to chocolate.) For yet another season, my hands remain bare of jewelry. And still, I'm spending Valentine's Day with my love.
You see, I woke up this morning thinking about the empty spaces of love in my life. Thinking about the boys who have come and gone. Thinking about the ones I kept looking at who never gave me a second look. Thinking about the silly things I have done to turn some of them away. (Two years ago, as I wrestled to get my new bicycle in the back of a borrowed SUV, a tremendously cute, ring-less young man dropped his bags in the parking lot, right on the pavement, and came half-jogging over to help me. And I, in my incredibly independent, all-capable womanhood, said, "Naw. I got it. It's okay." When he persisted, so did I. "Really, I got this." He walked away, and I instantly kicked myself. Did I mention he was tremendously cute? I have got to learn to play a little more damsel.)
Anyway, I was thinking about these things and it's depressing. It can be, anyway. It brings back all the things I've ever told myself about why I'd never have a valentine. It brings back the messages I've believed that I wasn't worth loving, could never find love, could never be loved, because there is nothing lovely about me. Lies from a distant hollow. But I'm a girl, with this kind of emotional response built into me. It is what it is.
All of a sudden, though, before I could head down the singles' familiar road, before I grew violently angry at the news anchors on television for reminding me every five seconds what today is, before I decided to crawl back into bed and shut today off and wait for Sunday, a little flitter of something captivated my heart. And I was taken. Head over heels, absolutely in love with...my love.
I caught a glimpse, in my mind's eye, or perhaps in my heart, of the man God has chosen for me. The man God is right now building up to be my husband, to be my better half. To have and to hold. To treasure and to cherish. To love. To be mine. The glimpse was so real that I could almost feel his hand holding mine. I could almost feel what it would be like to adorn these hands with jewels. I imagined what it must feel like to really get roses today, although any man of mine would know I would be torn between the traditional gesture of love and a more captivating flower, like a tulip or a lily. I imagined what it would be like to share a quiet dinner, a bit of dessert, and a still evening with one another. In an instant, I knew what it would be like to have this man in my life. So I smiled, and I reconsidered today.
Today...is a day for love. I don't have one...yet. Not really. I don't have a love who will take me out to dinner tonight. I don't have a love who will leave work early to surprise me with a tender gift. I don't have a man who is going to kiss me goodnight or hold my hand for what seems like forever. But I hold the idea of this man fully in my heart, and so today is a day for love. I celebrate by making myself lovely. I celebrate by embracing the love to come in my life and by living today worthy of that tomorrow. By keeping myself pure, first and foremost; not soiling myself with an unworthy love. But also by keeping myself hopeful and open, I guess you might say. By refusing to let my mind, my heart, or my life turn away from the ache for love and poison this day before it even has a chance to be something. I'm using today to celebrate the love that will one day be mine, and by preparing myself to let him love me and to love him in return.
I celebrate today by remembering what love is, and dreaming of what love will be like. By knowing the loveliness God has created in me and reflecting on those qualities, all that I might grow them (and not diminish or dismiss them) in the waiting. I celebrate today by honoring the love that is to come in my life, by letting my heart be captivated by it, by letting it sweep me away. I celebrate by preparing myself for what is to come - in body, in heart, in spirit. In love.
So I'm spending this Valentine's Day with my love, for the first time in my life. And I can't wait to meet him some day and tell him this story.