Finding A Deeper Love on Valentines Day...
It was a chilly winter morning in February, frost was forming on the window panes and the air had a cold bite to it, making you wrap your shawl a little tighter around your shoulders.
There is a profound, bone-deep difference between "alone time" and being lonely. As a newly single mother of a toddler, traveling alone in a foreign country, my mind retraced the events which had lead me to this very moment. I was gripped with a bitter fear afraid to face what lay ahead. Just 21 years old and alone with a child, 8000 miles between me and my family. I burst into my apartment and cry and cry and cry, standing in the middle of the living room. It’s an involuntary physical reaction to the lack: of someone beside me on the streetcar, of someone waiting for me on the couch. And I let the pain flow through me, feel it race up and down and through the conductor of my body. Then I climb into bed and try not to think, How can I last another night in this same bed in this same room in this same loveless life and wake up alone and do it again the next day and the next and the next?
Adding insult to injury; It was Valentine's Day. Ah, romance. Just what everyone needs...right?
The Valentine's Day marketing machine and the quest for social acceptance can make "Singles Awareness day" dreary or even cruel if you're alone, whether by choice or by circumstance. It's hard to see what else life has to offer when you're bombarded with romantic comedies on TV, romance novels and cutesy heart-shaped trinkets in the stores, and never-ending drippy advertisements and event announcements, and I was no exception. This was my first shot at being single and I wasn't good at it.
As my neighbors warmly cuddled up with their loved ones, I'd much rather have stayed indoors with a hot cup of coffee in hand, warming my toes by the electric heater. But life had other plans; I was up early taking my beautiful but terribly noisy baby out for a brisk walk in the stroller, letting my newlywed flat mates sleep in.
In the early morning light the sky was dreary and grey with a fine mist coming down that made use of an umbrella pointless. The streets were oddly quiet, with no one around apart from a few forgetful husbands frantically rushing out to pick up the last bunch of red roses and boxes of chocolates for their loved ones. The winter wind, howling, whips at my clothes and bites my face with a ferocity unusual in nature. Bitter and sharp, the raw air flies towards me wanting to suck every drop of heat left in my stone-cold body. My face stings and eyes swell with hot tears as relentless gusts wash over me. I burst into heaving, childish sobs.
I was at my darkest hour and desperately feeling completely and utterly alone in the world ---and dare I say it "lonely and unloved" - In the past Valentine’s day was something to cherish and look forward too, a time of sharing, celebrating the love in my relationship but now, let’s face it, nothing is worse than being alone on Valentine’s Day!
With a heavy heart I walked on. Now, if by some miracle, a car past me on the street with a catch phrase bumper sticker "God loves you" - "God loves me," I said aloud hoping to convince myself - and at that moment I turned my head towards the heavens and sincerely prayed and made a wish with all my heart. "Please let me feel that love". With my tears, I told God how I was afraid to be alone and needed Him now more than ever. I told God that this year He was my Valentine --as I had no one else.
Then, unexpectedly, He reached over and gently took my hand – just when I desperately needed someone to cherish me, He was by my side. There on the roadway, right at my feet, was a tiny little box all wrapped up like a gift from heaven. It was as if this were the loving hands of Mother Nature showing me God loved me. I reached down and took the box, carefully scooping it up in my hands, Was this a gift from God? Did He truly hear my prayers? Time stood still, my heart racing at the possibilities of this new-found love...yet I remained strangely calm marking the moment as most extraordinary. With my cold numb fingers fumbling, I opened the box and peered in.
When I saw, what lay inside I was taken back and a warm rush came over me, like pure sunshine rising in my heart. I looked up and stared into his eyes, the truth seeping out of them as he made His promise.... My energy gradually returned and color came back to my cheeks. The most beautiful silver necklace with a simple charm lay in my hand...
“Thank you God," I whispered as I held it close to my heart.
The alphabet has 26 letters in it, but from the necklace swung the letter "K" - it was perfect for me. God has many names, and all of them are transcendentally potent however, being raised as a Vaishnava Hindu since childhood I have always referred to God by the most affectionate name of "Krishna”, which means "God the Supremely all lovable." This simple charm may have meant nothing to anyone else, yet it spoke volumes to my heart!
There was no doubt God was with me in that hour of grief that threatened to overwhelm me.... I had a splendid new friend. Was it fate or providence or one of God's angels who left this special gift for me there that fateful day? Walking home I was more certain than ever of God's love for me.
I didn’t have a clue about my future, but the weight of the world had been lifted of my shoulders, I was at peace, for I knew in my heart of hearts that I was truly loved by Him.
God would unfold His plan for my life when He knew I was ready. And He did. Some of us won’t receive the Valentines we desperately want this year, but don't doubt for a moment our Heavenly Father never forgets who we are! He created each of us, loves us more than we can ever understand, and He’s greater than anything we can ever face! Why God permits some things to happen, we may never know until we see Him face to face, but we can trust His perfect will and divine timing.
Because He loves us, God wants to communicate with us just as we do our loved ones, but we must be still and patient and walk close enough to hear Him, and know Him well enough to recognize His voice.
With this story, I share some of God’s whispers to me – His Valentines, if you will. God's gifts can come at any time and in any shape or form and they’re the very best! God doesn’t hide his love, but He whispers it sometimes through sending a friend's smile or a flower's bloom. Sometimes, as He did for me, God even sends a loving husband! As little did I know I would be miraculously married less than one month after this fateful day! Which is another story for another day. Our Father works in unique and mysterious ways to make His dreams for our lives come true, we just need to give up our own and hand over the reins to Him. Ask for guidance and trust in His plans for us, knowing He seeing our past, present and future perfectly and knows us better than we know ourselves. Knowing that when we are in His hands we are in good hands, what hope and joy we have and how blessed we are to be His children!
So, sweetheart or no sweetheart today, know that you are loved.
Whether your desk is filled with flowers and chocolates, or you're rolling your eyes at it all because you're without a special someone this year--- you are deeply loved by God completely and entirely and that's all that matters. Man can disappoint you, but God never will and He will always be with you and never leave your side ...so don't forget to wish Him a Happy Valentine's Day.
Please share this with someone who might need this today!
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