Hello ladies (and gents), welcome to February. Yes, that quickly, January has breezed by. It’s time for that famous time of the year, Valentine’s Day. For some people this means roses, candy, getaways, dinners, and perhaps even proposals. But for many, Valentine’s Day is a place of pain. If you know anything about the past couple of years of my life you know that it’s been one of true romance and love. It’s been absolutely wonderful. But not long ago I can remember most any holiday, romantic or not, where I was hurting and feeling the loneliness and pain.
I can remember one particular Valentine’s where one of my closest pals took me out to a fancy restaurant in Seattle for dinner. It was sort of a “Gal-entines” celebration. We got all dressed up and gave each other cute little cards and candy. Everything was perfect (including the beet salad) until I spotted a beautiful couple in the restaurant. I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. The way they looked at each other with such love nearly took my breath away. Just as I was going to stop staring at the lovebirds, a young man and woman walked up to their table and gave them flowers and a hug and took a seat. The couple saw me looking (yeah, I was staring that long) and proceeded to engage in conversation. They told me and my friend that they have been coming to this restaurant every Valentine’s Day for over 20 years, before they even had kids. I smiled and told them that was amazing and congratulated them.
Then I excused myself, went to the restroom, and began an all out cry session that lasted for nearly an hour. My night was pretty much shot. That was one of the most painful V-day memories to date. Now looking back, I can see that perhaps going out to eat at a romantic spot may not have been the best idea if I was so torn up.
That being said, I wanted to offer some practical encouragement. When Valentine’s Day, or any other important date is around the corner, and you can feel that ball well up in your throat at the thought of it, take it easy. You know what that means for you. If you’re an extrovert like me, take time to hang with good people in settings that won’t trigger you. If you’re not a people person, draw a bath, light a candle, put some nice music on, and enjoy a relaxing evening.
The media will bombard you with commercialized images of perfect relationships. Take a break from it. T.V. will be playing Nicolas Sparks movie marathons. Don’t watch them. Take a break from love songs. Take a break from Instagram. Take a break from Facebook. I mean really, do what you can to simply chill out. Take some time to pray, breath, and relax, it goes a long way. Not to mention, God knows your heart. He sees the places that are still hurting and crushed. He wants to comfort you and heal you so that one day soon, you’ll not be in pain. Maybe one day you won’t dread Valentine’s Day. Perhaps on a future Valentine’s night, you might find your future self smiling as you sit across the dinner table of your spouse. You’ll be full of love and gratitude as you thank God for getting you through those horrible Valentine’s Day blues.
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
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