Author: Jean Shumate
Valentine’s Day is coming – hearts, hugs and kisses, roses and chocolate! Romance is in the air, or at least it is advertised to be that way. This can be a very tender time even for married ladies. Expectations soar causing emotions to sink when they go unmet. The stage is set for disappointment, and the enemy will try to take you down if you are not aware of his schemes. We were not created to meet the deepest need in others not will they ever be able to do the same for us. Ladies, directing your focus to the Lord Jesus, who is the only One who can satisfy your deepest need and always satisfies is the best way to make it through this time. In doing so, you will be able to lay your head on the pillow saying it was a Happy Valentine’s Day.
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
God designed the heart to be the most unselfish organ in the body beating 42,000,000 times a day! It pumps tirelessly to supply all the other organs. Without it, there is no life. It is no wonder God called us to love Him with all our heart. How wonderful it is to know that He heals the broken hearted and those crushed in spirit. Psalm 147:3. You may be in a place where you don’t understand or even like God’s plan for you. Life is out of control, and the pain is intense. May I challenge you to work hard to place your trust in Him. As you rest in His beautiful plan, take time to give love away today. Be watchful as you walk through the day for the ways God is showing His love to you. He is there . . . always there.
Suggestions for celebrating love on Valentine’s Day:
- Focus your thoughts on showing love to others. Give love away in practical ways: surprise a lonely friend with a call or text or bless a stranger by picking up their bill at the grocery store.
- Find couples who are glorifying Christ in their marriage and celebrate their love with them. They are a picture to the world of Jesus and His bride. This is good.
- Conquer the temptation to isolate in sorrow. For years we were intentional about sharing Valentine’s Day with others. Progressive dinners became our tradition inviting couples to host a portion of the meal in their home. Each couple was asked to share their “love story.” This proved to be a positive experience in that it gave my children encouraging stories of what God instituted – the love between a husband and wife. Just because marriage is no longer your story (at the present time), it doesn’t mean your children can’t look to others for that important modeling. Be deliberate about putting on display before them what may be absent in your home.
Jean’s story –
I was 46 years old when my husband died. Both of my children were enrolled in universities and were supportive and loving in every way. I was very aware that life had changed for me; however, I never went through the deep grieving, fear and uncertainty that I’m sure young widows with children to be raised and supported endure.
Two things set my future course for me: To begin with, my perspective on how I approached life and secondly was an intimate conversation I had with the Lord when the chaos settled and the numbness began to wear off. I was all alone in the house with the realization that nobody would share my dinner table with me. Suddenly I felt very alone. This was it! I cried out with honest questions before the Lord while laying on my living room couch, “What is to become of me? What am I to do? I’m turning my face to the wall, even as Hezekiah did. I’m consulting no one or no thing or no emotion but only You. What is to become of me? What am I to do?”
I literally turned my face to the wall and began to pray. When I had finished, I knew in that time of prayer the Lord had outlined my future and even though I didn’t cognitively know what it was, my entire being was settled and at absolute peace. This was God’s grace and love towards me.
Moving forward, I began to live the days that were before me. I struggled with issues of my flesh — wanting intimacy and companionship that I knew was now closed to me without my husband — but in total honesty, I never once thought about Valentine’s Day as being a loss or pain to me. I never once thought about what I was missing because I didn’t feel like I was missing it. My focus was on the Lord and what He had in store for me in my new season. He has been faithful to me in every way over the last thirty years. My Savior has filled the void of my husband in ways beyond comprehension from the beginning of the season of widowhood until today.
Sweet friend – my prayer is for you to experience this same satisfaction as you trust in God’s love for you. Only God knows tomorrow, but for today may you press into Jesus in your pain.