Happy early Valentine’s Day!! The holiday for love can have many emotions attached to it. I personally love the fresh flowers, the smiles of people passing by, seeing people in love, and the idea that you are on your special someone’s mind. It’s very Hallmark movie-esque. It’s romantic, it’s whimsical, it’s sentimental, but love is not always that way. Love is not a feeling on a chosen day of the year, but rather a choice every day for the rest of our lives. Love chooses to love when things or people aren’t perfect. Love forgives.
In the week leading up to today, I had been seeking God to understand why I take things to heart and take things so personally. I love love, so mean comments or a harsh word really hurt me deeply. I hate confrontation and easily accept blame for things to save my relationships with people. I am a lover, not a fighter. In fact, my brother and sister’s nickname for me growing up was “the peacemaker”.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that I’ve let harsh words spoken to me really affect my joy this past year. Coming to God with a heavy heart a few nights ago, I told Him that I didn’t understand. I have complete forgiveness and harbor no ill feelings toward the person, so why do I still feel so heavy and yucky…really torn down? What God revealed to me in the middle of the night is that I was having trouble forgiving myself. I was carrying all of those heavy burdens of the past. I was in bondage to my own unforgiveness and the words spoken to me. Being very transparent here, replaying those conversations in my head trying to figure out what I did wrong, made me actually start to believe that the hurtful things spoken about me were true.
It’s in these times that God reminds me of the question he asked Adam in the garden, “who told you that?”. Adam and Eve had just eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They recognized their nakedness and felt horrendous shame as they hid from God. When God asked why they had hid, they revealed that they knew they were naked. God’s response of “who told you that” was simple, but profound. I feel as though he asks me that same question many times. Who told you that you are not lovable, not accepted, unable to make friends, etc. God says that I am His workmanship created for good works. As I lay in bed weeping remembering these things, I laid my hurts down before God and before the cross. My husband held me tightly and prayed over me. As He prayed, cool tears streamed down my cheeks and I experienced the sweetest rush of freedom and love wash over me like a cool spring rain. God’s grace is sufficient. I was able to forgive myself and leave that hurt forever at the foot of the cross. My heavy feeling evaporated leaving me light with peace and true joy. I haven’t slept so soundly in a long time.
This is love. Love is my husband praying over me, loving me in my worst. Love is God’s still small voice. Love is forgiveness of others (and sometimes ourselves). Love doesn’t live in offense. Love is kind. Love is patient. Love is sacrifice. Love is putting others before yourself. Love is slow to speak, slow to anger, and quick to listen. GOD IS LOVE. It’s His love that flows through us to those around us. It’s this love that flows through my husband to me constantly and without fail. It’s this love that I see sparkling in my husband’s blue eyes every day when he looks at me. It’s THIS love that allows us to go beyond our human ability and to love the unlovable. God’s kind of love is unmoving, faithful, and lasts throughout all of eternity. it never fades, grows old, or changes it’s mind.
The word love described in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13 is the word agape in the Greek. The definition says that love is a deliberate choice made without cause, it seeks the welfare of all, it seeks opportunity to do good to all men, and that it is the deep and constant love of a perfect Being (God) towards entirely unworthy objects (people). God’s love is deep and constant…much like the ocean.This is amazing.
Love can’t be discovered in a box of chocolates or in a flower that wilts over time. While us girls love gifts on Valentine’s Day (let’s be real haha) let’s remember that they are just a byproduct of love but never the source. Our source of love is always God and He gives good gifts to his children. So I wish you the happiest of Valentine’s Day’s and hope that you have eyes to see all the ways God showers you with love on this day and every day.
If there is anything I can ever pray with you about, please don’t hesitate to send me an email 🙂
PS. To my girls out there, take time to pamper yourself on Valentine’s Day this year. Check out Lush Homemade Cosmetics and especially their bath bombs (LOVE). Pamper yo sweet self! 💜