Valentine's Day - a day that used to fear
I remember when I was a kid in the lower grades in New York and Valentines Day came. I woke up with a knot in my stomach every year because I didn't know how I'd make it through the day. Every year our teacher would instruct us that giving of Valentines Day cards to each and every kid in the class was an important duty. We were always instructed to prepare cards for EVERYONE in the classroom so that no one would feel left out. I made/bought cards for all the kids in my class and wrote honestly nice things to each one - just like the teacher had told us to do.
Most kids followed the instructions...but, every year, the most popular kids got the most, the best and the most expensive cards. They had the biggest piles of cards and I was one of the ones with the least. Every single year! As a kid I started wondering what was wrong with me....why I wasn't as loveable as they were...
No wonder that I hated going to school on Valentines day.
One year in particular I had only received a few cards and I remember that I was mercilessly mocked for it. I looked at the cards I'd gotten and felt that the kids that had written to me had only doing it to be kind. They had written all sorts of nice things to the popular kids, but all they did on my cards was to writer their names. I threw the few cards I'd received out into the wastebasket that year and vowed to never do that stupid tradition again. I never did, either. Moments like that you never forget. It's easy that the feelings from past rejection imbed themselves into your self-image and hurt you long into the future- if you allow it.
By the time I went to jr high school no one exchanged Valentines Day's cards except if they were dating each other. But somehow that feeling of rejection that had cemented itself in the lower grades in my inner feelings was still there. I still hated Valentines Day.
But now I don't. What changed?
Nowadays, I know that my worth isn't dependent on how many cards I get, how many likes I receive or followers I have. No, my worth and your worth are independent of what others think or how they accept or reject us.
I think I got completely over the Valentines Day card rejection when Jesus stole my heart. He made the biggest and loudest card when he died for me on the cross. I kind of understood this in my head for many many years, but it wasn't until I started noticing the unique and personal ways He was helping me with all sorts of things, despite my inadequacy and shortcomings, that I started believing that he saw me and loved me, personally.
The more "Valentines Day cards" I got from the Creator, the more my defences fell down and my aching heart started to melt.
There were times I should have died but didn't miraculously! (See my Good Morning video about all the times I should have died here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYzkKKC_ZmhwhAsZWejVuMQ)
There were all the times I felt God's love fall on me like a heavy blanket when in prayer.
All the times we needed a place to move to and miracles happened, leading us to exactly what we needed and much of what we could only dream about, in crazy & wonderful ways.
There was that time we got a plush divan couch for free from that neighbour who never talked to us before, only 20 minutes after we prayed for a new one.
There was the friend of mine who was dying in intensive care with a terrible brain tumor, high on morphine for the pain, that suddenly was healed of that tumor, freed from the drugs and reunited within a day or two after we prayed.
I have many stories about how I and others have experienced God's love. Too many to tell here in this short blog. But one thing is for sure. I feel like the Bible is God's Valentines Card signed to me that is smock full of love every single day. His heart longed for me and for you - so he made a way for us to love him back - Jesus.
You don't have to feel left out, rejected or unloved. There is a God who cares more for you than you do and who gave his own life for you. Let Him steal your heart.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that whosoever believes in Him would not die but have everlasting life. John 3:16
That love, that Jesus gave His life for us on the cross, is the true love story of the ages. Ask Him to be your Valentine. He will never let you down.
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Credit for the free photo "February 14th": https://pixabay.com/en/users/alexas_fotos-686414/