It was 37 years ago that I received my first big Valentine from a young man. We were in the 2nd grade. I was at church, sitting in my Sunday night class when this friend-boy of mine kept running back and forth in front of the door.
All of a sudden, he slid a paper bag into the room and it landed under my chair. He then ran off like lightening had hit him. : -) When I opened the bag, there was a beautiful velvety red heart-shaped box of candy. His sister happened to be in my class, and she quickly leaned over and informed me that I better enjoy it – because it cost a lot of money.
Like every little girl, I dreamed of a life of love, and romance, and marriage. I had my wedding planned down to the details by the time I was 9 or 10. I even knew what colored [ruffled] tuxedo shirts the groomsmen were going to wear… and praise God, they were WAY out of style by the time I married!
The wedding was planned, but I had a hard time finding my “one true love”. My first valentine wasn’t it. None of the guys I dated were “it”. I went to college just SURE I’d find my husband there… I wanted to graduate with a teaching degree and an MRS. Degree. But he wasn’t there… so I just settled for the Teaching degree…
I started teaching elementary school in Memphis, and attended a large church. Within the hundreds of singles there, I was absolutely sure I’d find my “true love”… But I didn’t. I had great friends, lots of fun…but deep inside my heart, I was frustrated, disappointed, and lonely.
One day I was standing in my one-bedroom apartment and it hit me… I had been reading in the Bible about how God loved me, and has the best plans for my life. I had lots of plans for my life…but they weren’t working out so well. But God promises that His plans for our lives are for our good (Romans 8:28) and they are to prosper us and not to harm us – to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11).
As I glanced around that little apartment, I boldly told the Lord that I was done looking for a husband. I accepted the fact that He loved me and that He had good things in store for my life. Humbly I told Him that if He wanted me to live in this one-bedroom as a single school teacher for the rest of this life, I was OK with that. Then I got married. I asked Jesus if He would be my “husband”. (The Bible tells us that He is the Husband to the husbandless… and that’s what I was.) I told Him that I would join my life to His in every way, and trust Him to fill me and complete me instead of waiting for a man to make me complete. He said Yes! And we have lived happily ever after.
Desperate for God to give me a passion for Him and for His Word, I started studying my Bible in a deeper way. And as the Word marinated in my heart and soul, the passion flamed. And as I sought the Lord through Bible study and prayer, He changed me. He filled me. He made me complete. I became His, and He became mine.
And for the first time in my life, I knew that if He never gave me an earthly “true love” it was OK, because He, my Jesus, was the ONE and ONLY true love that could fill every hole I had in my life and heart. Fullness… That’s what I found in Jesus as my Valentine.
Eventually God did bring me a wonderful man who is my earthly “true love”. His name is James, and he holds my heart. We’ve been married best friends for these 20 ½ years. I love my life with James, but as wonderful as he is, James is not equipped to fill my every longing in my life. Only Jesus can do that.
Only in turning to Jesus and seeking Him to be the need-meeter in my life did I find “True Love”.
God loves us so much. He loves those who know and love Him. AND He loves those of us who never give Him a second thought or glance. He doesn’t love like a human loves – conditionally based on what we give. God loved us before we even knew Him.
His love is real and everlasting, giving, and self Sacrificing.
John 3:16-17 from The Message tells us:
If you feel like you are perishing right now – and longing to be truly loved, I challenge you to do what I did… Make God your goal – and turn to Him to fill you. Stop trying to make someone else complete you – because they never can. Decide to give yourself completely to the Lord. Get desperate for Him. Seek Him through reading His Word and praying and living your life to please Him alone…and I promise… Whether you are a man, woman, boy, or girl, You will know that sense of fulfillment, feeling fulfilled and loved and complete.
Jeremiah 29:13 promises this
“If you seek me you will find me when you search for me with all your heart.”
Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends. I sure do thank God for placing you in my life through this little blog.
With much love~