Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be My Valentine...

Valentine's Day... I am not a fan.  Never have been.  Maybe it stems back to my middle school days when I was chubby, acne-ridden, and not-so-stylishly dressed.  Needless to say, I wasn't the apple of many pre-pubescent boys' eyes back in the day.  While the pretty, popular, cheerleader girls were getting candy grams and balloons and flowers from their little boyfriends that they held hands with in the dark of the movie theater each weekend,  I felt unlovable.  Just typing that makes me sad and makes me like Valentine's Day even less than I did thirty seconds ago.

Even in high school after I shed those baby fat pounds, grew a few slight curves to the physique, and learned to bat my eyelashes perfectly curled and mascara-ed up, I never had a Valentine.  My first and only real boyfriend ~ the one that lasted more than a couple of dates and that gave me his class ring to wear ~ broke up with my just a week or so before the day of hearts.  I was devastated.  My mom surprised me that year on Valentine's morning with the cutest little teddy bear.  I still have him tucked away downstairs somewhere.

I guess I always had some commercialized notion of what it meant to have a Valentine, and once I finally got one (who turned out to be the wrong one) I was sorely disappointed.  The roses always died.  The young man that gave them was a shallow pan of love.  He demanded more than he gave; he took more than he contributed.  All those years of pining, of envying the girls who had someone, of feeling unlovable because I didn't get a bouquet of stupid flowers on a specific day of the year... well, nothing had changed.  I still felt unlovable but for different reasons.

Just a few short years ago, with nearly ten years of marriage and two kids on my record, I still felt the same way that chubby thirteen year old girl felt.  Unlovable.  Disappointed.  Lonely.  Like something was missing.  And then I read Isaiah, the most beautiful love letter I have ever read.  I felt God speaking to me through the ancient Words, beckoning me, calling me toward Him through lovely Words I had always dreamed of hearing from a physical Valentine.  The thirteen year old within me melted away.  The mistreated young bride, dejected and disappointed by her first husband, was quieted.  The disheveled mom of two, the one who seldom wears anything fancier than a tee shirt and feels less than appreciated... well, her ears perked up.

On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine - the best of meats and finest of wines.  On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever.  The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth.  The LORD has spoken.  {25:6-8}

"But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you.  I said, 'You are my servant'; I have chosen you and not rejected you.  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." {41:8-10}

"You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down.  Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it." {45:8}

"Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.  Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.  You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.  For your Maker is your husband - the LORD Almighty is his name - the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." {54:4-5}

All those years... the ones I felt unlovable and ugly and left out... He was already there, wanting to be the central focus of my heart, wanting to fill those voids and spread His unfailing Love all over my soul.  I just never saw it.  I never understood the depth of the Love of God until I read Isaiah.  It's a book so full of promise, mainly of the Savior to come one day.  But it's the courting of the people of Israel, a calling for them to simply come to Him and bask in His salvation, to rest on His promises instead of making alliances with His enemies and putting other things before Him.  I realized that these words, all 66 chapters worth, were so applicable to my life today.  God wants to be my Valentine, the focus of my soul's heart, putting no other relationship first.  Why couldn't I have seen that when I was 13?  At least by 18???  Perhaps I could have avoided some major hurts in my life if I had seen God for who He really wanted to be to me...

Spend some time today pondering on God's Love for you.  The type of Love that never fails, never disappoints, never leaves, never grows weary or aggravated.  The type of Love that has already given everything for your soul.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." {Romans 5:8}   


Nana's Notes said...

Glad you figured it out while you were still young! Some of us took a lot longer to get it! Happy Valentine Chosen One! Love, Aunt Norma

Rebecca said...

I know this isn't the point of your post, but I always thought you were pretty and still do! (Not to sound like a creepy jr. high boy:) )