Valentine

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I have a Valentine’s Day confession to make.  I am NOT “single and satisfied”.

But before you jump to some conclusion that this is the expected lament of a single person on that day of the year where talk of love and hearts and flowers and candy hit you smack in the face every time you turn around, rest assured that it is not.

I’m not single and satisfied.  What I am is single – and sustained.

Many years ago I gave my sister (who is also single) a handmade card with just a hint of sarcasm to it which had “Maybe Next Year” written with a black marker on the center of a black heart.  It was kind of a joke meant to offset the usual feelings about being unattached on February 14th.  Now it’s morphed into a yearly tradition where we call each other on the phone and have the ceremonial changing of the year on the card. We’re running out of room.  I know.  It sounds sad and somewhat pathetic.  But what it really symbolizes is something completely different.

Hope.

God has sustained us through all those years represented on the card.  Years where the prayers for a husband have not been answered.  Years where we’ve watched others go through life stages that we’ll never be able to catch up to.  And yet, you know what? We’re okay.  Really. Not because we’ve just plodded through, numbing the ache to be cherished and chosen and loved by someone, but because God has shown Himself to be faithful.

He has sustained us through the loss of a parent, the loss of jobs and homes, through moves and dramas and disappointments. He has sustained us through so many difficult decisions we’ve had to make without a partner to make those decisions with.  God has sustained us while standing on the sidelines watching others receive the blessings of spouses and children and grandchildren.  More importantly though,  He has sustained us with immeasurable blessings that didn’t happen to include families of our own.

Make no mistake – I still want to get married.  I realize it will look completely different than it would have 30 years ago, but it’s still the desire of my heart.  I still pray for it, and I still believe God can do it.  And when it happens, it will be one of the greatest love stories you’ve ever heard. And you’ll all be invited to the wedding.  At least that’s the way I imagine it.  If not this year, then “maybe next year”.  And if it doesn’t happen, it will still be a story of God’s faithfulness and provision and loving watch care over His daughter.  There will be no regrets over having lived another year of seeking God’s will and not my own.

Satisfied with being single?  Nope.  But I’m satisfied that God knows what He’s doing in my life.  He knows me. He loves me. He knows that for right now, my singleness is what can bring Him the most glory.  I don’t understand it.  But I don’t have to.  It’s still a Happy Valentine’s Day.

I am sustained.

But without faith it is impossible to please Him.  For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  Hebrews 11:6

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised, He was also able to perform.  Romans 4:20-21