I really don’t love Valentine’s Day. If there was the equivalent of a Scrooge, I would probably be that. What could you call that anyways? I think we should make something up. Before you think I’m completely horrible, I did make all the kids Valentine’s Day popcorn to take to class. It even had pink and red smarties and sprinkles in it. Of course, it was covered in sticky marshmallow goop, so maybe the teachers won’t be so thrilled. Anyways, not my favourite day. I always say that Michael and I get along every day except holidays and anniversaries. Too many expectations, too much pressure. And some days, I just don’t feel the love. Because you know what? Sometimes people are terrible. And they hurt us and disappoint us. And its not just romantic love that disappoints. Friends, family, kids, they all have the ability to wound us and make us hate days where we’re supposed to be celebrating love.
So, should we just throw it all away? Become the Scrooge of Valentine’s?
This morning I got a nice card and a little gift beside my bed. And it was lovely. Please don’t judge, but I didn’t even get Michael a card, let alone a gift. And we probably won’t even make it out for our plan of dessert at this little cafe because, well, Tuesdays and kids and homework and robots. Yes, my older two children are on a team that’s building a robot for a competition. And yes, its ruining my life, but they’re happy and have zero time for watching youtube, so there’s that. Does that mean Valentine’s Day is ruined?
Depends on your definition of love.
If celebrating love means roses and butterflies and notes and chocolates and feelings, then yes.
But if this past year has taught me anything, its that love is actually very rarely those things. Instead, love is forgiveness and grace, again and again, and its messy and heartbreaking and self-sacrificing and sometimes you have to fight with all your might to keep it. Sometimes you have to beg God to give it to you, because its impossible to give of it yourself. Its praying for the people who have hurt you and turn their back on you and refuse to text you back anymore. Its cleaning and meals and rides. Its a lot of work.
But that kind of love? That messy very very hard love? Its the most wonderful, fulfilling thing you will ever experience. Because it comes straight from Heaven. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have it in myself to do all those things. To keep sacrificing, to keep forgiving again and again. But God does. And He’s living right inside me. Teaching me about love more and more every year. Pushing me to love more, love deeper.
So for me, this Valentine’s Day has very few of the mushy feelings - lets face it, I’m generally not that person anyways - but thinking about it today has renewed my determination to love people in the real, messy, and hard ways that true love requires.