I always thought Valentine’s Day sucked.
When I was younger, Valentine’s Day was fun because everybody gave everybody candy and stuff. That was dope.
But then we stopped doing that, and I got it into my head that the only love worth celebrating was romantic love. And that I didn’t have it.
So on went the years without this type of love. And every Valentine’s Day, I would wallow in pity while high school couples made out on the locker next to me.
If only I knew the God of the universe was romancing me then.
One of my biggest idols is marriage.
I dream of getting married, getting a house together, having kids together, growing old together. I want to get married so bad. And not just anybody, but the perfect person. I don’t want to compromise. But I want it to happen right now, perfectly. A white picket fence and a puppy would be nice. Also if he could have abs, that would be a bonus.
Every Valentine’s Day, when I’m not one step closer to that dream, it’s like a punch in the gut. Like I’m behind or something, even though I’m only 19. Or that I’m flawed so badly no one could possibly choose me.
To be clear, all these thoughts roaming around in my head are ridiculous. I know they’re ridiculous. That doesn’t seem to stop them from knocking around in my cranium anyway.
But my obsession with marriage blinds me from seeing much how I’m loved already. And God is slowly tearing down those walls, as He’s in the business of doing.
I had this moment last week during worship.
I was at young adults. Me and God, we laugh a lot together. Sometimes He’ll show me something funny and we just laugh. I don’t know if that’s normal, but it’s how we roll.
Anyway, we were singing Oceans, and the lyrics “I am yours and you are mine,” came up. And I heard God say, “Annabelle, would you be mine?”
I started laughing because I thought of those cheesy heart candies with Valentine’s messages on them. “Will you be mine?”
But then it hit me: There will be no greater Valentine than this.
I’ve sang those words a thousands times: there is no love greater than this. I understand the logic of it. I believe it. And yet, it never hit my heart until now.
There will be no love greater than this.
If I get married, my husband’s love will be worse than this.
It’s all downhill from here.
And instead of being disappointed that my dream wasn’t going to happen the way I thought, a peace washed over me. Because I had been putting the love of marriage above my love with the Lord. And nothing compares to God’s love.
I realized, as I sang those lyrics, I would never feel more loved by any person.
My relationship with God will grow deeper and stronger every day.
But my relationship with others will never be able to catch up.
I’m telling you, it was like being set free in a moment. All of a sudden, this unrealistic expectation for a future husband vanished. And all that remained was a life on my knees. Whether someone joined beside me, I couldn’t see. But that didn’t matter too much. What mattered was my relationship with Jesus.
I don’t know if Valentine’s Day drives you crazy like me, but this year try to remember:
Every moment, God romances you.
Why do I use the word “romance”? Can’t I just use the word “love”?
Of course God loves us. But that word, “Love” has been so watered down from its messy, rich, thick original intent. So I say “romance” because God faithfully pursues you every day. Whether He’s already won you over or not. Whether you listen or not. Whether you see the beauty around you or not.
Look out your window. Right now. See the wide open sky? That’s God romancing you. See the sunlight gracing the window sill? That’s God romancing you. Be quiet. Listen. Hear all those sounds? Those are the sounds of nature screaming: “THERE IS A GOD AND HE LOVES YOU.”
Whether you have a date this year or not, look at all the ways God romances you. If you can’t see them, ask Him to show you.
You have the greatest love this world has ever seen. You have a love deeper and wider and more sincere and more passionate than anything. You have a love better than your dream spouse could ever give you. Right now.
Don’t miss it.
There are 4 types of love. Romantic, friendship, family, and unconditional. The world has made out Romantic Love to be the most valuable. But it’s not. You know what is?
And the only one who can truly love you unconditionally is Jesus Christ.
That simply blows my mind.
Last Valentine’s Day, I discovered an album by John Mark Pantana. It was called Eternal Valentine. And I remember, in that season, being frustrated with not having a “Valentine” that year.
But that night, as I sat in my bed, feeling lonely, God didn’t stop romancing me. Listen to this song (and this album) and you’ll see how.
Beloved, there is no love greater than this. He is your eternal Valentine. You will never be alone. This is true love.