A lot can happen from one Valentine's Day to the next.
Trust me. I know.
One year ago today I was single on Valentine's Day. And because I love the holiday, it wasn't horrible. But it wasn't great, either.
I was a few months fresh out of a breakup. The years before had been ones of confusion and pain and lots and lots of growth. Peace, joy, and hope had sprouted from the ashes and were growing stronger each day.
Valentine's Day found me driving home alone in the evening from an hour of Adoration at church with my Jesus. I was in a season of surrender. I had tried to control and plan and make things happen long enough. It was all His now. I had seen Him time and time again pick me up from the shattered pieces so gently, so lovingly. I wanted Him first in my life and I trusted Him with my future.
But my heart still ached with its broken dreams.
A Kutless song came on the radio as I drove through the quiet black night with my passenger seat empty but my heart full.
My favorite band was singing:
When the path is daunting
And every step exhausting
I'm not alone.
And I knew it was true. Every fiber of my being felt this truth and rested in it. Though I was tired and struggled on this path, I was not alone.
I feel you draw me closer
All these burdens on my shoulder
I'm not alone, I'm not alone
You pull me me from this place.
Yes. Yes. He knew the burdens of my past, my heart, my life in this season. But still He pulled me close to Him, to His heart beating with an overwhelming, inexhaustible love for me.
The music swelled and the lead vocalist burst out in praise at this God who draws us to Him,
He sang. And my heart was swelling with the music and tears coursed down my cheeks as I praised God with him.
You carry me every day
You carry me all all the way
Hallelujah...You carry me to the cross
Ah, this song was the song of my heart. This was beauty and grace. How could I feel such joy and reassurance and love in the midst of brokenness? Only God can do that. We may carry broken dreams or unfulfilled desires or mental, physical, emotional, even spiritual burdens...but He carries us. And He walks beside us so we are never, ever alone. He carries us to His cross and shows us real love that gave everything for us. For me. For you.
One week after that night I would go on a retreat with the man I would fall deeply in love with.
Nine months later he would break up with me as tears rolled down his face.
Eleven months later he would call me, and we would talk, and we would step cautiously back into this relationship after a few weeks. He would continue to treat me with such kindness and love and respect, that I would fall deeply in love with him once again.
And one year later, he would take me out to dinner on Valentine's Day.
A lot can happen from one Valentine's Day to the next. Trust me. Better yet, trust Him.
Feast of St. Philip Neri, 1515 – 1595
5 hours ago