True Love

Those of you who know me, know that I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. In elementary school, we either made homemade cards or probably got the inexpensive store bought ones. In middle school, boys gave girls conversation candy hearts and Cracker Jack box “jewelry”. True story. In high school, I was too preoccupied with being a rockstar extracurricular activities to bother. 

College was pretty much the same story. When I started dating my husband, I remember one of the first things I told him was that I was “anti-Valentine’s”. What was I thinking?! I went through a phase where each February 14, I would celebrate by wearing black and being grumpy all day. Attractive, no? Related side note: our first official “date” was on Valentine’s weekend — oh, the irony!
All that said, now that I’m married and have a child (can I tell you how old I literally just felt when I typed that? sigh.) when it comes to expressing love, I need to make time and give more effort. That love spark needs tending to, even if it means getting rid of my anti-Valentine’s notions. I still stand by the fact that all other 364 days of the year should be as equally filled with love expressions.

Letting go of my anti-Valentine’s attitude has been a work in progress. You see, I don’t like the expectations that usually come attached to a day like today. Does that make sense? In our culture, it’s practically a given that if you’re married with kids, the following scenario happens. You dress up, drop the kid(s) off at a babysitter’s, and go enjoy a nice dinner on Valentine’s Day. Not everyone has that ability or desire, but that doesn’t mean some sort of expectations are still there. Maybe it’s a bunch of fresh flowers that you want, a new piece of jewelry or some running shoes. When those expectations are not filled, all that remains is disappointment and hurt. We are all human and will disappoint, all the time. 
{image used with permission from Naptime Diaries}
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, 
that we should be called children of God! 
And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1 

The awesome thing is that there is One who will never disappoint and will instead surpass any human expectations. His love never fails, it never gives up, and it never runs out. God loves us more than anyone (even more than our spouses or parents) could even have the capacity to love. He loves us despite our past, present and future mess-ups. There is no greater love than His. 

When God sent his Son to die on the cross for all mankind, He did it out of love. He lavished it upon us, undeserving as we are. He didn’t put any conditions or expectations on it — just gave it freely. Y’all, no expectations! How liberating is that? If we choose to accept that gift of true love, then we can forever rest in that truth. We can call ourselves children of God and celebrate!

To me, this true love is the best Valentine I could ever have.

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