Kimberly N. Alleyne
The Harvest Magazine, Publisher and Editor
I am reluctant to share this, but every year when Valentine’s Day approaches I get a little irritated. I feel bombarded by the television commercials of couples ogling over each other or ladies accepting marriage proposals with “He went to Jared” or “Every kiss begins with Kay,” bling.
Then there are the mushy cards that overtake the greeting card section, and the heart-shaped cellophane-clad boxes of chocolate candy spilling over from grocery store shelves. It’s almost too much for a single lady to digest.
*Deep, deep, deep sigh and dramatic drop of head*
Admittedly, my angst mostly stems from my singledom, and the myriad fears and insecurities that swirl around in the invisible thought bubbles over my head, and the questions I ask God only in whispers because I’m too afraid to utter them out loud…
My angst is also fueled by the sad-but-true fact that I have not enjoyed a pleasant Valentine’s Day since my junior year of my high school (Full disclosure: my junior year of high school was a long time ago, think pre-1990. Okay, now that I’ve sufficiently dated myself, let’s get on with it). On that great day, I received a bounty of love-day treats and goodies from a few potential suitors. Bears, flowers, candy, balloons. I felt so liked — so loved.
First, let me be clear: my post-high school Valentine’s Days have not been lousy because of my singledom. No, not at all; being single is only a part of it. In fact, some of the worst Valentine’s Days I’ve experienced happened when I was in a relationship. That’s because I was spending my good time on and with wrong people, people who didn’t really, genuinely love me or hold my best interests as a priority.
So then you can imagine the love-day gifts they gave me were just as tired and lame as the relationship, and mere going-through-the-motions manifestations of the rotting elements that nested themselves at the relationship’s core, and molded it: emptiness, shallowness, and a fleeting, temporarily tangible experience destined to come to an end.
Candy gets eaten. Balloons deflate (not unlike footballs the NFL Patriots use). Cards yellow and fade. Flowers wilt die. Perfume evaporates or gets used up.
So, it’s not about being single. It’s not that. Sometimes you can be lonely even when you’re involved with someone. Amen? Amen!
And being attached to someone, either by marriage or a committed relationship, does not guarantee anything, including and especially happiness.
Sometimes though, occasions such as Valentine’s Day and other romance/couple-centered events remind me where I am in life… where I am not, where I am on the “desires of my heart” meter stick, especially with regard to the L word. And sometimes, I begin to use my marital/relationship status as a criterion to judge my sense of accomplishment; sometimes I slip and use the world’s definition of what “complete” looks like to assess my life journey. Dangerous, I know.
But then I shake myself out of it, and delve deeper into the Word, a 2,000-year-old book of truths about who I really am, what my real value is and God’s love and promises.
The Word reminds me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, that God is the lifter of my head, and the lover of my soul. His love for me does not increase or decrease, it just is. It is not fickle, tired or lame. I don’t have to do anything to get it. I can’t do anything to lose it. It does not evaporate. It does not deflate. It does not die. I cannot touch it. I cannot eat it.
It just is. And it’s enough. It’s enough for me to know I am loved fully, wholly and unconditionally by the Creator of the Universe—the Great I Am. He always loves me with 100 percent of Himself, and it’s amazingly refreshing to be loved just as I am because His love just is.
God’s love is an accomplishment I did nothing to earn. It’s just who and how He is. I cannot express here how comforting that is. Elohim, El Shaddai, El-Elyon loves and adores me. Wow.
I fall in love over and over and over again in His Word, in my praise, in my worship. In Him, His presence, I am full. I am whole. I am content. I am enough. I am not alone. No, not at all.
When I begin to feel anxious that my Boaz has not come for me yet, I remember that I have already met the love of my life. He courts me and romances me every day. He whispers to me, “I will never leave you nor forsake you. Come to me. Be mine. Receive My endless love. Be mine.”