“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.” – Aristotle
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand
If we search “love”, we find an endless list of sayings, quotes, and concepts as people try to explain “love.” February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is known as the day to celebrate love.
There are several different traditions and legends used to explain the day’s origin, ranging from Roman festivals celebrating gods and goddesses of love to the memorializing of a saint who performed secret ceremonies. Regardless of origin, February 14th has been established as the official day for love and romance.
Opinions on Valentine’s Day are as wide-ranging as its origin stories. Some live for Valentine’s Day, longing for the elaborate expression of love and romance. Some criticize its commercialism, denouncing the day as a “greeting card company” holiday and nothing more. “Singles Awareness Day” (SAD) and “Galentine’s Day” also make appearances (not always on the 14th, but always close by). Other’s see the day simply as an excuse to do something out of the ordinary – an extra date night, a night out without kids, a reason for a trip, etc.
Personally, I have never really made a big deal about Valentine’s day. But the last two Valentine’s days have been difficult.
It’s one thing to be alone on Valentine’s day. There’s an added struggle when you are separated or divorced, because you weren’t ever supposed to be alone again. But I had the added struggle of knowing the person who was supposed to be there for me forever was spending Valentine’s day with the person he chose to replace me. That he actively chose to allow me to feel deep hurt and pain in the pursuit of his own happiness. Rather than finding a way for us to be happy and whole together, as he promised, he sacrificed me for his own desires. He has never experienced true loneliness or rejection; he decided to let me experience that because it was easier than changing the path he wanted to travel.
Valentine’s Day didn’t cause these things to be true, but all the hype and focus on love and romance seemed to exacerbate the hurt.
I know others are walking this same path and having the same struggle. While the date on the calendar doesn’t somehow change our circumstances, it can have a real effect on our emotions and our perception of the situation.
This year is different. I not only have a fiance that loves me, but I have a whole new addition to my family to love and support. To experience togetherness. I get to make new memories and establish new traditions. It’s a special thing.
I’m reminded today of God’s love and faithfulness. My circumstances were very different last year. But God’s love and faithfulness were the same. They are always the same. The date may change my emotions, but God’s love and faithfulness are constant.
Rather than focusing on the spectacle of the day, I am focusing on who God. Today I establish another monument, marking God’s continued working in my life.