It’s February. The month of love. The month when you can’t walk into Kroger without being overwhelmed by the show-stopping display of red and pink. Valentine’s Day is an unashamed holiday. Unabashedly, it screams of the beauty of romantic love. And my goodness, is anything more breathtaking? Falling in love, being in love. The quickening heartbeat with the slightest touch, the weight of the words spoken and not yet. During this season, you can’t help but think about love. If you don’t have it, perhaps you long for it. If you’re like me, you remember how it felt to be in love. You run all of the memories over your fingertips like you’re reading braille. Love is the most wonderful thing in the entire world.
But what if you don’t have it?
If you’re like me, you’re impatient enough to go looking for it. You arm yourself for the journey – slip on the backpack arsenal of tattered hope and head out into the night. You join a bunch of stupid dating sites even though you know it won’t be the same. You look at passerby with a semblance of hope. It’s like trying to find a boat in the glow of a lighthouse that burnt out long ago. The harbor is still dark, and you’re still so enamored by the memory; the way the lighthouse’s beam fell lightly on the crest of the waves.
Last year on Valentine’s Day I was in love for the very first time. I wrote about it here. It was the closest thing to perfect, it was magic, it was dynamite. It came like a morning fog and it disappeared just as quickly.
I just moved to Houston, Texas. Everything is different but everything is good. I’m living my dream. I love my job, my co-workers, my life. God has made it so hard for me to be lonely. My greatest fear – being alone – was a joke. That’s what God does, I think. Takes our fears and turns them to laughter.
Part of me feels like something is missing, I suppose. Like “If I had this one thing, life would be perfect.”
I’m not ready for love. I don’t really want a relationship. I’m not in a good place to start one. Yet here I am, staring at the ceiling at 3am wondering why I’m trying to get back what I had. Still.
I rejoined Tinder (this is the part where you cringe). I made a bunch of accounts on dating sites. I started looking for someone to love me, because gosh darn it, I want to be okay. I want to be free. I want to know there is life after part of you dies. And unsurprisingly, I came back unfulfilled.
Sure, I met some quality individuals. Nobody fit the bill. Nobody eased the ache. And it made me more hopeless than ever. I realized I’m afraid of never loving again. I am desperately grasping for semblance of what I once had, a piece of the beauty of what was. But the past is the past, the door is closed, the chapter is over, and my life has begun again. And somehow it is perfect. Although devoid of romance, it’s full of happiness. As Taylor Swift once said, [I never thought I would] find happiness in a world where I am not in love,” But she did.
I think trusting God looks like committing to his schedule. No matter what. Sure, there’s a time to buck up and get on the horse. Go out there and meet people! Go on dates! But when the answer is no, when the door isn’t opening and deep down you know you have a long way to go before it does…do I really trust His timing? Do I really believe that He gives in abundance to those He loves? Do we truly trust that God works for our good always? It’s not just a semi, partial, “adequate” kind of future. It’s mind-blowingly perfect. “Immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.” Immeasurably more.
If you are heartbroken, if you’re painfully single, if you’re mourning love – I’m right there with you. Love is beautiful. It’s worth wanting. But you have to realize there is a love that never runs dry. It satisfies the deepest desires. It wells over your wounds and it heals.
I’m done looking for romance. Seriously. My life is wonderful. I don’t need to scour the Internet for love. It’s always been where I left it.
Here’s a little Valentine’s Day challenge for you – go out of your way to show someone love. If you’re in love, let it show. Get her flowers. Cook him dinner. Pull out all the stops. Radiate the love you’ve been shown. If you’re not, don’t let bitterness creep into your heart like frostbite. Notice people, notice their insecurities and their fears and their deep desire to be loved. Then show them.
A wonderful State Farm employee named Jo Ann helped me so much the other day. I was stuck in my own personal hell – the long, slow-moving line at the DMV. I finally made it to the front after a painstaking wait. The lady demanded document after document, and sweating, I handed each one to her.
“Texas insurance card?” she quipped.
My heart sank. I hadn’t received mine in the mail yet. So begins the nightmarish process of trying to get it faxed from State Farm to the DMV. Jo Ann stuck with me through the horrific hour and a half long process of sending and waiting and failing and finally succeeding with proving to the Texas authorities that I was legal to drive. I walked out with my Texas license plates and a relieved smile. I promised my friend Jo Ann a balloon for her troubles. She was patient, kind, steadfast, and she stayed late at the office helping me in my time of need. She deserved a reward.
Yesterday I brought the balloon into her office as a surprise. She had forgotten about it, but I hadn’t. This was her reaction:
Thanks for reading, friend. You are loved.