I've been very intentional to post a lot of "love" messages this month. You see, February 14th has been a precious day for me since I was 12 years old. Well, maybe even before that when we decorated shoe boxes for receiving Valentine cards from our schoolmates. Up until February 14th, 1961, the cards I received from boys were slim-pickens. But from 1961 until 2010, Valentine's meant the world to me. My Sweetheart and I had our first chaparoned "date" to a church Valentine's banquet on Valentine's Day (ages 12 & 13) and every year since then, we made it "our" special day. This first photo is our first Valentine's together. Notice I was taller than him so I stood on the step below him. He eventually caught up and went past me! LOL! The next photo here is the charm bracelet he gave me the next year on Valentine's Day -- it was our 1-year "first date" anniversary! He saved up his own money to give it to me. I wear it often and count my blessings.
And, here I am, fifty-six years later, on this February 14, 2017. it's been 6 years and 3 months since my Valentine Sweetheart's graduation to heaven. I'm missing him today…incredibly, but I refuse to be sad on this day. It is not a "Bah Humbug" day for me. I've been defeating those thoughts since my sweetheart went to heaven. Rather than being wimpy, I've purposed to be energized, strong and determined. In fact, I decided to embrace this whole month and call it a Month of Love -- focusing my attention on giving out love daily, expressing my appreciation for friends, family and ESPECIALLY, my Father God -- the greatest LOVER of all.
I am NOT going to fall for the "IF ONLY" lie. You know them, "IF ONLY I had a sweetheart or IF ONLY my sweetheart was still here." "IF ONLY" can do quite a number on our hearts. Can I gently remind you of an important truth? A truth that made all the difference to me? If we are God’s children, we are involved in the greatest love story ever created. God created us, knows us inside and out, and loves us from the top of our heads to the tips of our toes. We can celebrate love this year just like everyone else, knowing that we have a deeper understanding than anything that’s advertised or on the shelves in a store.
That’s why I’m determined to replace my "If onlys" with "I ams". I AM loved by God. I AM so thankful for the people I do have in my life. I AM so happy that I love this LOVE season because I can express love to God and others. 1 John 4:19 explains it this way "We love because He first loved us."