Valentine’s Day can be one of the most socially awkward holidays of the year. It evokes such a wide range of emotions, depending on one’s current stage in life and level of relational commitment. I still remember those lonely adolescent days when I’d hope against all hope that some special guy would think of me and send me a carnation through the school messenger system. At the end of the day, I’d make my way home disappointed, thinking I’d never catch the eye of the one who caught mine.
On those difficult occasions, Valentine’s Day transitioned to a day for friendship, a day to celebrate people I dearly loved and appreciated having in my life. Though I felt the sting of rejection and loss, my friends always compensated to let me know I didn’t travel alone.
I’ve lived through some hard stuff in my adult years, including marital struggles, financial woes, job losses, miscarriage and child loss, rejection, disappointment, and unexpected failures. As we all have. In fact, no one gets through life without facing hurts and having to overcome the obstacles that stand between us and whatever we long for.
That is precisely why I write. Writing gives me a way to connect on a deeper level with others, letting them know they don’t stand alone in their struggles.
With my pen I can say, I felt that heartache. I experienced that level of loss. I asked God those haunting questions. I faced an unexpected rejection. I lived in fear of the next disaster. I begged God for direction in a time He seemed ever so silent. I fell flat on my face and had to find the strength to get back up and press on. I picked up the pieces of a shattered dream and wondered how any kind of beauty could ever shine through such brokenness.
I also reached the top of the mountain and shouted for all to hear. I tasted victory, along with a sweet intimacy with a God who loves me more deeply than I ever imagined. I found answers to my prayers, though they didn’t look anything like the answers I expected to find. I survived the valley and lived to tell about the treasures I found in the darkness.
Connection remains key to this life. I love how writing gives me a chance to connect with so many people I might not otherwise meet. My readers represent my valentines, and today I gift them these words, “You’re not alone.”
Who might need to hear these words from you today?