I love Valentine's Day, I do, but when I stop to reflect on all my many Valentine's experiences I'm really not sure why. The day and the span of time surrounding it marks some of the most tragic moments of my life. Deaths, illnesses, and loss. If I were superstitious I would probably think of the holiday as cursed. Still, somehow every year I look forward to the arrival of candy hearts and all things pink and red that flood local stores before my dad even has a chance to take the Christmas lights down.
I was baptized on a Valentine's Day and so I tend to think of my bad "luck" as the devil throwing a hissy fit; since the anniversary of my public declaration is near. But the bad things happened years and years before that day. They might actually be the reason I subconsciously decided to get spontaneously baptized.
I grew up in the church and accepted Jesus when I was in the single digits age range but it wasn't until I moved out on my own that I got baptized. I loved how my pastor likened baptism to a marriage. A public declaration of a love that already existed. For me it was a way of saying "I will love Him throughout". I will love Him throughout the bad days. I will love Him throughout the funerals. I will love Him throughout the doctor's visits. I will love Him throughout it all.
I've still had my times when I've been angry with God. We've gotten in to (one sided) fights. I've thrown temper tantrums and threatened to rebel. But then I remember "I will love Him throughout" and I come back like a dog with it's tail between it's legs asking for forgiveness for my short-sightedness.
Since it's Valentine's Day (gosh I've said that like a million times in this post, sorry) I can't help but think about earthly love. Specifically the kind of love that involves a ring and a name change. When I imagine life with my future hubby a montage of happy scenes flies through my head. Breakfast in bed, walks through the park, the birth of our first child. All those things are great but just like in single life bad things will happen once I am married. There will be pain and sometimes the pain will be caused by the person I love the most on this planet and it will hurt so much more because of that. It leads me to ask the question "will I love him throughout?" How could I know if I've never practiced.
Thankfully God has given me many opportunities to practice unconditional love. And the older I get the more frequently I succeed. I realize that our relationship with God is the best thing to prepare us for marriage (and, in turn, marriage is a direct reflection of His love for us as we serve our spouse like Christ did the church). I've grown a lot in the last year; it was a life changing one. I've even grown a lot in the past month. I realized that even after marriage I will grow but I can admit that in this moment on February 14, 2015 I am ready to be married.
I'm not suggesting that anyone should randomly show up at my apartment with a ring (it's happened before y'all...and I was single). But I am saying I realize the areas where God's still working on me and I'm ready to die to, most, of my selfishness for my future spouse. I am so thankful that God closed doors at other points in my life when I thought I was ready to get married but my view of love was so earthly. So now I'll just wait and trust in His timing. Future hubby, where ya at?