My Absolute Worst Valentine’s Day EVER
Updated: Feb 15
Valentine’s Day has generally been good to me. My Daddy gave me a single gold heart on a charm bracelet when I was five. I was special. I was loved.
In high school, a carnation fundraiser yielded a dozen pink carnations from my current boyfriend. That prompted a baker’s dozen (13) to be sent from my former boyfriend. Hence, too many flowers to stuff in a locker or carry from class to class, so of course, I had to check out and take my bounty home. Not a bad problem to have in high school. It didn’t hurt my rep either.
In my first job, my wanna-be boyfriend won a bunch of brownie points with a gift of licorice jelly beans, my favorite.
Then I started dating my co-worker, after four years of being simply friends. I thought this relationship was right, real, and forever-after. After a year of dating, well, I naturally expected good things to happen on Valentine’s Day.
With all the care of one expecting the perfect Hallmark outcome, I shopped for a new dress. Little black dress with a red belt. My hair freshly cut and styled, makeup applied with care, and the perfect strappy sandals on my feet, I was ready, more than ready, for the anticipated proposal. I KNEW I was ready and this was IT.
Except it wasn’t.
Photos my mother took after our special, fancy dinner date say it all. Every fiber of my being was disappointed. I remember that sinking feeling, and hopelessness, I felt. I had some thinking and praying to do. I considered breaking it off, prayed for direction, and thought maybe I should make him jealous somehow. (Bad idea.)
Was this relationship worth waiting for? Yes. What kind of man was he? A good one. Was he a Christ-follower? Yes. Did he have a heart for God? Yes. Did I love him? Yes. Was I willing to give him time to make his decision? Hmmmm.
Peace settled over me once I realized I would wait YEARS, if necessary, to spend my life with this one man. He was worth the wait.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 NKJV. My heart was sick from deferred hope, but God wanted me to understand that life was coming. I settled in for the long haul, in amazingly perfect peace.
Two weeks later, when we celebrated his birthday, he completely caught me off guard. Louis asked me to be his wife and spend the rest of my life with him. He cried (hopefully from joy) and I laughed and felt like turning cartwheels.
No surprise…I said yes.
I like to think he gave himself a birthday present. My mother always told him “no take backs.” Funny.
That ‘80s country song, “If You’re Waiting on Me, You’re Backing Up” has been our theme song. Not a country music fan here, but we worked for the Texas Farm Bureau and trekked the Lone Star State back roads on a regular basis, so the soundtrack of our lives was country, 8-track style.
(Recorded by The Kendalls - partial lyrics) If you're waiting on me, you're backing up cause I've already fell in love a long time ago and you didn't even notice me. You don't have to worry about jumping the gun. If you're waiting on me, you're backing up. The time is right for falling in love. What cha waiting on? You're just wasting time. So come over here, I said enough's enough. If you're waiting on me, you're backing up. (Written by Ken Bell, Terry Skinner and J.L. Wallace)
Louis takes his time deciding, whether it’s a major move or buying a pair of shoes, while I usually leap ahead. Like Dr. Dolittle’s “pushmi-pullyu,” a rare llama with two heads, I pull and he pushes, or is it the other way around? Somehow our marriage works.
As we approach our 38th anniversary, I am thankful. My kind and gentle husband wasn’t ready on Valentine’s Day, but it only took him two weeks to get there. That’s pretty much a record in our relationship! We have enjoyed a beautiful life together, not all hearts and flowers, but filled with God's goodness.
I gleaned a valuable lesson, one I continue to benefit from learning. Deferred hope is hard, but when God comes through, it is life-giving springtime. Hopelessness is never from God, so we need to reject it. God is always a God of hope, no matter what the situation looks like.
On this Valentine’s Day, take heart. (Pun intended.)
Today may not be all candy and roses. Maybe your heart has been broken, or maybe you are simply alone, but the Lover of your soul has good plans for you, plans to give you hope and a future. This may or may not include a marriage relationship. Regardless, He desires an intimate, healthy, loving relationship with us, even those of us in an earthly marriage. God wants us to put Him first.
His plans are GOOD for you, my friend, and will bring many blessings. Adjusting to His will and His timing can be challenging, but hang on for the beautiful outcome. Life in Christ does not disappoint!
“…when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Fruit is growing on your tree of life!
Father does know best.
He always has our well-being at heart.