Celebrate

Happy Valentine’s Day from my corner of the world! I know that the day has come and gone here, but in some parts, the dreaded day filled with love and romance is in full swing. I guess you could say that I have never liked Valentine’s Day too much. It’s always been fun buying chocolates for my friends and getting candy from my mom, but it has always served to be a reminder that I am, as the world defines it, ‘forever alone’. Hopefully not forever, but alone nonetheless. It always bothered me seeing friends going on dates and getting each other flowers; I felt so lonely and left out. I also know that this is a super popular feeling, especially among young girls who have no significant other.

So as the ‘day of love’ approached, I felt a little anxious. Was this going to be another year where I smiled and ate chocolates and gave hugs, but inside I felt a little pang of bitterness at God for my being alone? I decided that I didn’t want that. This was going to be a year that instead of focusing on the fact that I’m single, I would look out for those who feel that way and try to brighten their day a little bit. As soon as I chose to change my demeanor, everything changed and it ended up being the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had.

To kick off the day, I had the best sleep I have had in forever and then I got to meet with other people on my Youth Street team to pray for our crew and the day. Next I decided to take one of my best friends for coffee on our way to work. This was super fun because I love her to pieces and I’m pretty sure she is my secret twin. Once I made it to work, I was in for something that I really wasn’t expecting.

About two weeks ago, my lovely friend told me that she had some kind of surprise for me for Valentine’s Day. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew it would be awesome because this girl is probably the best gift giver that I’ve ever known. She always knows what to get and when to give it to you. I also have realized that I have a bit of a harder time accepting gifts, but I think God has put this girl in my life to help me with that. For the previous two weeks she has been reminding me that something was coming and she also got a few of my friends in on her big plans. I was totally confused about what she was getting me and I got to the point where I just didn’t want to know.

On Friday night I got a text from my friend saying she was sick and wouldn’t be able to make it to see me on Saturday and was really sorry. I thought that I would be off the hook from receiving anything…That was FAR from the case.

Saturday morning, 9 o’clock, I received the first gift: a rose and a card. I thought that was sweet and cute. Then 10 o’clock came around. Gift #2: chocolates and a teddy bear. That was cute, still nothing too big. I liked it. 11 o’clock: nail stuff and perfume. Ok…the presents are getting bigger, not sure how I feel about this. It’s sweet and nice, but it must have been expensive, I don’t deserve this much, why is this happening?! Then at 12 o’clock my friend who was ‘sick’ (she totally wasn’t at all) shows up with the last gift: Thai food (one of my favorites) and a Pandora charm for my bracelet. Now this charm was something really special. Not only was it the charm that I have wanted for years, but it was prettier than I ever imagined it would be. A tiny silver fairy tale castle complete with a gold crown on the bottom with a diamond right in the middle.

So I set out to bless others throughout my day, but I ended up being spoiled more than I ever thought possible. I was totally reminded of how great God is and how much he loves me. I am his princess and he has his castle waiting for me.

However, my day didn’t end there. We had an afternoon full of Youth Street which was beyond fun and exciting. We sang and danced around and played games and were just the complete crazies that we always are. It was so perfect! After dinner we had Youth Street Live which is the more youth group aspect of our program. In the service, a friend of mine was speaking on how we were created to hold on to a love that never gives up on us. So often we turn to things in the world to fill our hearts, but the truth is that only God can satisfy us and make us feel whole and complete. She then invited our crew to invite God into their hearts and to be open to truly feeling him. The band started up and we just started praying. It was so amazing; you could feel God so tangibly within the room and everyone was just so tuned in. I got the amazing privilege of praying for a few of our crew and it was so amazing to just tell them how much God loves them and what he really thinks of them. I was blown away by how filled I felt by pouring out for others. God really reminded me of why I do what I do.

The evening closed with our young adult Lounge Room which is like a coffee house thing the we do after Youth Street wraps up. I got to sit with my friends and hear people play music and drink coffee. It was an amazing way to process all that God had done in just one day.

Yes, I am single. And yes, Valentine’s Day was perfect. I couldn’t imagine a better way of showing and receiving love. If we had the same desire to spread love as we do on Valentine’s Day, I’m pretty sure hate wouldn’t stand a chance. Love is a force to be reckoned with and I choose to wield it daily. When we set the attitudes of our hearts to be outward focused, we can undoubtedly change the world.

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