Oh, yippee! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and here I sit, writing an article for a singles magazine on how we don’t actually need romance to make this day wonderful. Now before you throw your half-eaten, heart-shaped box of faux chocolates at me, let’s talk. Is there anyone else out there who swore 2013 was the last one without a candlelight dinner with Mr. or Miss Dreamy McDreamerton, getting lost in each other’s smile while a violin softly dances in the background … ending in an epic kiss under the stars from the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge? Anyone else out there who just knew this was their “year of marital breakthrough?” Please don’t tell me I am the only one! Oh God, please, no … Don’t make me eat your nasty, leftover chocolates!
Ha! I know … that was overly dramatic, and I actually don’t feel that way at all … well, maybe a little bit about the kiss, but that’s beside the point.
You see, I can’t actually believe that you could top my last three “Ooey Gooey Lovie Dovie” Valentine’s Days. I have the most amazing friends, and the best little brother a girl could have, who all make sure to spoil me with beautiful flowers, amazing food, non-stop laughter and crazy adventures on the streets of NYC. We have braved windstorms, broken shoes, closed restaurants, endured nasty food, taken long bus rides to nowhere, eaten greasy hamburgers and overdosed on cupcakes. But honestly, none of the craziness mattered, because we were together and laughing all the way, wiping cream cheese icing off our noses.
What I love about this day is that all around the world, people are celebrating the one thing that I talk about more than anything else. It’s like a gigantic party where we are intentional with the ones who make our hearts beat a little faster. We dream about things we may or may not have actually experienced, but hope to in the near future. We get a free pass to eat chocolate. We add a little something red to our wardrobe. It’s a day completely dedicated to amore, or at least somebody’s idea of it.
One of my life verses is 1 John 4:17 in the Amplified version: “In this (union and communion with Him) LOVE is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment (with assurance and boldness to face Him), because as He is, so are we in this world.”
You know how you can read a verse over and over again for years, then one day it just jumps off the page and turns into precious rubies right before your eyes? Well, that happened to me a few months ago. I had been invited to speak at a women’s retreat on the topic of “LOVE.” That is like giving me a free pass to an amusement park and sticking me at the front of the line of every roller coaster in the place! I love LOVE, and I actually have the audacity to believe that we can change the world with it!
So when I realized what God was saying to me the day that 1 John 4:17 became mine, I began to dream even wilder, plan even bigger and expect Heaven on Earth as my reality, even more than before! He told me personally that in my union with Him—which I did absolutely nothing to attain, but purely receive—love was made complete and perfect in me … in ME! Are you kidding? Then, as if that weren’t enough, He said that just as He is, I am supposed to be right here, right now on earth. It’s like I struck gold, won the lottery, hit the jackpot, had a YouTube video go viral and finally arrived, all at the same time!!!
Now, I live forever in a win-win situation since there is actually no contingency plan for failure in love. It simply can’t fail, and furthermore … love sends fear packin’!
Love was the game changer for me. I will never forget sitting on the edge of my bed in East Tennessee after having the carpet pulled from underneath me in every area of my life. In the natural, it seemed like I was finished, as everything I had known came to a halting stop. I remember looking over my life and seeing fear at every bend … fear of man, fear of failure, fear of success, fear of rejection, fear of disappointing everyone and fear of not being enough. Feeling completely empty, I said to God, “I don’t know about all that other stuff, but I choose to live, and this fear has to go.”
The words He spoke to me that day forever changed my life. He said, “Aaron, if you did nothing but sit in a room and receive my love, you would bust Heaven’s gates wide open.” Seriously? Amazingly enough, I thought that actually seemed like something this tired girl could possibly do. That moment, I purposed to be the best receiver of God’s love that I had ever known, and it was on that very day that I met Him face to face.
By the way … He is very sneaky, you know. God knew that if I would just receive His love and realize it was what I was created for, that I could never just keep it within these four walls. Haven’t you been around people in love? They are ridiculous! It’s all “puppy dogs, rainbows, blue skies, happy, happy, happy, everything is perfect” with them. You know the ones walking down the street in front of you, giggling and drinking each other in? Them! The ones you secretly want to smack upside the head with that rainbow!
Well, now that’s me. I am “them” every single day.
I am completely and entirely wrecked by love. Love is a person, and His name is Jesus. Every day with Him is Valentine’s Day.
So I leave you with this on a day dedicated to love and romance. Don’t just sit around and wait for life to happen when Mr. or Ms. Right rides in on a white horse or in an ironclad subway. Be intentional about receiving the love of God that became complete and perfect in you because of the cross. Then be intentional about leaking that love out onto every single person you meet.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a champion of love, the cheerleader of romance and an optimistic believer in marriage. So my plan for this Valentine’s Day is to practice love that’s bigger than me on everyone around, and when that day arrives that my man comes walking through the door of my heart, he will have no choice but to be as ridiculously overwhelmed by love as I have been. And that is where we will begin.
Let’s all give a big huge WHOOP WHOOP to Valentine’s Day … a day truly worthy of endless celebration, beautiful flowers, yummy chocolates, massive smiles and lots of hugs!