Friday, February 12, 2016

The Perfect Valentine

At “A Widows Christian Place”, a recent discussion was on how to deal with Valentine’s Day as a widow. It’s a question I’d been asking myself for several weeks—in fact since this year began. 

This is my second Valentine’s Day as a widow—only it’s not just Valentine’s Day, it was my late husbands birthday. In our home, it was always his birthday. It wasn’t until he retired, that he actually gave me a Valentine’s Day card. I never felt bad, after all he treated me like his Valentine every day, and I felt that he should be allowed to enjoy his birthday. So every year he picked the meals, the activities, and almost always asked to end the day with pineapple upside down cake and ice cream. This cake was a challenge for me, as my mom never baked this dessert and I went through several “from scratch” recipes before I found one that Mac really liked. I have wonderful memories of messes in the kitchen (especially the year I burned the cake - brown sugar, butter and pineapple don’t wash out of a pan very easily!), and holding my breath as he took that first bite. Would it earn me a “GREAT!”, or a “That’s good” – which meant keep trying. I was thrilled when I finally earned a “FANTASTIC cake, Kimberly!” A keeper recipe for a keeper husband.

Last year I was a widow of 3 months and floundering and hurting deeply. I simply wanted the calendar to go from February 13 to February 15. However, God had other plans for me. A friend invited me to a tea party for several gals in church, another friend picked me up and off we went. We laughed, read scriptures, and enjoyed delicious food and company. Yet, while I loved the company, I struggled through the entire event. You can ask the gals—I burst into tears at one point. I seem to be good at that. ha ha Looking back, I can see where the whole day was a time of strengthening for me, spiritually and emotionally, but it sure was a tough lesson. So how will I deal with Valentine’s Day this year?

Over the past 15 months I’ve grown into a widow—no I’m a woman of God—who is learning to let the past go and move forward. I have found this to be the healthiest way for me to live. My spiritual health, as well as my emotional and physical health, are the better for it. I’m happier, more active, calmer, content, and able to help others. After all, when I’m not focusing inward, but upward, God is able to use me to minister to others. Maybe it’s just a smile. Or praying. Or a greeting hello. Or a hug. Or laughing with friends. Or even just listening. I ask Him each day to use me, to guide my steps, to make my spirit sweet. 

As I said, I’ve been praying about this day since the beginning of 2016. This year Valentine’s Day is a SUNDAY, so I'll be in church worshipping the SON. I sing with the music team and I’m ready for the songs about loving the Lord. The ladies on the team will be singing special music, and I’m spiritually and emotionally ready for that as well. I’ve learned (shock!) a good lesson, and several weeks ago I asked the music team to pray with me as I face this day, so that I’m able to face it with a smile on my face that reflects the joy in my heart.

After church, I’ll enjoy lunch with friends, just as I always do on Sunday, then home to rest and read and back to church in the evening. So this will simply be a normal Sunday: one spent in God’s house, with God’s people, praising our Savior—the perfect Valentine!

“We love, because He first loved us.”—1 John 4:19 (NASB)

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