I was reminded of how quickly that date on the calendar is approaching when I walked into a store and was overwhelmed with a display of pink and red, or hearts and kissy lips.
A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called "Yes, I'm Single." It was probably one of the most honest posts I had ever written. It might still be. It was also one of the scariest posts I've eve hit publish on, because I was putting it all out there.
I went back and reread that post recently, with all the reminders that Valentine's Day was approaching again.
Two years ago . . .
I'm a few months from my 32nd birthday - a birthday that doesn't seem to be the same milestone as turning 30 was. Some things have changed in my life since then, many other things haven't.
As I reread my statement at the beginning of that post - my declaration, if you will - I realized that those words could be applied to many mare situations in life. Replace the word singleness with something else going on in your life. It speaks to our need for belonging - our need to know we have people who care about us and we care about in return.
My _________________ is not a problem to be fixed.And it doesn't make me strange or weird.Just like you, I want to belong. I want to be included.I want to be missed when I'm not there. And I want to know you well enough to miss you when you're not there.
The cry of our hearts is for a place to belong. We spend our lives searching for that. We want a place where we feel like we fit in. The crazy things so many of us do to try to fit in with a certain group is evidence of our desire for a place to belong.
We were created with a need to belong. We were created for community with one another. That was God's plan from the beginning.
At Bible college we had another name for February 14 - at least those of us who were single did. We often referred to it - somewhat jokingly and somewhat seriously - as "Single's Awareness Day," instead of Valentine's Day. The day we were reminded regularly as we saw all the couples walking around campus together, that we were still single. The day the cafeteria would be strikingly empty at supper compared to most evenings.
As I reflect on it more, I think this desire for a place to belong is why Valentine's Day is a day I often wish wasn't on the calendar. Not because I don't have a place to belong. I've been blessed with incredible friends and an amazing family. But, because on that one day on the calendar it can still feel a bit lonely. A day where it seems more obvious who is a couple and who is not.
This post has no neat conclusion. I'm still figuring out what this all means for my life. As February 14 approaches, I do realize I have two choices for that day. I can focus on what I don't have and get depressed. Or I can focus on what I do have and be thankful for what God has given me.