Hello there,

This valentine is for you, from me, one single person to another.

If you’re anything like me, I’m guessing you have mixed emotions about Valentine’s Day. It’s hard being single on a day when American culture tells us we should celebrate romantic love.

Over the years, I’ve found various ways to spend this day. Sometimes I poured myself into making heart-shaped crafts and decorating heart-shaped cookies with friends who had little kids. I never felt like I had to have a romantic partner to belong at those gatherings.

Other years, I spent time with friends. One friend had a “Bleeding Hearts” party for singles where we drank pink cocktails and ate good food together. I was glad to have somewhere to go and something to do, but I couldn’t help feeling a little wistful of those who were keeping their dinner reservations, dressing up in heels and walking hand in hand.

One memorable Feb. 14, I traveled downtown to buy a pair of nice yoga pants. The store was empty, except for a few salespeople who looked a little the worse for wear.

I chatted with one of them as he rung me up, folding my splurge purchase with care. “When I get off work, I’m just going home,” he said. “I don’t have anybody.”

“You have yourself,” I said, looking him in the eye. “You’re a person.”

I spoke those words out loud because I needed to hear them too. I needed to hear them as I walked down streets populated by couples in their own worlds. I needed to hear them as I went home and changed into my comfy new pants and put on a movie.

Then it dawned on me: Every year, I get to spend Valentine’s Day with someone I love, someone God loves deeply no matter my relationship status—myself. So often I choose to ignore that fact. So often I choose to ignore myself.

Maybe you do this too?

Whether it’s this time of year, or any other time that you’re feeling dissatisfied with your relationships, maybe you forget that you are a good idea that God had, a person with value and interest and wondrous uniqueness. Maybe sometimes you forget how much you are loved by Jesus? I know I do.

Maybe sometimes you forget how much you are loved by Jesus? I know I do.

Now I don’t think that Jesus, Prince of Peace, is my consolation prize until my knight in shining armor shows up. But I do know that God is drawn to the brokenhearted, and that there are lots of hearts that break a little bit every time they see another box of candy hearts, or a carefully chosen bouquet of flowers, or an engagement ring in the bottom of a champagne glass on TV. I think that in those moments, our heartbreak is not petty or less than or insignificant. I think that in those moments, God is with us.

You were dreamed up before the creation of the world, before God spoke the light into being. You are more important than one day on the calendar, but more than that, you are worth being celebrated for every second of every day. It would take eternity for you to even begin to grasp the extent to which you are loved by God.

One day is a start.



Cara Strickland
Strickland writes about food and drink, singleness, faith and mental health from her home in the Northwest (carastrickland.com).

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