Redemption: A Valentine

Screen Shot 2013-02-14 at 12.32.12 AM7 years ago, on Valentine’s Day, The Lord redeemed me.

I remember it quite vividly—the strong voice of a mighty Spirit speaking to me, audibly, for the very first time. I knew it was the Lord because I learned what it felt like not to be alone. I love this part of my story.

Every year of my life I have been single on Valentine’s day. I don’t think this is by coincidence. And, honestly, The Lord has made it the sweetest time for me. Every year, my view of what Love is becomes sparklingly clear to me, not clouded by some poor reflection of love we so dearly crave and hold onto. I take this time to glorify Him, thank Him and reflect on what a Champion He’s been since the last spiritual birthday.

21 has been the hardest year of my life thus far, but I’m realizing that all of these trials are the most immaculate display of God’s love I could ever ask for.

I’ve learned that God is Jehovah Rapha, “The God who heals.” 8 courses of antibiotics, 6 courses of steroids and surgery during my last semester of college. Constantly ill, but The Lord sustained me, healed me and comforted me the whole time. There were tears. There were days I couldn’t get out of bed, but The Lord, my champion, knew I’d see His goodness. I’ve been healthy & thriving for almost 2 months now. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but I’m blown away and thankful for my Jehovah Rapha everyday I wake up healthy.

I’ve learned that God is the only Lover worth my complete devotion. I was in my first serious relationship this year. I fell in love and I fell in sin. I lost sight of who The Lord is by trading my time with Him for a man. I don’t regret deeply caring for this person at all, but I do have huge take-aways from my failure to keep Jesus the center of that love. I’ve realized quite quickly, no lover can satisfy my heart except the one I was created to love, the one who created love. I’m thankful that He is Jehovah-M’kaddesh, The Lord who Sanctifies. My heart is cleansed, my sins forgiven. There are days I’m bitter, broken and feel guilty. But when I look to Him, see His love, those feelings are replaced with ones from above —forgiven, whole, free. If I marry one day, I will be a better lover in light of this—not placing demands or expectations on a man he can’t stand up under. And I believe I have a fierce amount of love to give now that I know how much my Source has to give me.

I’ve learned that the God who created time can multiply it. I don’t know how I finished College early. I don’t know how I was able to handle the course load and a job for a large part of that time. My only answer is that I couldn’t, but He could. He showed off this year by honoring my commitment to Sabbath with multiplied hours, productivity and His awseomeness.

I’ve learned that the Lord is Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord who provides. I write this, 2 months after receiving a college degree, jobless. Many nights I have been kept up by this fact, striving and working so hard to change that; however, my striving will never change The Lord’s timing. My striving will never earn me blessing or grace. There’s beauty in that, but the enemy will continue to try to convince me I’ve failed Him. The beautiful and very poignent way The Lord is rebutting this lie from Satan is His daily provisions. I’ve received freelance jobs out of nowhere, gifts unexpected and provision like never before. I trust Him completely. I am not worried.

I’ve learned from my Friend how to be a better friend. I’ve learned I have the GREATEST friends—ones who call me out, let me cry, point me to The Lord and love me to pieces. Friends who love coffee, going on walks, animal memes, Outback, Bourbon and making things with their hands.

I’ve learned to go into a relationship trying only to give.

I’ve learned that there’s no limit to where my art can go because of the Fountain of creativity I was created from.

I’ve learned to ask Him for things—big, little, silly—becauase He cares.

He cares so much, y’all.

This is my season of life. These are the Joys I have in an uncertain time. This is how good and real and beautiful He is to me.

Today, I look to my Jehovah-Rohi, my shepherd, my great and eternal Valentine and ask Him to sweetly point me where to go—knowing He won’t reveal the plan to me all at once, because my small mind can’t handle or understand it. I think the most beutiful way I can sum up the encouragment that this post is supposed to be is a quote by Ryan O’neal of Sleeping At Last:

” It must be so hard, in the mess you’re always cleaning up,
to believe in the ghost of unbroken love.
but i promise you,
the truth is that you’re loved. so loved.”

Be blessed today.

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