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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Whose Valentine am I?

I, Ginger, am sitting down to write my first blog without doing it together with Jim. This one will probably take on a more feminine perspective. It's Valentine's Day today. This sweet yet odd holiday's history is a little obscure. One legend has it that there was a priest that lived in the 3rd century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II was the ruler at the time. The country was at war and he determined that unmarried men made better soldiers so he outlawed marriage to all young men in the land. The priest, a godly man with the last name Valentine, (an obvious romantic) deemed this to be an injustice so he secretly continued performing marriages to young lovers. Eventually he was discovered and put to death. Gotta love happy endings! Wonder if that was really how this whole day came to be? I only ponder the thought for about a minute tonight in between baking frozen pizza, cutting up orange slices and managing the always-romantic dinner time with 5 children under the age of 10.

After my minute history lesson is pondered and my other "dateless" friends and I choose which movie to go see later, I looked back over today. This is the first Valentine's Day with Jim in my world. Coming into a relationship later in life is full of interesting twists and turns. Jim and Andrea and Troy and I all began dating as teenagers and married the second we all got out of college. Therefore we pretty much grew up together, became adults together and established our own traditions as couples. Troy, like Jim, was a romantic at heart. He and I always celebrated Valentine's Day in some way. Jim's philosophy, however, is "why do I need someone to tell me that this is the day I should tell my wife how much I love her...that should be everyday"?! I would totally agree with his theology on it, but still I have to admit my childhood adoration for all things rosy pink and laced with hearts on Feb. 14th still tickles my fancy. So we have giggled about it this week. I sent him not one but TWO Valentine cards, sent his sons Valentines and my kids sent all of them ones too. He wrote me a beautiful love letter on notebook paper and slipped in a Starbuck's gift card and wrote "just because" and not because of the day. :) Jim and I will enjoy continuing to explore who one another is and what makes us tick. I love that we will make our own unique memories and we will challenge each other to think outside our previous boxes.

My first instinctive answer to the question, "who is your Valentine?" would be Jim. Then I would describe my Valentine of the last 18 years which was Troy. Both loving and attentive men. As Jim and I say alot, look what God has done for both of us twice in a lifetime! Blessed be the name of the Lord. Last year, I had no Valentine. I had no one on this earth to single me out. I remember, as with all holidays (Mother's Day and Father's Day the worst), walking past the Hallmark card aisle seeing all the red and pink lovey dovey cards and just wanting to have amnesia. I didn't want to remember Valentines past and the sweet things Troy did for me. Amnesia would have been a welcome relief at that point. It physically hurt so much to not have Troy anymore. You can't buy a greeting card for a memory. You can't wrap your arms around a memory. No matter how powerful that memory is.

But as a Believer in Christ, how can I ever think I have gone one Valentine's Day without a lover? From the day I accepted the Lord into my heart and into my life, I have had a lover. A lover of my soul. My bridegroom is Jesus. It's all a little abstract as you can't take the Lord to Macaroni Grill and the movies but none the less, He's as real as me sitting here typing this blog.

My sweet realtor here that helped sell my house last spring sent me a gift yesterday in the mail. It was a neat book and a sweet Valentine. The card really made me think.

Here is some of what it said, "Your Divine Valentine.. A Valentine may play a love song for you, but God sings you the sweetest love song in the universe....
'The Lord your God will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph. 3:17'
...A Valentine may take you out to dinner, but God has invited you to the most amazing feast ever given...
'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!' Rev. 19:9...
...A Valentine may bring you chocolate, but God provides you with something even sweeter, His Word...
'How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.' Psalm 119:103...
...A Valentine may love you for a lifetime but God loved you before you were born and will love you for all eternity...
'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love, with lovingkindness I have drawn you.' Jer. 31:3.

Wow, powerful promises and heart-touching analogies from the One who wrote the greatest Love Story ever told, Jesus. Last Valentines Day, I am not ashamed to tell you that I was angry with God. He had allowed the most excruciating pain into my life by taking Troy away. Maybe that card would not have comforted me last year. It probably would have made me even angrier as I thought, "great, just me and You, Lord today!". In my human mind, that seemed like it just could not be enough. But, in spiritual truth and faith, He is all I needed. He was what I needed last Valentines Day. Another man and even dare I say, having Troy still alive, would not have helped me to grow my faith in the darkest times. I am a woman who really enjoys being adored, cherished and loved by a man. I am meant to be part of a team; half of a whole. I know God made me who I am, so nothing I can tell Him about me, He does not know. But I have continued to have to make the choice to trust Him. To know that somehow He would provide a way where there was no way. He would be my stream in the desert. No man, no matter how wonderful, can meet the deepest thirst in your soul. I had to be okay if for the rest of my life, God had been my only Valentine. And though I couldn't fathom it, I knew if called me to that, He would enable me to accept that and have a full life. I am a woman. I know there are many women, maybe men too, who are wondering tonight when their Valentine will come. Well, He already came. Two thousand years ago in Bethleham. He loves us so much, He left the perfection of heaven to come to this most hideously painful and ugly world. He suffered physical, emotional and spiritual pain on the cross because He wanted to woo us to Him.

"We love because He first loved us" I John 4:19.
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us" I John 4:16.

I can tell you, my heart has been broken and He has glued the pieces back together. It is possible.

"For God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything" I John 3:20.

I have been wooed and pursued by two wonderful men on this earth now. I praise the Lord for that daily. I thought I would be loved on this earth by the first man for the entirety of my life. I was wrong. I hope the second one will be on this earth long enough to love me until I am old woman. But if I am wrong again, the Lord forbid, I must know that my God, the Alpha and the Omega, the Mighty One who pursued me with His life, will love me for eternity.

P.S. Happy Valentines Day, Jim!

5 comments:

  1. Great work Ginger - LOVED your post - thanks for sharing!!

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  2. That was a really great post Ginger! Jennifer (Jim's niece)

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  3. So this is why you've not been calling me! You're busy blogging! Teehee. I'm thankful for a place to read your thoughts. I miss you and love you so much. Call when you can and know that I am thinking of you and loving you from North Carolina. I'm still in the "wowzers" phase of this ... and can't wait to talk to you about it all. Can't wait until May... seeing you again will be so wonderful. You're in such a different place now ... and if we were able to laugh last September ... we'll cackle our heads off this next time!!! Smooches my sweet friend!
    Marlo

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  4. Hi Ginger. I truly enjoyed hearing from you and "meeting" through your post. Thanks for sharing your heart. I hope we can meet someday! Wendy (in Turkey)

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  5. Hi, Ginger! This is Jen, Jim's niece (not the one one who already commented on this post, but how funny! I didn't know he had another niece named Jennifer!). My dad is Robert, Jim's oldest brother who passed away. Anyway, I don't know if you are still in the Phoenix area, but I live in Goodyear, so I thought I would invite you over for dinner some time. My husband and I have a 3 year old little girl and twin 1 year old boys. If that is something you would be interested in doing, we'd love to meet you! Jim has my e-mail address, I'd love to hear from you!

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