I have only one Valentine’s Day story. It’s not what you might call a romantic one, but it’s mine. I was probably around 7 years old and attended my church’s small private school. It was a one room school-house sort of set up with a principal (and I term it loosely) and student’s mothers were like the teaching assistants. It was a fairly flexible set up and so holidays could be deemed by the principal. One particular time, he did so. Valentine’s day was coming up and he announced to all of us that if all the girls would give him a kiss on the cheek, he would let us all have Valentine’s day off.
( I want to pause just briefly to acknowledge just how messed up that was and today a principal would get fired. However, I also come from a generation where child restraints were either your dad’s arm or your mother’s lap. So let’s just leave that issue for now.)
Back to my story, I was mortified. Kissing was just gross and to someone who you didn’t love that’s even worse! Besides that, why didn’t the boys have to do anything? I saw so many things wrong with the scenario that, even though I was only 7, I knew there was no way I was going through with it. I don’t remember how I told him, but I did. He told me that I would be at school on that day then. I remember the kids teasing me. Even my own brother, picked on me and pressured me to. After all, all of the other girls didn’t seem to mind, only me. I felt sick. I questioned what was wrong with me. I didn’t want to have to be at school by myself and every day the principal reminded me that I would. The story ends happily. My mom being the peace maker that she is bought me a little bag of Hershey Kisses and told me that maybe he would accept them instead. He did and I had the day off. As hard as it was, I didn’t back down and, in the end, God took care of it.
God reminds me of this story frequently. He reminds me of who He created me to be. He reminds me that He has equipped me to do the things that He has purposed. He reminds me that I don’t have to be fearful of the outcome because He is bigger. He reminds me that He will be with me and will cause me to stand tall during the taunts of discouragement. He reminds me that He has my back, is at my side, and goes before me in all things. He reminds me of how much He loves me. What a blessed woman I am! The only way I know how to respond to His love is to give all that I have for all that He is and live out this life He has planned for me with reckless abandonment. I am His.
Happy Valentine’s Day ~ Janean
I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
before the “gods” I will sing your praise.I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have so exalted your solemn decree
that it surpasses your fame.When I called, you answered me;
you greatly emboldened me.May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,
when they hear what you have decreed. May they sing of the ways of the Lord,
for the glory of the Lord is great. Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly,
but he takes notice of the proud from afar.Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
with your right hand you save me. The Lord will vindicate me;
your love, Lord, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands. ~Psalm 138