A Forever Valentine

Last night, I found myself curling up on the sofa to Breaking Dawn: Part 1. I always find myself holding my breath as Edward Cullen tells his new blushing bride, Bella: “No measure of time with you will be long enough. But let’s start with forever.” Heart plummets and my breath releases in an almost “awwwwww.”

As women, especially, we are drawn to and desire this deep, fulfilling love and we love seeing it played out – whether it be in the movies or in watching our friend’s relationships. We always prod our girl friends to know the all the romantic details of the date, as well as hurt with them when they hurt. We’re drawn to human love, looking to it for an inkling of identity and for it to validate us, so that we feel cherished and beautiful. We want a “forever” love. But we also despise and feel like spitting on it when it deeply devastates and disappoints. Such a vicious cycle.

I’ve never had a Valentine. The few men who’ve dated me have all managed to “peace out” right before the holiday, and dodge Cupid’s arrows. I actually decided today that I was infinitely happy about that. I do hope that the man who sticks around for Valentine’s Day will be my future husband. What an ideal first Valentine.

I will not go off on a rampage on men (especially) who dismiss or find some “holy” reason to shirk it. Another topic; another battle not worth fighting. One point I do want to make: God is the greatest Romantic there is and any holiday that celebrates love is a grand thing.

In wrapping up my blog and this Valentine’s, I want to share part of a text my dad sent me today. It has to do with finding, resting in, hoping in, embracing this “forever” love. I hope it will bless each of you:

I do want you to know how much I love you. More than that, I am praying for you that you will know the immeasurable length and width and height and depth of God’s love for you in Jesus Christ. Be careful not to pass lightly over this as though it is no consolation in the face of your present circumstances. No, His love is eternal, boundless, intense, jealous, passionate; frightening in its purpose, frankness, power, integrity and devotion. No one loves or can love like He loves. His love for you is a tsunami engulfing you, overpowering you, suffusing every part of you. His love is not gentle waves lapping on a quiet shoreline, tame, bounded, controlled. He hung on a cross for you and bore alienation and condemnation from the Father for you. Do you think His love then is something weak, tepid, impotent, like the ineffectual longings of a schoolboy with a crush? No, His love is now and will ever be the sustaining, empowering, consoling, strengthening reality in your life when all human love fails, when human relationships disappoint, betray, fail, flounder, fall miserably short. Even when in the moments of greatest brightness a human love seems to satisfy, yet there is a deep undercurrent running through your heart, letting you know that God’s love is infinitely, immeasurably, profoundly greater, deeper richer, more wonderful. I love you. He loves you more, perfectly, satisfyingly.

– Dad

Shalom,

Rachel B. Duke

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