I posted about this on Instagram the other day, but wanted to expand my thoughts a little more. If you missed it, I posted a picture about loving others, rebranding Valentine’s Day and posed the question;
What if we used the month of February to love others. Truly serving them like we, as Christians, are called to do and going out of our way to make people feel included, seen and loved.
We might look at this holiday a little differently. Instead of focusing on the love between two people – we are focusing on loving our church – our people that make up our life.
I’m not sure about you, but being single (which is a season all of us have been in or are currently in) this holiday breeds insecurity, doubt and an lack of confidence in who God is and what His plan if for our life. I wanted to encourage you by shedding some light on a very vulnerable part of my life.
No, I am not defined by my relationship status, yet it feels like our culture and society have taught us to believe it does. So several years ago I began working on altering my mindset. The mindset that the enemy encourages tells us that we are nothing, we are unloved, and we are lonely when we are not married.
How false is that? Being unloved, being lonely and being worthless are not mutually exclusive to singleness. There are plenty of marriages where the spouses feel unloved, alone and not valued. If you are reading this and you are married and feel any of those things – please take heart – this blog post can help encourage you through this season, as well.
If those characteristics are not exclusive to singleness – then why do I feel them and how can I overcome them?
TBH, it’s easier to feel lonely when you are in a home alone. And in 2020, and now 2021, living in isolation with stay at home orders, loneliness can be a hard feeling to shake especially when we can’t surround ourselves with others. However, using this time to focus on God and being obedient to Him can produce some real blessings. I mean that is what scripture validates.
Think about it this way – God desires us to draw near to Him, focus on what He is calling us to do and be obedient… even in 2020-2021.
1 Peter 4:10-11 says “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus.” Studies have shown that serving others is good for the mind and body and that it eases the symptoms of stress and depression.
What if you looked at your gifts and asked God to help you FOCUS on Him and be obedient. I guarantee He will show you divine ways to serve others.
The first miracle that scripture tells us Jesus performed was at a wedding. He turned water into wine. The story doesn’t talk about the guests wanting more wine it says that His mother came to Him and asked Him to help the servants. He told them to fill the jars with water and then serve the guests. The guests weren’t aware that moments before it was water, it was the servants that got to witness Jesus’ miracle. The same goes for us. When I shift my mindset from worldly to heavenly – I am compelled to serve and love others. When we serve and love others – we get to experience God’s blessing, His goodness and His glory.
If we become too focused on what the world wants us to focus on – our loneliness and insecurities, we won’t even be able to scratch the surface of that goodness.
I began making this mindset shift several years ago, by repeating a simple phrase – be a good steward.
You’ve probably heard that phrase when it comes to money – be a good steward of your money, time, talents, etc..
However, I began shifting my thought to what if I was a good steward of each and every day, thought, and person I came into contact with. It began to radically change the way I lived life and this “season of waiting” everyone says I’m in.
I am not guaranteed marriage in life, God doesn’t promise us that we will get married – no matter how much we want it. I know I desire to get married, but I also am confident in God’s plan. And if you reset your thinking to focus on God’s plan, then all of the sudden Valentine’s Day becomes just a day, like any old-Tuesday, where you can love others.
This season of waiting shouldn’t be a discouragement but a powerful encouragement of God’s design for your life. He finds it more valuable for you to be single at this time serving His people and loving His children. Wow. He has a job for you to do. Instead of sitting there sad you are celebrating the love holiday alone, celebrate God’s extraordinary call for you to love others at this time.
Side-note: I have an entire thought on the season of waiting and how the church really needs to rebrand that. Because what if I wait my entire life to get married… and I never do! I have wasted so much time focusing on something I can’t control and never could. Anyway, I digress and I hope that we can talk about this again someday – more in depth.
It’s hard. There will be sad days, moments of melancholy and, for me at least, a lot of tears. But – that doesn’t keep me on the bench… God has put me in the game so I can make an impact right now, on this day, for His Kingdom. Valentine’s Day can serve me a reminder for that.
That is a really big job and if I am too distracted by the enemies lies, I won’t be effective in loving others. So I have to daily arm myself with the phrase – be a good steward. Because when I am, when I’m focused and determine to love well and serve others first… blessings seem to fall into place and my heart goes from empty to full.
Be full friends. Be full of love, be full of friendship, but most importantly – be full of God.
P.S. – Here’s a cozy recipe – let me know if you’ve tried this one!