Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day to express your love. But do roses, gifts, and fancy meals really define your love? I have spent some time this morning making arrangements for my upcoming trip to Guatemala and it made me think about what my love really looks like.
After I put the kids to bed last night, I worked to make small gifts and treats. I snuck a card and some of Brandon’s favorite candies into his briefcase. I put little bags at each kids’ place setting with special treats picked just for them. I cut Aubrey’s brownies into hearts and dipped peanut butter covered pretzels in chocolate and sprinkles as a surprise. Small, inexpensive gifts to let family know that I was thinking of them.
But my love became more real after Brandon finally finished plowing the neighbor’s driveway late last night. The tractor had started to slide and almost went over the edge. In that moment I realized that I could have lost him. On that narrow, steep driveway in the dark, I almost lost my stability and life. Our love is not that youthful, lustful infatuation. It is a long-standing trust and commitment. Our love is knowing that we are living in ways to honor each other. Losing that would have crushed my soul. Our love is not a Valentine’s kind of love.
God orchestrated a call with a friend in Texas this morning. She was feeling confused and needed to be encouraged. I had been bogged down searching for answers within foreign regulations. She was able to give me a contact that can help answer my questions. My heart belongs in Guatemala. We have family in San Antonio Aguas Calientes that we love. This little bit of information gave me hope that I can help make one of their dreams come true. We have children in Guatemala City. They are the reason I need to go back next month. I miss my kids. This love isn’t described on a Hallmark card.
My love is not cupid’s love. My love is for my family to know that I am trying every day to honor God and show them his love. My love goes beyond our home, our family, our friends. My love crosses borders to children who have suffered great loss, to families who have great love and faith in the face of hardships, to those I have yet to meet. My love should be on display every day, trying to mimic the greatest love of all.
1 John 4:11-12 “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”