To be honest, I never really paid attention to Valentine's Day when I was younger. My family wasn't really into celebrating most holidays anyway, and this one took especially little notice. While in my teens I never cried my eyes out or mourned for the absent lover. I didn't spend the day with a box of tissue and a mound of chocolate. Not that I didn't want a boyfriend or husband, it just didn't ever cross my mind I should be more upset on this day than any other I didn't have someone special.
I continued in this mindset until two years ago. I was spending a fair amount of time with a couple I knew who had recently become engaged and were very lovey-dovey. Suddenly, my heart deeply longed for that connection, that trust. That friendship they had. I wanted someone to love me like that. To buy my roses and take me out for a special dinner on Valentine's Day. I did spend that year alone, and let me tell you, I could relate a whole lot better to all those girls who spend February 14th pitying themselves and being miserable. Being alone is hard. And on a day set aside for people to express how much they love each other, it is even worse.
Last year I was not single, but happily dating my now-husband Jacob. He came for the weekend before the holiday, and he took me out to dinner just like I yearned for. He called me on Valentine's Day and asked me to go for a scavenger hunt for him in my kitchen, where he had creatively hidden a sterling silver piece from his collection that said "Be My Valentine", which of course I was. ;)
This year is different still. I am now Mrs. Wagner. Jacob and I married in the ceremony of our dreams on September 17 and vowed to love each other for the rest of our lives. So this year I will spend Valentine's Day not as an oblivious teenager, a yearning young adult, or a love struck girlfriend. As a wife. So much has changed in the last two years, it's amazing. Only God could write such a story!
So what have I learned? That Valentine's Day is a good day. No matter what stage of life you are in, it's a reminder to say I love you to those you hold close. It's not just a day for couples, it's a day for love. Express it. In the busyness of life, we often forget the importance of loving those around us. It may be easier to say "I love you" to your boyfriend or husband, but don't forget to say and express it to your family. Your friends. Don't make light of all the times they have been there for you. Listened to you, hugged you, supported you.
Don't wait for that special person to celebrate the day. God has blessed you abundantly with people to love, what better day to say "I Love You?". <3