Surviving Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day – another difficult celebration for widows. We’re just recovering from the Christmas holidays, but those high-powered ads won’t let us forget our loss. For weeks, the stores have featured chocolate candies in red heart-shaped boxes and beautiful flower displays to entice shoppers. Even at church yesterday, it seemed that more couples were holding hands and exchanging tender looks as they left. (Maybe I was just more conscious of it.) I must admit that I felt a twinge of jealousy.

Valentine’s Day was a topic at work today too, and it led to some interesting discussions. One woman laughed as she told of her early marriage days when money was scarce. To celebrate their anniversary, she and her husband would go to a card store together and choose the best card that expressed their loving thoughts for each other. They would exchange the cards, read them, and then return them to their appropriate racks. What a creative and sweet idea!

If this ibroken_hearts your first Valentine’s Day alone, those of us who have been on this journey for several years know that it’s painful and especially lonely. Being grateful for the good times helps to soothe an aching heart, but I’m convinced that only God can heal a broken heart.

Some of you may not have experienced a warm, loving relationship. Your grief is compounded with regret. But God can restore your heart too. In fact, the Psalmist David says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18), and “He heals the brokenhearted” (Psalm 147:3). The prophet Isaiah tells us that one of the Messiah’s main purposes is to heal the brokenhearted.

We may not experience a romantic dinner or receive flowers tomorrow from our husbands, but we can show love to those around us through simple acts of kindness.