22 years ago (today), a 20 year-old young man, was preparing for ”tomorrow”.
Valentine’s Day, 1991, he would ask to steal my heart – for life.
Tom Brown Park. Tallahassee, FL. We were Sophomores at Florida State.
He’d made a picnic.
I peeled the tinfoil off the brownie and found a box.
It held the diamond, that held the promise, of his heart holding mine – forever.
22 years later, today:
He tells me I’m a rock star (even when I’m falling apart).
He says, “You are so beautiful” (even as I get ready in the morning – grumpy and bumpy).
He messes up, and says, “I’m sorry. I was wrong.” (even when I’m too stubborn to do the same).
He holds me, and won’t let go, arms wrapping tighter (even as I pull away – afraid to feel this love and security).
We hurt each other.
We say the wrong things.
We lead perfectly imperfect lives – and we do it – together.
And we hold on to forever (even when it’s just too hard).
He’s My Valentine.
He’s Jesus to me.
The kind with skin on.
He’s Jesus with arms, a face, even a goatee.
His voice speaks love and grace and faithfulness to my heavy heart.
He’s My Valentine.
A few of the Jesus lessons My Valentine has taught me:
People matter more than tasks. The counters being cluttered doesn’t bother him. He’s more concerned with decluttering broken hearts. He sees the people before the problems. He loves them where they are. Not for where they “need” to get.
Live for Jesus and Him alone. You can’t live in fear of what “they” think or what “they” expect. It will cripple you. If you need to please every man and woman in your life, you simply won’t make one single move. It’s impossible. So stop trying.
You cannot out give God but you can sure have fun trying. He gives, and gives, and gives some more. Never wanting in return. Never expecting a thank you. It’s overflow for him. He’s just giving Jesus, and for him, there truly is enough, because it’s all His anyways. Give.
You are not responsible for other people’s’ choices. You can’t fix. You can’t carry the weight of the world. You will think of ways to mend the wounds and clean up messes, and you simply can’t do it. You are responsible for your choices. Your marriage. Your children.
Carry that to the King. And lift up those who need encouragement, but don’t take their stuff on as if it belongs to you.
Only Jesus can carry all that.
And He did.
All the way to Calvary.
Jesus is enough.
And yet, He blesses us with hands and feet versions of Himself.
Perfectly imperfect manifestations of His love.
Thank you Matt for being My Valentine.
For teaching me.
I’m so glad you stole my heart 22 years ago.
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