SHOWING LOVE AFTER HEARTBREAK

It’s that time of year again. The stores are filling with chocolates, flowers, stuffed animals, and cards. Single people are reminded of their loneliness and couples are being obscenely and annoyingly cute. Yep, I’m talking about Valentine’s Day.

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. It seems like the older I get, the less excited I really am about the whole ordeal. I miss the elementary school days of decorating a shoebox and picking out the best Hannah Montana themed cards with candy or temporary tattoos attached to hand out to my classmates. You’d eat so much sugar and snacks while partying in the class and went home in a crazy candy induced state followed by a serious crash. Those truly were the good ole days. Can we bring that into adulthood? I think it would make this commercialized holiday a little better!

Despite the tradition of purchasing candy and gifts for your significant other, Valentine’s Day is about showing love. But what about those people who have experienced recent heartbreak? I’m not just talking about breaking up with your partner either. Heartbreak comes in many forms. It could be losing a pet or family member, not getting the job you were so confident you were meant for, failing an exam, losing your favorite necklace, having a friend betray you and having to let them go, and so much more. All of these things can make Valentine’s Day less like a holiday and more of a burden. The red and pink plastered packaging on candy and giant stuffed animals can make you wanna puke.

I know the feeling. It seems like recently, I’ve been going through quite a bit of heartbreak. When I think of Valentine’s Day right now, my first instinct is to roll my eyes and be disgusted. I even found an anti-Valentine’s Day playlist that I’ve been listening to at work or as I’m walking around campus. I was definitely letting my various forms of heartbreak get to me. I’m not saying I shouldn’t have, because I am focusing more on accepting my negative emotions and not suppressing them, but I’m realizing I can’t let myself get too far into this heartbreak. I don’t want to let it consume me and stop me from showing the people I do love how much I care! I’ve been working through it all and trying to find the best way to keep positive, and praying a lot for God to show me what to do. Let me tell you, when you ask God to show up, God SHOWS UP in ways you can’t even imagine.

In particular, I felt like I was being pointed to answers in my daily devotionals. I recently impulse-bought Bob Goff’s new book “Live in Grace, Walk in Love.” It’s a 365-day journey that I was a little late to the game on starting at the beginning of the year, but I’m working through starting in February. One of my goals for this year was to read the Bible more and I was hoping this would help. I was reading the other day and the topic was John 15:9, which reads “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” Goff follows up with this statement that smacked me like a ton of bricks:

We can’t avoid it, because we’re all a little broken and we’re bound to get things wrong. Someone will eventually nestle their way into your heart and then let you down. And when they do, you’ll either explode in anger or show a steady stream of love. Be love, so love will flow out when people fail you, just like it flowed from Jesus we He took the fall for us.

Whoa. I read this and felt like God was directly talking to me. It hit on so much of what I’ve been going through and looking for answers on. Isn’t it crazy how God works sometimes? I’d been wondering how to react and keep going and here was God telling me “show love.” Although I haven’t been actively letting my anger take charge of my actions, it definitely has been festering in my mind. This was a good reminder that I should replace that love. A steady stream of love to be exact, which makes me feel better. I often think “how can I show love right now? Does that mean I’m supposed to forgive right away and act like everything is normal?” I don’t think that’s what Goff is saying here. Yes, we should show love, but it doesn’t have to come rushing in like a wave. It can be a steady stream. That was reassuring to me.

All this to say, love can be shown after heartbreak because Jesus took the ultimate fall for us. He showed us the way to live in love and pour that out in all situations. It may take time and be small acts at first, but a steady stream of love can solve anything. I’m excited to continue to see how this book pushes me towards living in grace and walking in love. For now, I know these devotionals are exactly what I needed right now.

So, show some love this Valentine’s Day! Even if you’re single and a little bitter (like me), show some love to your friends, family, pets, or even strangers. You never know how a little act of love can really change someone’s day, and it may make you feel a whole lot better too!

❤ / Bailey

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