February is a time when we think of love. Cupids appear, cards fly off the shelves, and candy with flowers is the staple. How better to express love than with little chocolates and roses? This is the time of year when people talk about their valentine and love should be in the air, or at least that is what the commercials tell us. It can be a beautiful time, if you have bought the “right” gift or if you are with the “right” person. Overall, though, it can be an overwhelming time for many. There are those who have not found their love yet, those who are miserable with the ones they are with, those who do not want to celebrate something they do not feel…and then there are those who struggle because their love is no longer here. Grieving the loss of a loved one can make this holiday even more challenging. With all these discussions of love and relationships, it can seem to be a cruel time rather than a celebration. And we could just skip over it, ignore it all. Or, it could be a time that we are reminded just how much we are loved.
This could be the right time to remember how much we were loved by the one we are missing so much. Whether we are missing our spouse, child, parent, or friend, this is a time we can remember the love that was shared. We can remember the times when we shared a good belly laugh and had a great time. We can remember special moments that only we would understand. We can give thanks for the love that was given to us and that continues to grow within us.
Love is not over. Death does not stop love or end it. Our love changes in the way we express it, but it does not change in the way we feel. Love changes, but it does not end. In the Bible, we are given an example of love that seems out of reach. 1 Corinthians 13 is an often quoted scripture but we never seem to grasp the enormity of the love. In summary, we read that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered…and it doesn’t stop there. But what I think is transformative is this: love always hopes, always perseveres, and love never fails. Death does not take love away. Love never fails. That is powerful. Consider how your love never fails…and the love given to you doesn’t either.
Remember that you are loved. You are still very much loved. No matter where you find yourself during this time, love has not left you. We are also told in the Bible that God is love. Since love never fails, neither does God. He has not left us nor abandoned us. His presence may not seem always apparent, but that does not mean we are alone. We are loved beyond measure and this love is unconditional. We have not earned it. We do not do enough to deserve it. God simply loves because that is who HE is.
This Valentine’s Day, regardless of where you find yourself in your grief journey, take a moment to remember the love you have been given. Celebrate the love that has been shared with you and continues to grow in you. Remember that love is not over and death cannot steal this love. Love never fails. And God’s love is the most powerful love ever…and this love is offered to you. You are loved.
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