It’s Valentine’s Day. I was debating if to write, what to write. I haven’t written a single blog post in 2020 yet. Today seems like an appropriate day to break the silence.
Sometimes God surprises us in the most delightful ways. I have recently been given the honor and joy of officially being in a courtship with Erik Leask. We are together seeking to glorify God and considering a future with each other.
Had you told me, a few months ago, what today would be like, I would not have believed you. God is always good, always sovereign, but there are moments when His lavish, undeserved kindness is on particular display, and my response must be humble adoration.
Valentine’s Day may be a silly holiday, but for those of us who have walked years of singleness, it’s a reminder of what we do not have. I know the mixed emotions well.
We know that we are not alone – but sometimes we feel like we are. We know that we are fully known and fully loved by God – but sometimes we want a flesh-and-blood person to know us and love us, albeit imperfectly. We genuinely rejoice with those who have been given what we have not – but sometimes we wonder if it will ever be given to us.
But this year? This year I’m not sure what to feel. For this year I am no longer truly single. I am in a relationship with a godly man who is pursuing me intentionally and loving me well, a man who I trust and respect. I’m not sure what to say, what should be public and what should be treasured close for right now.
I haven’t any grand lessons to share. I’m aware of how easily my words can come across as hurtful or foolish to those in a different season than myself. Also, it’s not about me. It’s about God. So perhaps, could I invite you to join me in marveling at Him together?
My word for the year is hope. I thought that would mean hoping and never receiving, hoping and never seeing, hoping and only suffering. If that had been God’s answer, it would have been good. I was ready for it, opening my hands and willing to accept whatever He gave, expecting it to be only hard, knowing that He would be with me through it.
But God asked me to hope not just by opening my hands, but by opening my heart. He asked me to step out and consider something unfamiliar, uncharted, uncomfortable. He asked me to engage a conversation I hadn’t looked for, and get to know a man I hadn’t expected, and enter a relationship I hadn’t thought possible.
God asked me to take the risk of love. To hope enough to love.
I don’t know what it will cost me. Even writing this, today, it all gets a little more public, and while I know the trajectory that Erik and I are hoping for, there are no guarantees or even promises made. We are in a season of seeking wisdom and discernment and asking our community to pray for us and walk alongside this journey with us. We’re also very much enjoying the journey, in awe of what God seems to be orchestrating.
It may cost me something to write this. It may cost me to be vulnerable. Certainly it will cost me to love him, whether that means small things or big. Who knows, one day I may be called to bear the cost of loving a man who loves Jesus so much that he dies a martyrs death and leaves me a widow. I don’t know. I could not ask him to love Jesus less. So I am counting the cost and choosing to pay it joyfully.
Hope. Hope and love and Valentines. Themes intertwine and I am reminded that love means sacrifice and risk and yet love remains even when hope gives way to sight. Love never fails.
It is a privilege to love. A privilege I had begun to give up hoping for. A privilege I do not deserve. Today is immeasurably sweet.
God is faithful. Merciful, compassionate, kind, sovereign, good. He looks upon us with love, us wretched sinners, with a love that sacrifices His very life for us, gives all to redeem us, and reconciles us to Himself. He loved me when I was His enemy. He freely offers His gift of salvation to everyone who repents and believes in Him.
He is a God I cannot exaggerate. He is not more or less good now than He was when I was struggling to hope. He is not more or less a Giver of good gifts now than He was when He gave me different gifts.
He’s our Sovereign Creator and I am marveling at Him. He hasn’t changed, but I still get the opportunity to be particularly grateful for what He has given today.
So today, I am grateful for hope. Grateful for the newness of this now rather different Valentine’s Day. Grateful for God’s faithfulness and the way He really does work all things for good to those who are called according to His purpose, though I deserve none of it.
May God be glorified and His name alone be magnified.