Today is Valentine’s Day.
If you’re like me, this day is not one of your favorites. For a few years now, this day has been my reminder of how I’m not where I wanted to be at this point in my life. I’ll be honest — I imagined myself being in a much different place than I am now. Looking back on all that I wanted to do and have at this point and seeing where I actually am, makes me frustrated.
In that frustration, I’ve found a mix of anger, sadness, hurt, and brokenness. I’ve felt (and still feel) that I’m not loved… by anyone. I’ve sat back and watched others live out the blessings that I’ve prayed for, and put on a brave face as I try to hide how I really felt on the inside. I struggled with my own identity, even my identity in Christ, because of what was going on inside of me. I’ve felt that there was nothing that I or anyone else could do to make things better, that there is no one who would ever love me.
But I was wrong.
Although I may not think or feel it, I am loved.
I am loved by God.
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even if we were dead in transgressions — it is by grace you have been saved.”
I am loved by others.
My family, my mentors, my friends — they love me. I put up walls to keep those I love out, so they don’t see me in my brokenness. I’ve learned (and am still learning) how to break those walls down so I can be my real self around them. I’m blessed to have people around me who love all of me, not just the good parts, but the broken parts, too.
What I’m learning to do in this season is how to love myself.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are our own worst critics. When I hit a speed bump, I get angry with myself and begin to highlight all the ways I fall short. What I fail to realize in those times is that I’m only human and I’ll always make mistakes, but I have the power to give myself grace and love myself through those struggles.
I hit a wall over and over again before realizing any of this, before realizing that I’ll be fine because I can step out in love. In this love, I’m learning to be brave, not just for myself, but for those who may need to see that they really are loved.
So whether you have a significant other, family, or friends that you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day with, or maybe you’re spending this day alone, let me challenge you. I challenge you to step out in love. Think about those you love, or better yet, tell those people that you love them.