Valentine’s Day – Meh!

February 14, 2018

I am not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Even when my husband was alive, it wasn’t my favorite. Valentine’s Day is all about love stories. Meh.

I am reflective today though, thinking back on Valentine’s Days past. My husband was usually pretty great at romantic gestures and putting in extra effort on Valentine’s Day, but I was always more of a fan of the small gestures on regular days.

Save the money spent on the inflated cost of roses on Valentine’s Day and put the kids to bed or empty the dishwasher. That’s the kind of thing that made me swoon more than a box of chocolate covered strawberries (although, YUM!). I always preferred a solo trip to Target or a night not having to make or clean up dinner any day of the year.

My husband was a good husband. Not always in-tune with what I thought he should inherently know or see with his own two eyes, but he tried. He tried very hard. That’s the best kind of husband. One who cares enough to try because I was worth it to him. I miss that.

This Valentine’s Day isn’t as sad as last year. This year I’m remembering all of these things with appreciation that doesn’t break my heart as fiercely as it used to do. It does make me miss him a lot along with the beautiful life we shared together, but there’s more gratitude than grief today.

Last year I cried…a lot. This year I still cry…but less. Last year my heart was BROKEN. This year, my second Valentine’s Day without him, it’s more of a deep contusion with a stress fracture.

I’m thankful for all he was in my life. I’m grateful to be able to recall tender, thoughtful and loving moments he carefully planned to make me feel special and cherished. He always said it was his job to make other women jealous of me. (I know, right?!) I miss that. I miss us.

And on the less romantic but practical side of things, I miss not having to make dinner sometimes. I miss having him here to fix things, help clean things and parent the three things. I miss talking about current events, our TV show commentary and pun wars. I miss the phone call on his way home from work to see if I needed anything from the store. I miss falling into his arms for a hug, resting my head on his chest. I miss holding his hand. I miss the sound of his voice singing along with the radio. I miss every part of him.

I’m not bitter about Valentine’s Day, I’m just meh. I don’t feel in the mood to watch love stories unfold around me. It feels not for me anymore…except today is also Ash Wednesday. Geesh, calendar. Way to complicate an already complicated day.

Because this particular Valentine’s Day also kicks off Lent, I’m thinking about how the life I had has basically burned to the ground. (Ashes on my mind). That life is gone. I’m a widow among the ashes of what used to be…the charred fragments of what WAS. But I’m also remembering that I’m still part of an epic love story. The greatest one of all time, actually.

If Lent had a mascot, I wonder if it would be sorrow? Lent is the time before the joy. It’s the time we symbolically walk with Jesus during the 40 days leading up to the cross. The cross He carried for us, because of us. It’s the time we quiet ourselves to reflect on the sacrifice He made on our behalf. This is the tragedy before the triumph part of the greatest love story EVER! And it’s a special time where we remember how we are held in God’s grace.

“Lent is the funeral before Heaven. It’s a time we mourn and reflect as Jesus got closer and closer to the cross.” – Rev. James Mueller

“You are dust, and to dust you shall return.” – Ecclesiastes 3:20 (NIV)

“…for dust you are and to dust you will return.” – Genesis 3:19 (NIV)

Today begins the season where we (hopefully) quiet down enough to reflect and acknowledge our sins – it’s a time that often brings regret and remorse. But it’s also a time to remember the dramatic rescue from the shackles of those sins!

Lent is a season for all of us, but I’d say it’s extra especially relevant to us, my fellow griever. This whole you started as dust and you’ll end up as dust is a reminder of how temporary this life is. I mean, you and I…we sooo get that, right?

Lent is the intense lead up to the story’s climax. It’s the time where we pause to understand how this life is merely the appetizer. It’s the part before the answer to the suffering we feel and the preface to the cure for the sting of loss.

The sorrow of death, the broken hearts we lug around – it’s only the first act in this resurrection story! It’s the pain before the (literal) rising!

Christ claimed victory over what has broken our hearts. He took all of our brokenness…brokenness from sin, brokenness from sorrow and loss, and HE MAKES ALL THINGS NEW!

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:5 (NIV)

He takes this mournful mess we are and turns it into something miraculous. It’s why we have more than hope. We have assurance. “Trustworthy and true.”

This promise turns my “Meh” into a kind of mind-blowing gratitude and anticipation I can barely tolerate. I will be with my husband again. He did that for me. He did that for you, too!

As you feel all of the Valentine’s Day feels today, I hope you’ll remember and believe in these promises with me. This love story has the power to combine the sad tears you may cry today with joyful ones too, because death has been conquered. Suffering has been slain. Sorrow – obliterated.

Extra gratitude for God’s grace,

Jodi

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The part where I give credit where credit is due: photo credit: diofw IMG_4939-Ashes-Lent-Forehead-AshWednesday via photopin (license)

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10 Comments

  • Reply Nikki February 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    This is so spot on and powerful!!! Gave me goosebumps as I read it!!

  • Reply Heather Egstad February 14, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Words to live by… perfectly worded!!! ❤

  • Reply Ginny and Vaughn Hiaring February 14, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    My Valentine’s Day Meh is Mother’s Day for me. My mom died at 5:35 a.m. on Mother’s Day 1976. My best and closest brother’s wife was 8 1/2 months pregnant and went into shock after being told. She gave birth to a beautiful son who looked perfect from his head to his toes, dark hair, fingernails developed… But he only lived 6 hours and died in his daddy’s arms after being baptized by their priest. All this on Mother’s Day. Having to arrange a double funeral, Vaughn shopping for the baby’s burial gown, picking out caskets, Buying plots. Etc. Etc. All too much to handle for my dad and brother so we stepped up. So, I know this was God’s plan to have a little angel holding my mom’s hand as they entered heaven together. They did..a grandmother and grandson side by side.
    I should have comfort in that but it’s always so hard every Mother’s Day. I have a bad time going to church on that day each year but it is easier with Pastor Mike’s messages. I’ve had other pastors who made me feel bad inside. I’m better now.
    My mom was only 61. She had cancer a very long time. My infant nephew apparently had underdeveloped lungs.
    So it’s still Meh on Mother’s Day.

  • Reply Terry February 14, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Jodi, your words are perfect. It brought me to tears but your words and your heart speak many truths. Love to you!❤️

  • Reply Linda Pryce February 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    Jodi, your post concerning Valentine’s Day was spot-on for me. I lost Don (married 47 yrs) June 26, 2016, so this is my second Valentine’s Day without him. We usually exchanged cards but that was it because our wedding anniversary is Feb 15 so we did our celebrating on that day. But I miss getting that card with my first cup of coffee on Valentine’s Day, I miss him, our conversations, everything. Today has been better than last year, but I know tomorrow will rear it’s ugly head and I will cry a lot because he’s not here for anniversary #49 or any other day. I’ll probably take flowers to the cemetery even though I realize the essence of him is not there. As time moves along I am adjusting to life as it is now.. Thank you for speaking to feelings we have that so many people can’t understand. I always look forward to your posts. I’m sorry we are in this sisterhood but thankful you have a gift to articulate what we go through. Love and Prayers, Linda

  • Reply Marcy February 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    This was my first Valentine’s Day without the love of my life. Yesterday was harder than today because it was 3 months to the date since my husband was promoted to Heaven. Today I was encompassed by our Savior’s love and that has sustained me throughout the day. When I read your post, His love for me felt even greater. Your words ministered to my heart. May our Lord bless you for the words He imparted to use to share with all of us. Blessings to you and your family.

  • Reply Lisa Cox February 14, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Jodi, I am so glad I found your blog. you seem to say exactly what I feel. I also lost my husband two years ago Feb. 7. This blog was so much like us as well. I appreciate your blogs they have help me tremendously.

  • Reply Barbie February 15, 2018 at 6:37 am

    ❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply Shirley Shelbourn February 15, 2018 at 8:32 pm

    I can relate totally and my husbands birthday was today the 15th. I always thought too that spending money on roses was something we couldn’t afford. If I would have known I would have appreciated them more. Alittle regret there.

  • Reply Kristin L Flanders February 16, 2018 at 7:00 am

    Valentine’s Day was bitter sweet for me this year. It marked 9 months since my husband died but I also chose to focus on the blessings, the good memories and be thankful for the 8 years of loving him that I was given. Today (the 16th) marks what should have been our 5th wedding anniversary. My heart is hurting more today ~ I can’t even begin to go into all the things I miss but can sum it all up by just simply saying…I miss his very presence. I loved your post…thank you.

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