On Valentine's Day, we love to celebrate love.
We love to celebrate with flowers.
I celebrated with flowers.
My husband of almost 25 years
makes sure they're a part of our yearly tradition.
Last year I had the energy to write a truly romantic post.
We love to celebrate with special treats.
I celebrated with special treats.
My daughter, Gracie, baked and decorated these
and successfully kept them hidden until the holiday.
My husband already had purchased two heart-shaped
boxes full of chocolates we previously feasted on together.
We love to celebrate with loving, sentimental cards.
I celebrated with cards.
Beka was the Mail Lady, delivering cards with great animation.
We celebrated with special drinks,
toasting our family's love and devotion with sparkling apple cider.
But this year, my heart wasn't in it.
My heart is broken and shattered,
but I smiled and kept going
because that's what Christians do.
We keep going.
We keep breathing.
We keep praying.
The Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words,
when our only prayers are desperate cries for the Lord's help.
I can't share the details of our grief,
it involves someone we love deeply,
so we ask you to help bear our burden
pray some more.
When going through cancer with my dear friend Kari,
now in my own struggle with incurable thyroid cancer -
I learned a valuable lesson.
You keep going on with life.
You act as normal as possible,
for the kids,
to keep you busy so you don't despair beyond hope.
We shared the news with the kids,
we prayed together, we cried together.
And, we still celebrated Valentine's Day.
I was reminded of how painful holidays can be.
The arrows in those cheery red hearts
penetrated my heart and soul.
Some pain cannot be covered with chocolates and flowers.
Sorrow can be so great we can hardly partake in the joys around.
Yes, even when we are happily married and love our spouse.
Yes, even when our homes are filled with children we love and adore.
My husband, my earthly rock and fortress,
even defined our sorrow as "too much to bear,"
even though we both know the Lord is in control.
In the midst of sorrows like sea billows,
I know it is well with our souls.
I know nothing can pluck us from His hand,
and nothing can separate us from His love.
This Valentine's Day we celebrated
Romans 5:5 , "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
Romans 8:39, "nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
1 John 4:9, "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
Jude 1:21, "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
With tears and prayers,
we celebrated by
desperately depending on
love of our Heavenly Father.