Depending on who I ask, Valentine’s Day varies in its significance. Heart shaped boxes of chocolate or grand gestures of adoration may or may not be part of our day. But the truth of the matter is Love wants us all — because God is love. (1 John 4:16)
He wants all our potential and our problems.
He welcomes all our faith and our fears.
God knows all our memories and all we are at this moment.
And in this moment, there is one Valentine’s Day that stands out above the rest for me. It’s the day my husband asked me to marry him. My heart already knew Brady was “the one.” His proposal gave me the chance to say “yes.”
I said yes to his kind heart, good looks, and his unique ability to make me feel like all is right with the world. Our wedding plans included endless dreams of the places we would go, who we would become and the family we would build.
But my newly engaged heart didn’t realize I also said yes to keeping that commitment when all those dreams seem to disappear. Since then, my naivete has lessened. My expectations have shifted from how Brady and I can make our lives wonderful to how we will experience the wonder of God.
He compels us to forgive when one of us runs late to an appointment or the other one slowly agrees to a mutual goal.
We went from being high school sweethearts to a married military couple as our college years came to an end. Brady was on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. It was an adventurous life, but 11 years later our civilian life began.
After eight different cities and thirty-three years of marriage, the years feel grouped into seasons of learning more about each other and leaning more on our faith in Christ.
Because life has a way of humbling and broadening our perspective.
During the tough times, like the years we battled infertility or when we were separated due to military deployments, our love was tested along with our faith.
Like many couples, our romance flows easy when date nights are many and disagreements are few. But when Brady and I don’t see things the same way or don’t want to be in the same room, love still needs to stand.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” – 1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT
Thankfully, love never fails. But how we love matters. Brady and I have learned what we say and how we say it deepens our intimacy or deters it. We have to make sure we are speaking each other’s “love” language. Otherwise, a lot gets lost in translation.
Some of the resources that have helped us over the years are The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (There are also editions for singles and children) and When Sorry Isn’t Enough by Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas.
Both books pointed us to the necessity of allowing God’s truth to be the authority over us and allowing His grace to operate between us. Because we are not called to love each other well on our own.
From setting the sun in the sky to setting our hearts on fire, God gets it right every time.
His trademark could be any awesome label. Perfect. Holy. Omnipotent. But The Message translation suggests if God had a logo, it would be love.
Everything God does is right— the trademark on all his works is love. –Psalm 145:17 MSG
I’m thinking it would look like the Cross and it would stretch towards you and me. Knowing all God’s work bears His brand changes how I see things. It changes how I love Brady; our teenage son and those God allows us to encounter. Maybe it is changing something in you.
God takes all our problems and infuses them with potential.
He delivers us from all our fears and builds our faith.
He knows all our memories and all we are at this moment.
Because Love wants us whole. Love wants us all.
Joy A. Williams is a writer and speaker who is amazed her first name became her life’s mission. She is passionate about sharing God’s grace and His ability to deposit joy into even the most desolate soul. A licensed minister with a teaching heart, Joy serves on the women’s ministry leadership team at her church. Her years as a military spouse inspired her book Friendship MAPS. On her blog, she encourages sincere and sidetracked truth seekers with hope for the heart and joy to the soul. You can connect with her at joyawilliams.com, where you can subscribe and receive a free PDF of “5 Ways to Keep Your Joy (or Find It) Whatever Happens.” She enjoys living life with her husband Brady and their teenage son. Follow Joy on Twitter @joytothesoul, Pinterest @joy2thesoul, Instagram @joy.to.the.soul or like her page on Facebook @joytothesoul.
Read Joy’s articles HERE.