It's what every woman longs to feel—that we have a unique place in the hearts of our loved ones. That we cannot be replaced. That we matter.
I think that's why Valentine's Day stings so much for singles. Why it always stung so much for me.
Year after year I watched as friends, neighbors, mothers, and even grandmothers received attention and gifts on Valentine's Day. I watched as coworkers received flowers and big bouquets of red roses that screamed: special!
On a day when men honor the women in their lives just for being who they are, my desk at work sat conspicuously bare in a sea of flowers that would have done a wedding proud. I worked to keep my face blank and pleasant as the conversation flew back and forth.
"My husband's taking me to . . ."
"My boyfriend got tickets to . . ."
"We're just going to stay home this year . . ."
Never mind what it was—it was something! A plan! Every woman, it seemed to my single soul, had plans that night, even if the plan was simply to not have plans.
Valentine's Day is a day of exaltation: a day in which men hold up their wives or girlfriends as beloved. Giving them tokens and symbols of not only affection, but as a validation of their very worth like in the passage in Proverbs, "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all" (Proverbs 31:29, NIV).
As I left my bare desk to go home and watch TV on yet another Valentine's Day, nothing could be more obvious to me: I was not special.
And that's what I believed . . . until Christ.
On the day I accepted Jesus as Savior, God came into my life in a blazing fire of love and intimacy. In that moment I became what every woman longs to be: beloved! I became special. And I knew it not from getting roses or chocolates or the admiration and envy of other women. I knew it because of the whisper deep in my heart: I love you. You are special to me.
I didn't hear actual words. But I have heard him speak to me many times through a whisper, a circumstance, a friend. Through a shooting star in the sky.
And after years of walking with God? Well, all I can say is that I could not feel more special. More loved.
There are things he has done for me—just for me— because he loves me. Moments and words and gestures that were not for correction and not for growth, but were for one reason only: love!
The one who created my heart knows it inside and out. He knows everything that thrills me, everything that scares me, everything that delights me. I cannot tell you how many times he has told me, through a quiet whisper in my heart, Look!
And it's as if he's standing next to me as I look and see it: something he wants to show me. An egret, a hummingbird, the spotted coat of a fawn. The wind, the trees, the leaves, the sun. Things he created that he knows I love. In those moments I can feel in my spirit that he is there, sharing it with me.
It is the deepest intimacy. There is a space that exists just for the two of us. Not a physical space, but a relationship space. No one else belongs there. Of course, God loves every person on the planet, but in my walk with him there are times in my experience of time and space when we are alone together: only he and I.
I treasure those times. They happen as I read the Word. They happen when I pray. God shows up. He listens. He speaks. And I never feel alone.
How often have I received a word and known it was just for me. How often has just the right song come on the radio, lifting my heart, answering my prayers, and telling me yet again, he hears! How often has God sent me a message through a Christian friend: a word of correction, a word of reassurance.
How often has he provided for me jobs, opportunities, and more. As silly as it sounds, there have been times when I have found just what I needed—like a deal on running shoes when mine were worn, or a used car that seemed tailor-made for me.
I see his touch in my everyday life–like in the times I have run late for something important and then felt the hand of God as the appointment was moved back or the person I was meeting became equally late. Or in the times the solution to a problem came to me suddenly, like inspiration from the Holy Spirit. God's hand is all through my life. He is there in every aspect of my day-to-day living.
Feel lonely? How could I?
Not feel special? How could I?
The one who placed the stars in the universe—the one who gave his Son up for me—wants to know me personally and deeply. He longs to spend time with me. How special is that?
Heidi Larson is a happily single Christian woman who dotes on her nieces and nephew in Roseburg, Oregon. She was recently published in LIVE magazine and is a faithful reader of Today's Christian Woman where she finds inspiration and fellowship.