Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine Tree

I remember the day well. I was working as a front receptionist in the downtown area and it was Valentine's day. As a single woman, sometimes holidays can be a challenge. I had made up my mind that very morning, though, that I was not going to let the fact that I was single bring me down.

Then tons of flowers for other women in the office began flooding onto my desk. I had to call them each, one by one, to let them know flowers and gifts were waiting for them. The phone kept ringing, not with customers but with husbands and boyfriends calling for their significant other. Then a British gentleman called with his lovely accent and as always, asked, "Is my lady around?"

"Distract yourself!" I said in my head as my hand reached for the radio...flipping through all the love songs on the radio stations, and not being satisfied, I turned to the classical channel instead. "The wedding march? Arg!" This just wasn't working.

I decided to get away from the office for lunch. "I'll spend some extra time with God, " I thought to myself. Grabbing my lunch, I practically ran for the car, and drove to a cultural district to look for a perfect spot. I drove down one street and up another street but wasn't happy with the locations. They were blah. Frustrated because it seemed I was spending my whole lunch hour driving around, I finally pulled up to this huge chain linked fence by the zoo next to a city park and started praying.

I shared with God how sad I was and how much I didn't want to question his timing. I poured out my heart that it's hard sometimes being a single in a couple's world and how I didn't even think about it until days like this, or other people, point it out. I finished praying and flipped open my bible. A friend from church had sent me a scripture that morning so I decided to look it up. It was in Hosea 11 verse 4. It reads, "I (God) led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them."

Just then, I looked across the street from where I was parked and I saw it. It's just about the biggest tree I've ever seen! If you know me at all, you know that this country girl loves big trees. The base was so large that at least three to four people would have to link hands to stretch around it. The limbs hung so low they swept the ground and curved back up. It honestly looked like a huge bouquet! And it made me happy. I was overwhelmed. It's like God tugged at my spirit and made that scripture jump to life. I felt that God, my powerful God, had saved and sheltered this tree just for this moment. It was a gift from God to me. And why not? He knew it would encourage me.

I left feeling so much happier because it was then I knew that I would ALWAYS have a valentine. God had led me there to lift my burden and feed my spirit.

I know that not only singles struggle around holidays like this. Maybe you are recently widowed, maybe your relationship is just stinky right now...but no matter your situation...God wants to provide you a valentine to encourage your heart. You are loved! He does lead us with cords of kindness and love; He does lift the yokes from our necks and bends down to feed us."

May you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!

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