When Valentine’s is a Day of Grief, Loneliness, Heartbreak, and Feelings of Failure
Valentine’s is wonderful if you have a partner. But what if you are grieving? Please know you are not alone and there is hope.
Waking to a Great Loss
Last week I shared about my precious daughter dying. Her service was on Valentine’s Day, a cold, blustery, snowy day. Since then, February 14th is difficult. Like you, I experience the natural longing for happiness on Valentine’s.
Since that first Valentine’s, there is something cold and lifeless, even cruel about that day. One year after Charissa’s death, I awoke to the realization it was Valentine’s. Visiting in India and not having a calendar, the day slipped up on me unawares; it was like having a pail of icy water thrown into my face.
Broken hearted, I begged to be released from work, needing time to grieve. My request was denied because the work for Jesus took precedence, when in reality the work of our hands for Him should never take precedence over the work of Jesus in our heart. All day I longed for a tiny flower to speak words of hope to my grieving heart but in that concrete jungle – not even a blade of grass was visible. I felt drained of life and abandoned by God.
That day sealed into my heart a sense of futility with a belief God was angry with me. It also reinforced a victim mindset and even deeper heartbreak that I wasn’t valuable enough for God to see my broken heart. It took decades before that lie was uncovered and I experienced the tender touch of the Father heart of God, bringing inner healing and deliverance through Ellel Ministries.
Dear Heart, you may also have a painful story about Valentine’s. Many have shared with me how they hate Valentine’s, for it is one of the loneliest and most painful days they face all year.
If you have suffered loss, you will understand. There is an empty seat at your table. Perhaps your spouse left you for another. Maybe your Beloved, who was the echo of your own heartbeat, the one you shared all your moments with is gone. Maybe you long for one to walk beside but you are still alone.
Perhaps your arms are empty and your family incomplete because your precious child died. Maybe you cannot conceive and face the horrid loss of never being a parent. Maybe you are fighting for the life of a precious child and you feel powerless as you watch him or her suffer. Many parents with a precious Keoni or Ella, faithfully sit by their child, loving, praying and hoping, but their child still suffers and their heart is breaking.
Perhaps you lost a parent or parents, or you lost your best friend, or are estranged from a loved one. Maybe you go to pick up the phone to call your brother or sister to share something and fight tears as you realize you will never be speak to them again on this earth.
Such losses are beyond words, even when you know your loved one is with Jesus and you will one day be reunited.
You may have lost your job. Lost your home. Lost your position and identity. Lost your hope. Lost your your significant other. Lost your health or are literally in a battle for your life or the life of a loved one. Lost a limb. Lost the joy of being part of a community. Lost your song. Lost your spark of creativity. You may even have lost your way.
There are so many kinds of losses. Some are not visible to others. In your loss, you may feel like a failure. But you are not! The loss you suffer that others might minimize is important. Why? Because YOU are important.
When Valentine's Is a Day of Grief
You may be walking through a valley of the shadow of death right now. You may be facing a plethora of losses, so great you can barely breathe, feeling powerless to know how to face the floods of pain that sweep over you like ocean waves.
The Heavenly Father sees. He knows your loss, your pain and He grieves with you. He does not walk away from you in your suffering. Though it feels like He has turned away, that is a feeling – it is not reality. He promised never to abandon you. You have been sealed with His precious Spirit, there is no way He will ever leave you.
Do not fear. He isn’t like any earthly parent, husband, or wife who might hurt or abandon you. Bring your loss to Him, weep in His presence. As He covers you with His love, He grieves with you. Remember, Jesus is greater than all your grief, all your fear, all your loneliness and need.
Speak His words back to Him. No matter if it feels like those words hit the ceiling and fall back around you. Keep speaking the promise that He will never leave you.
Jesus bore your griefs and your sickness, He carried your pains and sorrows. Though He died, broken by the suffering and sin of the world, He arose from the grave, triumphant over sin, and death, and suffering, and every loss you will ever experience.
Jesus loves you! He is always with you. He will never leave you. Proclaim those words as your truth and as you speak those words into the air, your brain will hear. Over time, your brain will begin to believe the truth of those precious words. The Holy Spirit will take those words of life and plant them in your heart. And as He lovingly draws you to Himself, He will quiet your grieving heart with His presence.
There is hope. Not in things of this world, not in syrupy words or sweet times celebrating Valentine’s. Hope is in Jesus the Christ, our Messiah and Redeemer, who suffered every loss you will ever experience and now holds you in the palm of His hand.
A Song in Your Heart
Ask the Lord for a song to help you. Whenever I am walking through a dark valley, the Lord gives me a song. As I sing, He speaks into my grieving heart. When I first began my journey to healing, the refrain that helped me in my grief was “And Jesus said come to the water, stand by My side, I know you are thirsty, you won’t be denied. I felt every teardrop when in darkness you cried and I strove to remind you that for your tears I died.”
Jesus won’t erase your pain, but He values you. He sees your tears. He treasures them in a bottle, not one passes by Him unseen. He promised to be with you in the midst of the storm and give you strength to face the raging waters that seek to extinguish your life. And one day, the Heavenly Father will wipe all tears from your eyes.
Dear Heart, run into the arms of Jesus. Let His Name be the strong tower where you rest. I pray you find hope in Jesus this Valentine’s.
He knows your pain. He sees. He understands. He cares. He is the Healer of the brokenhearted.
If you need someone to talk with, please feel free to contact me.
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Beautiful words, Barbara! “The loss you suffer that others might minimize is important. Why? Because YOU are important.”
Thanks, Robin. I love how Jesus wasn’t intimidated by people’s grief, nor did he try to fix those who were hurting. He really saw each person as an individual and accepted them just where they were. And even more wonderful, because we are so very important to Him, Jesus took our pain upon Himself, so His resurrection life could touch each one of our broken hearts. That means it is okay to grieve!