Monday, February 6, 2012

Miracle Cure for Valentine's Day Blues

Greeting card aisles of Walgreens … Walmart … Hallmark can be fun a week before Valentine’s Day. Or they can be heart-piercingly painful.
·         “Happy Valentine’s Day to the best mother a girl could ever ask for,” purrs a sweet tabby cat extending a pawful of daisies. Trouble is, your mother hasn’t had time for you, really, your whole life. You reach in your purse for a tissue to dab at your eyes.
·         “A mother couldn’t ask for a sweeter, more devoted daughter” says lovely script on a lace ribbon flowing round a bouquet of pink roses. Yeah, right. Your lungs tighten as you picture your daughter’s beautiful face contorting as she snarls cynical opinions at you.
·         “Happy Valentine’s Day to my soul mate.” These words form a heart shape around silhouettes of a couple embracing. By now you’re sobbing so much, you can barely see through the tears, but why bother looking for a different card for your husband? They’ll all be gushy in ways your husband doesn’t live up to.

Over the decades, that woman crying in the card aisles has been me on many occasions. Who doesn’t have relational disappointments? My goodness, who hasn’t been disappointed in me? I know this is part of life. I process disappointments, usually in a healthy manner, as they surface. And I can give grace to loved ones who have distanced themselves from me. But choosing greeting cards still seems especially painful sometimes. Maybe holidays happen before I’ve worked through my latest disappointment, I don’t know.

I’d like to share a secret for choosing loving cards when you’re in the throes of heartache; it is nothing short of a miracle. Twenty-five years ago, when I was a new Christian and still had so many broken relationships, I shed many tears in greeting card aisles. So many loving, admiring words on those cards, and I just didn’t feel them. It seemed wrong to let Hallmark lie for me. One time though, God prompted me to buy a card that expressed my deepest prayer for the recipient. I did, and when the person read the card, I saw her face soften and her heart blossom right before my eyes. For weeks afterward, she thanked me for the lovely card. I couldn't believe it. Before the next card-giving occasion, I chose a card that said even more loving things to her, based on my hopes presented to the Lord. It, too, became a healing balm.

I have followed that divine prompting ever since, always with the same results. This leading from the Lord has helped me accept and love “difficult” people as they are, give my wishes for the person to the Lord where they belong, and even articulate my prayers for the person. Most importantly, God helped me bless these people with words that express how He sees them. In so doing, we drew closer to each other.

Try this miracle cure for Valentine’s Day blues!

1 comment:

Mary Sorrentino said...

What an amazing idea ~ to buy a card that expresses what you PRAY for your loved one, not necessarily what you may be feeling at the time. And what an inspiration to see how God can use that kind of love and obedience. I'm sure it will help so many of us as we struggle through relational hurts and pain. Thanks so much for this. Blessings to you!