04 Oct

I know for some Valentine’s Day is hard but I hope you can learn from me and realize that God does love you unconditionally.

Typically, I have found that there are two types of people when it comes to Valentine’s Day. There are those who love it and there are those who wish the holiday never existed.

I have often found that the latter group typically all have something in common- they feel alone. They may literally be alone or just feel like they are- whether that be caused by the inattention of a significant other, or just a lack thereof, a fall out with a friend or even feeling distanced from God. To be honest, I have been there. Back in 1994, I felt very isolated from God.

One day at work my business partners came to me and handed me a large check. At first, I was over the moon but shortly after, I discovered this money did not belong to me; I quit on the spot. At the time I had a highly successful 40-year long business career. I had leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies and other well known, big business corporations. It allowed my wife and I to be comfortable financially and able to afford some of the finer things in life.

When I walked away from my job, I wasn’t worried at all given my experience. I thought I would be back at another company in no time but a few months passed and I still had no job. I’d fly all around the country interviewing with big, successful companies but I never received an offer. Eventually, the money we had saved was gone. We had to sell everything and move into a small pink house in the middle of an orange grove, a far cry from our gated community. As this was happening I became confused and angry with God, it was as if He was punishing me even though I did the right thing by walking away. He seemed so far away, like He had left me alone in my suffering.

Why wasn’t He helping me? Is this how He showed love?

A few more months passed and I was tired of getting rejected for jobs, tired of feeling like God was punishing me. Tired of feeling alone, and determined to find the answers, I started reading and meditating on the Bible every day. Over time, I felt a shift in my heart. I started to realize that God was always with me- I just kept walking away from Him and I also started to understand that he wasn’t punishing me for doing the right thing. This was an intervention about my relationship with God. Except I was the one leaving the Creator high and dry.

God had been trying to get my attention the entire time but I was so caught up in my job and material things that the only way God knew He could get my attention and show me how much He loved me was to take it all away. No distractions–just me and the King. It was a profound and life-changing moment that sent me down a very different course than I could have ever imagined. More importantly, it made me realize how much God loves me.

I know for some Valentine’s Day is hard but I hope you can learn from me and realize that God does love you unconditionally; He is always with you! If you feel like God is far away, I want to encourage you to speak with Him and read the word, get honest with Him and express your feelings- He wants to hear from you.

One of my favorite verses for this time of year is John 3:16- which gives us the reminder that not only does God love us but shows just how much He cares. If you find yourself struggling and you aren’t sure where to start, I recommend starting here.

It’s ok if Valentine’s Day isn’t your favorite day but just remember when it comes to love we have a lot to celebrate.