You know what’s in a few days? Valentine’s Day. Yep, that made up holiday created by greeting cards companies to sell eight-dollar cards and cheap chocolate. It is in a few days and I’ve sat where you may be sitting today. Seeing that date creep up on the calendar, knowing it’s nearly here, trying to convince myself that it doesn’t matter but also feeling terrible that I actually care. Valentine’s Day can be a reminder that you are alone… without a Valentine… and without the love you really reserve. It can be a reminder of your disappointment. You had a hope in that relationship and in that love, and you were disappointed. So, what are you going to do? Go out with friends? Sit alone and watch Netflix? You could! But here’s my recommendation.
I want you to go on a date with Jesus!Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know we’re all having flashbacks to middle school youth group but hear me out! If you’ve made a commitment to Jesus, it needs to be nurtured – just like any other relationship. You have to spend time with Him, get to know Him, and allow Him to get to know you. What better day to do that than Valentine’s Day? It’s not going to feel super romantic, and it may feel awkward, but it’s a start. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few ways that I have dates with Jesus.
Step 1: Go to a local coffee shop. And go by yourself!Find a comfortable table with a drink, your journal and Bible. Why a public place and not your living room? Well, because when you’re in a public place, you may be less likely to feel sorry for yourself. Also, who doesn’t love new coffee shops? Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb or better yet, keep it in your car! This is a must for me. I am so easily distracted by my phone. You want uninterrupted time on this date, so put away your phone and take off your apple watch.
Step 2: Journal, journal, JOURNAL!Begin by writing about your day, week, month, and, if you need to, year. Your words should be written like you’re actually talking to God. Getting caught up may take some time and that’s okay. If you don’t want to write down the whole story, write how you’re doing today and anything else that comes to mind. If you’re feeling sad and disappointed, write it down! Sometimes a hurdle in journaling is the desire to make it sound clever or poetic. Or Maybe you are trying to have perfect handwriting. Don’t worry about any of that! Don’t think about reading it later, just get it all out. We can’t always hear from God if we have all these emotions and painful interactions circling in our head. This is the brain dumping phase and it’s an important phase if you’re feeling emotional. God created your emotions. He can handle them!
Step 3: Give thanksNow that you’ve acknowledged to God that your life isn’t what you thought it would be, it’s time to move onto a time of thanksgiving.
- Thank God for already being with you. Even if you don’t feel Him.
- Remember a time you felt God’s presence or gotten a word from Him. Maybe it was at church, or in the car, maybe it was through a friend. Remember that time and thank Him for it.
- Thank God for at least 10 things that you see as gifts in your life. Maybe it’s your support system, your family, friends, or the fact that you’re in a country that has coffee shops.
- Thank Him for the time you have together right now over coffee.