Whenever February draws near, idle times would lead my mind to recalling scenes from romantic-comedy movies, Korean dramas, and viral proposal videos. And my brain has been wired to do that since the February 14 I got roses, teddy bears, and a necklace from boys in high school. Receiving those gifts only got my hopes up that there’d be something special for me every February. But since then, not a flower or any gift came. There would be chocolates from my mom or from officemates, but that doesn’t count. So my stubborn heart kept hoping, expecting a surprise, assuming there’d be someone, something, anything, for me. I would even speak “secret” prayers to God about what I wanted to receive. Specific prayers that even my closest friends will never hear of.
Even if I almost always end up with nothing, I was consistent in waiting for something special on Valentines. What if those boys from high school sends me something. Maybe this guy who used to court me will try pursuing me again. Maybes, what ifs, perhapses, nothing. No package was delivered to me. No message. No call. I’d get disappointed. Every single time.
In my disappointment and stubbornness, God spoke. He is in the business of making all things new. Just a few days before Valentines, something shifted in my heart. His Word reverberated in me. My unhealthy expectations ceased when I heard Him in Isaiah 55. All this time, my hope was in the temporal and the material. I was relying on objects to feel loved when I am the object of His love.
My weary was heart stilled. His ways are not my ways, His thoughts not my thoughts. I pray a prayer of surrender. I release my expectations. I declare His promise of sufficiency over my desires, and my emotions.
Days later, about midnight after February 14, His answer came. He answered my specific prayer in the most unexpected, beautiful way.
God was really just waiting for me to give that desire up to Him. He was waiting for me to finally trust Him. He was waiting for me to realize that I didn’t need special gifts to know that I am worthy to be pursued. Because He already did. The cross is my proof of Jesus’s pursuit of my heart. He gave up heaven to be human, to suffer as we suffer, to go through whatever we’re going through, to die the death that was meant for me, for me. He listens to every cry, and hears every prayer. And He answers the ones that He knows you’re ready for. He answers in the way that will make you know Him more intimately.
His answer will be greater any movie plot twist or any viral love story post you’ll see on social media. His answer will surpass any of your daydreams. His answer for you will be for you, and His faithfulness will be written all over it.
His answer came through a bouquet from my little brother, Ron. I wasn’t expecting anything, and yet God knew what was really in my heart. You see, Ron has never been the type to show affection. He rejects my hugs. He rarely says “I love you,” I don’t remember receiving anything from him for my birthday. That night, I came home tired from work and the commute. He opened the door to hand the flowers to me, and I thought it was a joke.
“For you.” And I still couldn’t believe it. It suddenly became more than a gift to celebrate Valentines Day. The morning after, I saw it for what it really is—a love letter straight from my Heavenly Father. It was really God reminding me that He is faithful. By His grace, restoration is possible, healing is at hand, transformation is happening. He can and He will use the unlikeliest of people to surprise you, to make you feel His love.
Great is His faithfulness. Trust Him. Surrender.