Monday, February 14, 2011

Just another Valentine's Day?

A little more than three years ago, I was sitting in my high school courtyard, basking in the glory of popularity and praise; laughing at and acknowledging the misfortune of others for our own selfish enjoyment. Quickly bored, we looked for something else to entertain us until lunch was over. Almost like "She's All That", we were conspiring about how fast I could get someone to fall in love with me. I was notorious for it. I went through boyfriends like I did books. I couldn't get away from the new smell of the fresh pages, I related to the quirky characters, and I fell into the plot with every turn of the page. But each book had its ending; and it would be added to my stack of books. If it was interesting enough, maybe I would read it again. If not, it would sit on the shelf collecting dust with the rest. But I would never truly be able to give it away. It was just about time for a new book. And coincidentally it was two weeks before Valentine's Day.

The task:
1.) Find the guy.
2.) Get him to ask me out before Valentine's Day.
3.) Get him to fall in love with me.
4.) Break up with him February 15th.

We all know how this story ends.....
Girl meets boy under terrible pretenses.
Girl manipulates boy into falling in love with her.
Girl accidentally falls in love with boy and all bets are off.

Three years later, I stand here a new woman; impeccably disgusted by the person I was and [most of] the people I surrounded myself with while I was growing up. I had always considered myself a good friend, a good girlfriend (to the few guys I actually had love for), and a good person all around, but when I look back on times like this, I really overestimated the person I was. I was comedic relief when my friends were down, for sure, but I was rarely that friend who others knew they could count on. I was never that person who would let a friend cry on my shoulder without thinking about how long it was going to take. I always liked to lend a helping hand, but only if I knew it would make me look good, or help me get the guy I was interested in.

This Valentine's Day is much more than a Hallmark holiday for me. Over the past two years or so, I have been blessed with a new perspective on life that has opened my eyes to the woman God had always intended for me to be. I have been led to receive a wonderful man into my life. Mr. Justin W.A. Brown has his flaws, but wants nothing more than to grow with me as we walk our journey, hand in hand, to the Kingdom we were promised. I have been encouraged to eliminate the evil friends, and appreciate the new and old ones that support my love of Christ, and who deserve the same support from me. Most importantly, I have been shown a new spiritual family that needs my help as much as I need theirs; and I love them for it.

I have never felt so complete. On this special day, I praise God for the ability to LOVE my life, the choices I am making day to day, and the very wonderful people that surround me everyday. If you are reading this, I love you. He is the reason I got up on my feet. And you are the strength that holds me there.

On this day, let Romans 12:9-18 remind us of a few things:

    * Love must be sincere.
    * Cling to what is good.
    * Be devoted to one another.
    * Honor one another above yourself.
    * Never be lacking in zeal.
    * Be joyful in hope.
    * Be patient in affliction.
    * Be faithful in prayer.
    * Share with God's people who are in need.
    * Practice hospitality.
    * Bless those who persecute you.
    * Rejoice with those who rejoice.
    * Mourn with those who mourn.
    * Live in harmony with one another.
    * Do not be proud.
    * Do not be conceited.
    * Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
    * Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
    * If it is possible, a far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the things on this list that you're achieving in your personal life (whether or not you're in a relationship!), and the things you'd like to be better at. If you ask for guidance, especially when you are specific, He can help guide your heart!

As a side note, I ask for your continued prayers for my mother, Christine, as she recovers from elbow replacement surgery. The devil has corrupted some of those that surround her, and she is constantly inundated by pain, aggression, hatred, and endless burdens that may make her feel like He has forsaken her. I pray that God will protect her heart from doubt. God is with you, mommy! I love you.


Justin W. Brown said...

God is good all the time. We all change, some for the worse, some for the better. I'm proud of you for being the latter.
I love you so much baby. (also, love the picture)

mindseessoulspeaks said...

Thanks Sam! I feel the love radiating from this note :)
And I love that you used Romans 12:9-18 instead of the usual scriptures people tend to go to when talking about love like 1 Corinthians 13
I also liked what you said about thanking God for the ability to love your life.
I thank God for the ability to love. And to feel loved by Him and His people.
I will be praying that your mom feels better not just physically but spiritually and emotionally too.
Thank you for making my day a little brighter with this post.
Loving you...

Lauren M Photography said...

you were (are) always the best friend to me and thank you for letting me cry on your shoulder. Love you and miss you, happy valentine's day :)