The holiday that you probably love to dread — the day that you are forced to scroll through countless Instagram posts of other girls who are happily in love and receiving stuffed animals, flowers, and chocolate (you know, all the basic things that single girls like to make fun of but secretly really want) from their valentines. You read the sweet captions that your girlfriends post gushing about their boyfriends, and then fall into the rabbit hole of creeping on those boyfriends, reading their captions and wondering how on earth these girls were able to find boys like that because you have not met a nice guy in what seems like a lifetime. As much as you want to be happy for everyone around you who seems to be set in their happy relationships, you can’t help but question why God has not yet brought you the same happiness, too.
I remember the first Valentine’s Day I spent with a boyfriend. We had gotten in an argument a day or two before, and we decided not to spend the day together. All I could think was, “my very first Valentine’s Day being in a relationship, and I’m not even with him.” I spent the day sad and disappointed that I had my hopes up and did not have my expectations met in the slightest. The next Valentine’s Day we spent together wasn’t much better, and then we broke up a week later. For the two years that I was with someone during the holiday, I’ve never had the lovey-dovey Instagram Valentine’s Day that I see all over my feed every year. This is the first year in a couple that I haven’t had anyone on Valentine’s Day, and I won’t lie to you — I wish that wasn’t the case.
I can relate to all of the single ladies who have a hard time being joyful on Valentine’s Day. Even when you’re genuinely happy for the people in your life who are experiencing love that they are proud to share with the world, there is something about the holiday that strikes a nerve and ultimately just reminds you of what you don’t have. Maybe that’s something we single girls don’t really like to admit, but it’s true.
I feel guilty when I find myself getting upset over the fact that other people have something that I don’t have yet. It makes me feel like I am not being content with where I am right now. And of course, we should be content with where we are right now, but maybe there is a way to find a balance between our desires and our current reality. Feeling that ache of wanting something that you don’t have is normal, but it’s possible to find peace and contentment in our waiting. For me, one of the greatest desires of my heart is to meet a person who seeks to understand me and connect with me in a way that no one else has. I want to feel known by someone. I know that desire was placed in my heart by the Lord, but when I see so many people who seem to have found the thing that I long for, it makes me feel like I won’t ever have it. I feel unseen. I feel forgotten. And it’s lonely.
There have been so many times when I have found myself scrolling through Instagram, seeing only the highlight reel of other people’s lives and feeling like I was behind. This an especially big struggle for me around this time of year. I see other girls in love, getting engaged, so happy — then I look at me. I think to myself, “why am I so far off from where I want to be? Why does it feel like I am running out of time for the desires of my heart to ever be fulfilled?” For some reason, I look at other girls’ love stories and successes and think that, somehow, it affects how my own story will play out.
My roommate and I have conversations about this a lot. She told me a quote the other day that Lysa Terkeurst wrote in her book “Uninvited“, and it says this: “her success does not threaten mine.”
Her success does not threaten mine. Her life is not mine. The Lord is writing a different story for her, but it doesn’t mean that my story won’t still be beautiful. She is with an amazing, Godly guy, but it doesn’t mean that the Lord doesn’t have someone for me. The direction or pace of another girl’s story has no effect on the story that God is writing for you. Something I have to tell myself often: you are not behind. God has not forgotten about you. Your time is coming.
Single girls, I know how hard it is to be patient when you’re waiting to see what the Lord is going to do in your life. I know how hard it is to imagine that God would be able to fill the desire in your heart to find love when it feels like all you’ve ever known are rejections and the sting of people not recognizing your value. But, I also know that there is purpose in the waiting. There are so many lessons to be learned in the waiting. It’s where the Lord shapes and refines us and prepares us for what’s coming next. If there is anything I’ve learned in this past year of singleness, it’s that you should never discredit the waiting period. I believe that God stretches us the most in our seasons of uncertainty, confusion, and pain.
There is so much more to life than having someone to spend your Valentine’s Day with, honestly. Spend time with your besties. Go buy yourself something cute. Eat really good food and don’t feel an ounce of guilt about it. Thank the Lord for where he has you right now, and be expectant of where he is going to lead you. You’re not forgotten. I really believe that he has plans for you and me that will exceed our wildest dreams.
Happy Valentine’s Day readers <3
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