Valentines Day Sucks!


Yep.  I said it sucks!  I’ve struggled emotionally with the most recent holidays.  It’s not that I’m not grateful, I’ve just grown tired.  It’s hard to always feel like I’m borrowing a family during these celebration moments.  I know, I know, it’s not about what I don’t have, it’s about all that I do have.  But, can we set aside all the Christianese we’ve been taught and just get real with our emotions?  Getting real with our emotions does not give them power over us, but it defuses the damage they can do if denied.

It feels like a knife pierces my heart every time I walk down that dreaded “seasonal” aisle in the stores.  Valentines Day is the worst of the holidays for me right now.  It’s a lovers holiday, unless you’re 8.  I am slapped with reality around every corner.  There are stickers on doors, displays in the middle of aisle 6, candy, bears, and stuffed cupids are on every other end-cap.  Then, a guy walks by with a dozen of his loves favorite flowers in his hands….bla, bla, bla.

Just before Christmas I was asked, “Can you give me 5 reasons why singles should be joyful during Christmas and the holiday seasons?”  Oh, I sent back quite a lengthy response.  I almost posted it as a blog, but decided to spare you the deep, personal details.  My response was, in short, “It Sucks.”  Why candy-coat it?  No pun intended.  It does suck.  I would like nothing more than to have that special someone to share life with, to lie awake at night sharing our deepest thoughts, hopes, and dreams.  It would be nice to love and be loved on the intimate level that only two share.  I would love to have that one person that I know I’m going to grow old and wrinkly with – maybe gain a few pounds with along the way.  For whatever reason, God is withholding granting me this again – for now.

Don’t worry.  I did not close my response to the question with all this yucky reality.  As I thought long and hard and felt deeply about all the truths of where I am, I also thought about the many promise of God.  Joy and happiness are two different things. I’m not “happy” about where I am, but I do have joy.  God never promised us happiness, but He did promise each of us His joy*.

Habakkuk wasn’t “happy” about the absolute destruction of Judah, but because he remembered what God promised, he was able to boldly says this…

“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills.” (Habakkuk 3:18-19) And, God kept His promise.

I am not super human, so the pain of this present situation is felt deeply, but if I adjust my focus, God’s joy is already mine! Some of you are still asking, “How?”  You’ve struggled and you can’t seem to pull yourself up.  After writing out all my crazy thoughts – I GOT THE ANSWER!

*THANKFULNESS WILL GET ME THROUGH THIS NEXT HOLIDAY JOYFULLY!  Despite all I’ve lost both past and present, I am thankful for many things.  I will still pray with my tears, but hope will arise.  God promised us a hope and a future if seek Him first.

I was going to boycott Valentines Day and ask that people not mention it to me.  I was going to hibernate until it was over, but then I went to the mailbox today and received the most beautiful card.  I was again humbled.  God knew what I needed far more than I did.  To the one who sent it, Thank You!  You know who you are.  My treasured friend!

By the way, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY to all of you!  Let’s adjust our focus and PARTY while we can.

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

*There are 188 references to the word “Joy” when searched in BibleGateway.com, NKJV.
*There are 108 references to the word “Thanks” when searched in BibleGateway.com, NKJV.

14 Comments

  1. Mary Bartolo said,

    02/11/2011 at 11:50

    Hi Shannon,

    As one who is emmersed in the midst of Valentine’s decor (my daycare is always decorated according to the holiday), I am ever mindful of whatever holiday upon us.

    I have not experienced your type of loss, so I will never fully understand the magnitude of the emotions that must accompany you throughout these special days within the year. I do know this though my friend, God is using you mightily to touch people who CAN identify with your pain and who truly need to know that someone DOES understand as you do. Yes it sucks to have to go through suffering and hardship, but isn’t it amazing that our God can use anything for His good? He can use a wonderful woman such as yourself to speak words of JOY and LIFE into the heart of someone who cannot see hope anymore.

    I pray for you to have all the things you long for in God’s time, but even after that day comes, I pray even more that He will use YOU to share hope and love to those who need it desperately.

    I truly believe that a love like yours and Warren’s does not die. It has remained alive and well inside of you! The very reason it pains you so to go on without him, is a testament to the kind of man he was and the kind of love you two shared. He is irreplaceable. God gave you a gem and that gem now sits in God’s crown. He has a spot reserved for you, but until then, shine brightly like the gem you are to ALL of us!

    Love Always,
    Mary Bartolo

    • 02/14/2011 at 11:50

      Mary, I just cherish your friendship. Thank you for always being a strong encouraging and supportive force in my life. God allowed me the safety of Warren so that many of my walls from childhood could fall. Sadly, it was and still is a process of learning. But, it is for all of us who truly want to know God and grow in His grace. I do pray that the things I write can be a means for others to find hope. Love You Friend!

  2. Sherri said,

    02/11/2011 at 11:50

    Hi Shannan,

    Just so you know, not everyone celebrates Valentine’s Day.
    We never have and we probably never will. It’s far overrated, and to us,
    it’s just another day on the calendar, so we’re willing to boycott it with you
    if you’d like. ; )

    By the way, who’d wanna pay $90. for 12 red roses on Feb. 14
    when you could’ve got them a month earlier for $30? Where’s the
    logic in that? Save your money and buy a new pair of shoes. lol

    Happy February 12th! (just to make a statement)

    Your friends, Sherri & Alex

    • 02/14/2011 at 11:50

      LOL! Warren and I felt the same way. I like flowers given as a surprise rather than because you’re suppose to. I know this was easy for us though because we had no doubt that we loved each other, even when we did want to strangle each other ;o)

  3. Dave Gold said,

    02/12/2011 at 11:50

    We know loss Shannon and it does hurt and does not go away altogether. It can hurt to see others seeming to go on as though it were nothing. How can they? It is refreshing to have you speak, or write, your thoughts and show us that you are not Supergirl but God is holding you up as He holds us. Love you in Him, D.G.

    • 02/14/2011 at 11:50

      Thank You Dave. As long as I know God will use my words for His glory, He can have them! I just want to be used. I appreciate your continued support. Sincere Love Back, Shannan

  4. Neal Krulik said,

    02/12/2011 at 11:50

    Hi Shannan

    This blog is exceptional! As you know,Ive recently had my heart ripped open and left to die on its own. Finding good in it or what is fair is extremely difficult – next to impossible. Valentines Day doesnt make things any better. In fact, I believed that this Valentines Day was FINALLY going to be the great one that I would enjoy with the one that I loved so deeply….When your faith is shattered and promises seem unlikely, all we have left is to hang on to the promise that God doesn’t break his promises!!

    Be blessed….and may all those who faithfully read your blog be encouraged

    • 02/14/2011 at 11:50

      Thanks Neal, God has you friend. Choose to trust Him and surrender all. He will NOT fail. It’s impossible for Him to fail. The Israelites tried to hold on to things, and resurrect what they thought was right, but that only delayed them entering the promised land. Often time, we gain everything and more when we let go of everything. Yeah, God works “backwards” that way 😉

  5. Pastor Dave said,

    02/12/2011 at 11:50

    I know of your loss. I knew you both from when you all performed at our Church as well as my Brothers Church. Time is for healing. God has blessed you with beatiful people who can help you move on. God doesn’t want us to drell on the past. He has brighter Days ahead for us.I know God has been with you and will continue to be with you. God will fill your life back with the Joy and happiness you qnce had with Warren.You both have been given a Gift. Continue to use your Gift for God. You will be amazed how God will put Joy and Laughter back in your life.

    • 02/14/2011 at 11:50

      Pastor Dave, God is good and His healing touch is sweet. It’s sometimes painful in the moment, but the end process is real healing as opposed to a band-aid. Thank you for the very kind words.

  6. sandy preston said,

    02/13/2011 at 11:50

    Hi Shannon

    Knowing loss of a wonderful husband, i still cherish Valentines day. The first one after separation was to say i could sit here and feel sorry for myself or i could turn this around for good and deliver flowers to other people and also to the single ones in my life. I was full to overflowing to be used by God. Even though i am now remarried this is still my mission. You are a tremendous blessing and i am thankful for you dear friend. Keep holding on to the purest and most priceless love that will never go away, as He is always holding on to us. sandy

    • 02/14/2011 at 11:50

      I love that we’ve reconnected Sandy. You are beautiful and so precious my friend. Thank you for sharing your beauty with me. I love how you gave love in the times you needed it most. What a true testimony of loving your neighbor as yourself!

  7. Michael Harrell said,

    02/13/2011 at 11:50

    Amen! Love the cupid pic.

  8. 02/15/2011 at 11:50

    My focus has been one of thankfulness when this holiday comes around… I’m not in that place of longing for another in my life however I’m constantly seeking Him, yearning for His righteousness, to be found faithful, and to live a life reflecting His goodness, His light, and His truth. I’ve turned this day into a day of celebrating the fact that He love me – He pursues me while I am pursuing Him – He woos me, which makes my heart skip a beat, brings a smile to face, and joy flowing down my cheeks. With that, my heart embraces the secrets He has for me hidden throughout this day.

    By the way, on a not so serious note… if this were a REAL holiday, the banks and post-offices would be closed, need I say more.


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