Like many teenagers, I felt awkward about myself. I had the coke bottle glasses, badly permed hair, did poorly in school, and was kind of shy. I slowly grew out of this phase. Mom finally got me contacts, I still had bad perms, but I started to do well in school and slowly became more outgoing. But I think those early years took root in my heart. I didn't feel like I belonged. I strived to be liked and to feel special. That's when the world of boys came in.
For many years boys did not pay attention to me. I envied the popular girls and how boys seem to hoover over them. So when I got the slightest attention from a boy, I was thrilled. But teenage romances don't last long. And my heart was broken. And so the cycle continued time and time again. It happened through high school. I happened again through college. If I wasn't dating, I felt empty. When I was in a relationship, it was never enough. When it was over, there was a void. And every time, I lost a little bit of my heart.
Then 14 years ago, my friends from InterVarsity Christian Fellowship invited me to a True Love retreat on Valentine's weekend. I gave every excuse not to go. In the very end I just stated financial reasons for not going. Wouldn't you know it, they gave me a scholarship to attend the retreat. Oh fine. I struggled with my personal relationships, my self esteem was low, there was a family crisis going on. I guess a weekend away would be a good distraction. It turned out to be the best distraction for me. I attended sessions where I learned of a love that would satisfy my every thirst. I learned of a love that was unconditional and never failing. This was love that would never disappoint. This was love that would not break my heart, but heal it. It was God's love that I had been waiting for all this time. And I didn't have to do a thing to earn it. And although it was still freely given, it came at a high cost to Jesus. And so it began that weekend, when I invited God into my life. And so began my spiritual journey, made extra sweet because of the knowledge of God's love for me on that special Valentine's Day.
Luke 15:20 - But while he was still a
long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for
him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him
I John 3:16 - This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us