There are few things I like more than receiving hand-written letters. And love letters? Oh, those have had my heart since I received my first one at 14. I’ll never forget the way I felt as my tall, dark, and handsome crush slipped a note to me in my Biology class. Reading those words that he adored me. That I was beautiful. That he couldn’t wait to spend time with me again. I was smitten. Not much has changed in the last 18 years. I’m still a sucker for romance. Of course that’s a little more complicated when you find yourself divorced on Valentine’s Day.
In God’s providence, I became a Christian on February 13th. Not long after that first love, and subsequent heartbreak, I committed my life to Christ at my church’s winter camp. I always try to take time and reflect on that life-changing decision when the anniversary approaches. And this year I’ve found myself particularly thankful for the timing of this reminder of God’s intervention in my life.
For the past month I’ve been trying to plunge myself into the depths of Jesus’ love for me. It’s made me realize how much of the Bible is just one gorgeous love letter from the Creator of the Universe to me. I read a devotional lately that summed up His love in this way: “God in giving Christ to die for us, declared that our salvation was more dear to him than the life of his only Son.” I know that God loves his Son, an extension of Himself, perfectly and completely. And yet he sacrificed that life so he could be with me. John 3:16 — God loved Monica in this way, by giving the life of his only Son. That’s just staggering.
Last Valentine’s Day I was barely existing and was in immense pain. I spent most of it bawling with my sister and losing all hope that my marriage would ever thrive again. It was during that time that a phrase kept coming to the forefront of my Bible reading. Unfailing Love. Then I started hearing it in sermons. Unfailing Love. Finding it in song lyrics. Unfailing Love. Coming across it in books and devotionals that I was reading. Unfailing Love. Again and again the phrase “God’s unfailing love” washed over me. It came into my hurting world– the one in which the one love that was supposed to last failed. But not God’s love. His is unfailing.
This Valentine’s Day feels different. I have amazing friends who’ve checked in with me and made sure I was going to be okay. There is even a spark of a new love that brings a lot of hope and excitement. There are my kids who get so excited to give me their heart-shaped Valentines. But more than that? More than any human love? There is Jesus’ love. Just as unfailing today as it was in my pain. Just as faithful as it was 18 years ago on the day he saved me. Ever and only Jesus, writing me love letters and making me whole.