Much of this post was originally published in 2017, but I’ve altered and added to it to reflect my current convictions on the purpose-filled, Christ-centered life. I hope it blesses all my readers, no matter who or where you are!
Happy Saint Scholastica Day! This is the feast day of one of my favorite Christian heroines, the strong-willed, learned twin sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia. I’m so thankful I get to start this week reflecting on a woman who devoted her entire life to Christ and His people. Scholastica (and other Christian heroines like her!) inspire and encourage me…especially when I need some confirmation that my “unwedded bliss” really is something to celebrate.
Valentine’s Day isn’t always easy for single, unattached people. I know it’s gotten so much easier for me in the past few years, but the temptation to feel sorry for myself (or throw up all my emotional defenses until February is over, haha) is still very real. God has been so faithful, though, constantly reminding me of the following truths since I originally shared them with my readers three years ago…
1. God loves you more than you will ever know.
“Faith,” Ann Voskamp writes in her book The Broken Way, “is confidence in God’s kindness no matter the confusion of circumstances.” God loves his sons and daughters so much, and He’s in the business of drawing us closer and closer to Himself. He works all things for our good…even when we can’t see what or where that good might be.
When my one and only “serious relationship” crashed and burned, it hurt so much. I didn’t understand why God would seemingly set me up for something wonderful, just to jerk it all away from me. Now I understand that He wasn’t just protecting me from a very perilous situation; He was also teaching me something I desperately needed to know: “I love you more than any man ever could. I’ll be with you even when everybody else fails you, and I will give you peace.”
Jesus knows what it’s like to be broken. He knows the pain of loneliness. He knows what it’s like to feel betrayed and forgotten. He felt all those things as a carpenter of Nazareth. You’ll always be safe taking your broken hallelujahs to Him because He always understands, and He loves you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)! He takes great delight in you, quieting you with His love and rejoicing over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
2. You are RIGHT where God wants you to be right now.
I’ll be 28 in a few weeks. My mom was married with three babies by the time she was 28. I have two choices: I can either fret and wonder what’s wrong with me and why I’m “so behind schedule”…or I can remind myself that God ordained every twist and turn of my story before the foundation of the world.
Here is a truth that I now stand upon: There’s a reason I’m unmarried, and it is a good and purpose-filled reason. I’m confident now that God has me in this place because He wants me to be so grounded in His love and goodness, I’ll be better equipped for whatever challenges life has in store for me. He’s molding me into exactly the kind of woman He wants me to be!
3. NOW is the time to invest in yourself & your relationships with God, your family, & your church!
I used to think self-care was selfish. There is a self-obsessed, navel-gazing kind of self-care, but there’s also nothing wrong with taking the time to make your soul happy. By taking care of yourself, you’re simply equipping and strengthening yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally–which, in turn, makes it so much easier for you to focus on serving God and others!
Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word; that is the most important thing. Spend some time outside every day. Enjoy stories (the real ones as well as the imaginary ones) of kind, noble heroes and heroines. Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word! Create something, even if it’s just a pan of cookies–but not too many cookies, because your body needs nutritious food, too! Fill your head and your heart with God’s Word!! Find a way to serve your community or your church, even if it’s just serving in the nursery or bringing a meal to a new mama. Get a good night’s rest. Belt out your favorite songs in the car (did you know singing out loud for an hour can boost your immune system?). Fill your head and your heart with God’s word!!! Hug someone (did you know hugging can boost your immune system, too?). Count your blessings and write them down (gratitude can alleviate depression!). Did I mention filling your head and your heart with God’s Word???
Take the time to embrace what God says about you, to enjoy your beautiful life, and to “do your little bit” in your corner of the world. And remember, you don’t have to be a politician, a missionary, a pastor’s kid, or even a mother to make a difference. The only person you have to be is you.
4. You don’t need anybody but Jesus to be truly happy.
The 2015 Cinderella film ends with a song called “Strong.” I have my quibbles with the admonition to “Trust in your heart”–but there’s one line I do think is true, at least to a certain extent:
“A bird all alone on the wing can still be strong and sing.”
Of course, we are never alone if Christ lives inside us. We must cling to that truth, especially when we do feel “all alone on the wing.” But we must also cling to the truth that we really can “be strong and sing” right where we are, because of the fact that Christ lives inside us.
You don’t have to wait for your life to begin, because your purpose-filled life began a long time ago. You don’t have to sit around waiting for the perfect mash-up of Steve Rogers, Tom Branson, and Mr. Knightley to come a-knocking on your door, either. If that person exists, he’ll come when the time is right.
And if he doesn’t? Well, there’s plenty for you and me to do and learn in the meantime–and more than enough people in our lives to love.
As for those cruel, cutting thoughts in your head about how nobody will ever love you for who you are, or how you’ve been totally forgotten…they are lies–all of them–because God loves you so much and He will never, ever forget you.
In the light of that truth, we really can be strong and sing our little hearts out.
18 thoughts on “4 Special Encouragements for Saint Valentine’s Day!”
“You don’t have to wait for your life to begin, because your purpose-filled life began a long time ago. You don’t have to sit around waiting for the perfect mash-up of Steve Rogers, Tom Branson, and Mr. Knightley to come a-knocking on your door, either.”
PREACH. THE. THING.
This is my life, my real life, where I am right now. Where I am now, by God’s grace, is enough.
Thanks for the reminder, friend. ❤
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You are so welcome, friend! We all need these reminders every once in a while, and I felt like it might be nice to bring out this “recycled post” of mine again.
And Happy Saint Scholastica day to you! ❤
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A bit too religious for me. Your posts usually don’t have that effect but this one made my eyes glaze over. When I was reading about your relationship that crashed and burned the only thing I can offer is he/she/it wanted you to learn from it. That relationships feel great when you’re in them. But they take a lot of work.
Now that bit about comparing yourself to your mom. She knew at a certain age when the relationship she was in was special. And so will you. No two people alike (not even twins and I ought to know. My twin is my mirror twin). So the only person you should compare yourself to is you. Ask yourself “do I want to go down this path?”, “I want someone to care about me, to hold me, to love me”. Well, somebody already cares about you – YOU!
Sorry you didn’t care for the post, Tom. But my faith is the most important part of my life; it informs everything I write on this blog, whether I’m reviewing a movie, offering music recommendations, or sharing spiritual thoughts. My hope in re-sharing this old post of mine was to reassure my readers–many of whom are also young Christian women–that romance (or the lack thereof) doesn’t define their worth or their future. We all need that reminder sometimes, especially around Saint Valentine’s Day, but we also need to be reminded that we are perfectly loved by our Savior.
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Beautifully written! This post is such an encouragement for singles! Thank you for your ‘revamped’ post. It still uplifts our brothers and sisters in Christ. I think comparing ourselves to our parents is natural when we love them and they love us back. It is not easy to remember that we are not our parents, but that God has a specific assignment for us to fulfill that our parents did not have at that time. He likes to give us a touch of mystery to our lives, because if we saw the whole picture it would seem impossible! With Christ all things are possible – keep trusting in Him and pressing on.
Thank you so much for this comment! You are so right: we can’t possibly see everything the Lord is doing in our lives, but we can trust that whatever it is, He has only good and beautiful things in store for us!
Wow, this is so beautifully written and SO needed in today’s world! I’m still pretty young to worry about Valentine’s Day, but I’m sure I will need this encouragement sometime in the future. Thank you for this!
I’m so grateful that it blessed you, Kristianne! After years of struggling with the Lord about this, it’s become a topic that’s very near and dear to my heart. If I’ve encouraged other young women in any way through this article, then it’s all by God’s grace!
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Thank you for sharing your heart, though I’m sure it was difficult for you. I’ll be praying for you.
It was far more difficult when I first wrote this post back in 2017, to be honest. Now I’m just so very grateful that I’m able to look back and see how the Lord has blessed and grown me over the past three years! Thank you for your prayers–and I’ll be praying for you and all my readers as well 🙂
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To be honest, it was much harder to write the original article in 2017 when it seemed like I struggled everyday for joy in the midst of my circumstances! But it’s so, so good to see how much the Lord has blessed and grown me in the past three years. Thank you for your prayers–and I’ll be praying for you and all my readers as well!
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Maribeth, this is a lovely post. ❤ I'm close to your age and have gone through some similar stuff. Valentine's Day is rough cause it's a holiday I've enjoyed since I was a little girl, so it's special to me (even though it'd be easier to pass it off as "commercialism" 😉 ). Not sure where my life is headed, but every challenge makes us stronger in Christ, for sure.
Thank you so much for commenting, Marian! Totally understand where you’re coming from: Valentine’s Day IS special (and becomes even more significant once you know the holiday’s actual history!) and we certainly don’t want to be sticks-in-the-mud about it! But it’s so healthy to acknowledge that while it can be hard, the Lord is using our struggles to draw us closer to Him and make us stronger, more joyful women.
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Wow, this post blessed my heart. I loved it so much. I *needed* to hear this. I’ve been having a lot of inner discussions with myself lately about this very subject, and your post could not have come at a more opportune time.
Hearing about your struggles and journey with this was inspiring, and I wanted to say thanks for your honesty and openness. And hearing how the Lord has carried you through it is equally inspiring, especially as I find myself entering this period slowly but surely. *sends digital hug*
I’m turning 18 on Thursday (which feels *weird*), so I will say that although I’ve only barely reached legal marrying age, I still think about finding that special someone often, and it’s odd at times. Especially when a lot of girls my age have boyfriends and post myriads of (sometimes nauseating) photos on social media. I’ve never even held hands with a boy *awkward smiling* 🙂
As I’ve been studying the lives of the saints, however, I’ve felt this overwhelming peace and just contentment with where I am right now. I feel so dedicated to Christ…consecrated, as many of the nuns are in the stories I read. I also feel a bit like Jo March…feeling so free and excited about what’s ahead that I don’t want to think about marrying yet (and sometimes wondering if I ever will). But my mother thinks that’s terribly drastic and says I’ll definitely be married one day 😆
I loved what you wrote about understanding who you are in Christ *first* and how important it is to have my identity in him established before I meet the man I will marry. I am not who my love life says I am, I am also not who my peers say I am…I am who Christ says I am, and I do not need the affirmation of a relationship to give me worth. Saint Scholastica certainly didn’t need a man to validate her, did she?
Ehehehe sorry ~ I had to. *woot woot*
And *fistbump* to the self care! I’m all for it! Hugs, belting out songs, essential oils (yusssss) and just calm music and a good book and a blank page to write on. I loved this post, Maribeth, and it’s definitely blessed me in preparation for Valentine’s Day this year. Thank you so much. I needed this more than you know.
P.S. I finished Doctor Who season 6 and also watched Asylum of the Daleks. My Clara. My lil bean. 😥
“Consecrated”–thank you SO MUCH for bringing up that beautiful word, Emily! There’s a quote from Lysa Terkeurst that I often think about: “We aren’t set aside; we’re set apart.” And that applies to both the married and the unmarried, really–because as Christians we are ALL set apart!–but it does carry a special comfort and significance for those of us who are trying to figure out our purpose as unmarried Christians. I’m right there with you: I want to have the utter devotion of a Sister Julienne (my favorite character/role model in Call the Midwife) AND the adventurous, vocation-chasing zest for life of a Jo March!
I wish I understood these things when I was on the eve of my 18th birthday. It does my heart good to see you embracing them so wholeheartedly! And by the way, I know I said this on Instagram, but…HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 😀
P.S. ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS, OH MY GOSH. And this is just the beginning of Clara’s long, convoluted, and magnificent story. You’re in for a fairytale of epic proportions, and it has me tickled pink XD XD XD
Sister Julienne seems like such a wonderful character! I watched the first episode of Call the Midwife, and I really need to finish the series! It was such a beautiful first episode, and I LOVED those nuns…they were such icons of consecration. Set apart, not set aside. Oh, how I love that!
And thank you so much for your sweet birthday wishes. 🙂 It has been such a memorable birthday!
And I am currently watching A Town Called Mercy right now – which I am finding incredibly interesting. So excited for Clara to come back, though! But for now I’m content with the sight of Matt Smith wearing a stetson and riding a horse 😉
I apologize for the late comment, Maribeth!
This post was absolutely beautiful. A blessing to my day. Thank you. 🙂
You’re so welcome, friend!
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