Valentine’s

There have been many times in my life when I have tried to short-change myself with my own grand plans. Things that I thought were good for me or my ideas of how things should happen were obliterated by God’s grander plans for my life. At times, I couldn’t see what was coming. I couldn’t feel grateful because I was so attached to my own schemes.

This day is a special day to me. It has very little to do with gifts or candy, although I did tell a co-worker today that I planned on getting the “diabetus” with the amount of sugar I was going to consume. This day is a day in my own personal history when I stopped fighting one of God’s plans and gained more than I ever imagined for myself.

A few years ago I was pretty raw and jaded by a divorce and custody trial that all, but killed me. There had been time for healing, but I was holding on to resentments from a painful past and I was unable to forgive. I was stuck in a lot of ways. That decision to hold on to the ugly caused me to be a really untrusting and extremely sad person.

At that time I was trying to date someone who I thought was good for me and was blind to so many truths about those circumstances. I had said many times that I would never date anyone with children. I had sworn that if I was going to marry, it was going to be this person who I was interested in.

The truth is, that person had a lifestyle that would never match mine. It would’ve been detrimental to both of us and would have ruined everything I worked so hard for with my son. I just couldn’t see it at the time.

My now husband, Robert, and I had reconnected after many years of casual friendship. It was nothing that I saw as romantic. I just enjoyed talking to a friend and fellow single parent. I felt like someone else understood me. I mean, he had 3 whole kids. It was never going to happen. But I couldn’t stop talking to him.

The harder I pushed him away, the harder he fought to get close to me. It was sort of annoying at times. I HAD PLANS! Hello?!!

Proverbs 19:21
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

My man was persistent. No matter how many times I said no, he still asked me out. No matter how many safeguards I put in place: not giving him my number, not telling him where I lived, he just kept trying with what I was willing to allow. He even showed up to my church to hear me sing because it was the only detail I would share!

I put up a hoop and the guy would fly right through it. I’d set that hoop on fire and he wouldn’t have a burn on him. It was impressive, but I wasn’t going to admit that. Like I said, I had other plans.

One night during a call on Facebook messenger (I still hadn’t revealed my phone number), Robert asked what my favorite flower was. I remember thinking, “This guy is NOT going to send me flowers.” Brilliantly, I told him I didn’t have one. Ha! Jump through that one, bud.

On Valentine’s day that year I went to work just like any other day. I took my son to daycare with all of his Valentines for his classmates. I was certain that that was the extent of my celebration for the day. I was ok with that. My son was enough.

I went to lunch and returned to a bunch of smiling and giddy co-workers. I was informed that something was waiting for me on my desk. I assumed it was paperwork or a prank.

I made my way to my desk to find the largest, prettiest, most obnoxious bouquet of flowers I had ever seen. The card revealed that the flowers were from Robert. It said, “You didn’t have a favorite flower, so I got you one of each.”

Holy smokes. I wasn’t sure what to feel. I had fought this so hard. He had kids. He wasn’t my plan. I didn’t want to like this guy.

I called Robert and said, “Fine. We can go to dinner.” He laughed. He could see something that I just wasn’t willing to see.

That dinner ended with a whole new set of feelings. I wanted more time with him. He was funny. He was genuine. He was a great dad and could fix anything. He listened. He showed up and didn’t give up on what he wanted in life.

You see, I would’ve missed out on a lot! Those 3 kids became my world. Without the 4 of them, there wouldn’t be my favorite circus. The games, the plays, the chorus concerts would never have been on my agenda. The inside jokes, the loose teeth, the tearful hard days wouldn’t have shown me how much I could love. My son and I never knew what was missing.

Suddenly he was a little brother! As much as he loves being a mama’s boy and my baby, he loves being a brother even more! He has more cousins than he can count. He has another stellar grandma and another beloved great-grandma. My son has fun aunts and uncles. He has a quirky grandpa. He has more love than I ever could’ve given him alone.

All of those people are my people too. My life has changed so much since that Valentine’s day. God had a bigger plan and I’m grateful that my other plans were never actualized.

Today I returned from lunch and on my desk was the largest, prettiest, most obnoxious bouquet of flowers. I didn’t have to read the card to know who they were from. My husband…MY HUSBAND had written the most precious note. Today is our first Valentine’s day as husband and wife. There are many more to come.

I love this man and our children more than I can even begin to explain. God really rained on all of my plans. Thank goodness He reigns on all of my plans.

Psalm 48:14
That this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.

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