This past Valentine’s Day I had a listing appointment that took me out of the office right around lunch. I decided I would grab a to-go order and head to one of my favorite spots to enjoy quiet time with God. However, after numerous unsuccessful attempts to call-in my order I opted to dine-in.
So, I’m reading my Bible throughout the duration of my meal. I’m enjoying the quiet company of God and despite the empty seat across from me I just feel warm, content, and at peace. I started to reflect on how grateful I am for my sisters in Christ. From Florida to Ohio I have met amazing women of God who serve to hold me accountable and display love and friendship despite the distance. I started thinking how much it must warm God’s heart to see His daughters joining together, building one another up, and striving for holiness. It must make Him proud.
At the conclusion of my meal my young female waitress finally asked the question she wanted to ask since I sat down…
“Why are you here alone? You don’t have a Valentine?”
Before I could answer she casts her eyes to the floor and says while shaking her head, “Oh…I don’t have one either” then walks off.
That’s when I felt God say…
“There are still a lot of my daughters who don’t know me. They don’t know how much I value them. They don’t know the love I have for them.”
I immediately thought of this scripture…
“If a man has a hundred sheep and ONE of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out in search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away. In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”—Matthew 18-12-14 (NLT)
God is so concerned about each and over one of us. His heart still aches for His daughters and sons that have not found their way back to Him. It’s better to allow our lives to serve as a witness to Christ, but in this instance I knew I needed to act. So, I wrote her a message on her receipt and I want to express a similar sentiment here…
“You are known, relevant, and worthy to God. Embrace your current season. Regardless of your relationship status…God sees you. He loves you. You are valuable. You have purpose. This gift of singleness affords you an opportunity to get to know God. Don’t waste this gift longing for a relationship with a man before taking the time to get to know the man. God is love and He desires you.”
I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel spending my first Valentine’s Day alone, but I was at peace and as I was reading with God over lunch He brought my attention to just why I was at peace.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:6-7But, what stood out to me the most this time about this scripture was the fact that God’s peace will guard my heart and mind as I live for Christ. God recognizes that living for Christ will bring adversity…internal and external. But, when we forgo worrying, choose to pray, thank Him for what He’s done…we experience peace. This peace (bear with me I have a vivid imagination) is dressed like a knight with full armor. He stands guard at the door to our heart and our mind because He knows that worldly infestations (social media, entertainment, people, thoughts, logic, negativity, and on and on) will strive to break into our heart and our mind to corrupt the work His spirit is striving to do within us. So, this peace stands guard and blocks the advancements of the enemy so that we are free to experience His peace in all circumstances. That’s amazing.
So, today seize opportunities to serve as a witness for Christ. Allow your actions to speak, but if words are necessary…don’t shrink or dim your light. Speak up. Demonstrate the love of Christ in a practical way. Don’t worry about unmet needs. Pray unceasingly. Thank God for all He is doing behind the scenes on your behalf. Recognize that His peace is there to guard your heart and your mind. Cooperate with His efforts and refuse to knowingly bring “junk” to the door of your heart and mind. Be considerate of the work God is striving to do in you and through you and continue to respond in obedience to His requests. You are not alone. Take advantage of your season and use your time wisely.
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."