Dear Readers,

I had written something earlier in time for Valentine’s Day, but when I woke up this morning, I just knew I had to write again.

Many of you who are reading this are students or are in their twenties. Perhaps you have had an experience or two in the area of falling in love, falling out of love, or staying in love. Perhaps some of you are jaded about love.

But perhaps some of you are hopeful that love will strike again, this time hitting the bull’s eye!

No matter how commercial Valentine’s Day has become, I urge you to embrace LOVE. Love is still beautiful. It is what makes our Father God smile about you when He thinks of you. It is what paints the sky orange, yellow, and red in the morning. It is what makes you forgive and heal. It is what sweetens life when the dishes are undone, or when an annoying sister demands that you drive her to the mall.

Romance is simply a slice in the crazy pie called LOVE. Romance is not the end-all or be-all of life. BUT note this: Romance with God is EVERYTHING.

We love because HE FIRST LOVED US (1 John 4:19). God fashioned us in the womb of our mothers, carefully forming one whom He carried in His heart and mind for millennia. Yes, that ONE is you. You were in the “womb” of God’s heart and mind before He released you into the world.

Before any of our days came to be, our Father already knew who you would be, how you would look like and think, how you would touch others, and how you would extravagantly touch His heart. YES. Extravagantly. You would touch Him in such a way that every strand of your hair would be counted by Him (Luke 12:7); that every tear you cried would be saved and recorded (Psalm 56:8); that every day of your life would be planned for (Psalm 139:16).

Can you fathom that kind of love?

We usually say that LOVE was when our Father God sent His own son Jesus to die for us. This is TRUE. And it means salvation for us. But did we ever think of WHY He did that? What kind of love propelled Him to send Someone worth the Kingdom, worth the price tag of “God” in exchange for your life? Are we so precious to Him that we are worth the life of God Himself?

As sons and daughters of a FATHER who loves us SO MUCH, we should be able to run to our Daddy God at any time of the day with anything that bothers or blesses our hearts. Rest assured, He has His ears and eyes turned toward us.

Love is BEAUTIFUL. He is Beautiful. You are Beautiful.

As for earthly romance, I believe that it is also beautiful. When we see God as the Author and Finisher of our faith (as the Bible calls Him in Hebrews 12:1), then we can have faith that God is weaving a beautiful love story for us. We need only to trust Him fully and allow Him to move.

While we trust and wait, consider saying this prayer:

“Father God, I thank you that you are LOVE. You loved me before creation. You love me even now. I give to You my heart and every aspect of it—especially my romance. Thank you that You know who I’m going to marry. This person whom I will be joined to is so important to you! I pray that you write my love story in a way that only YOU can write it. Thank you so much! Prepare my heart even now as I wait for You to move. Thank you, Daddy God. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”

In behalf of everyone in One Voice Magazine, I greet you knowing that our Father God will extravagantly love you today!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

One with you in this journey called life,

Janina Marie O. Rivera

Janina Marie Rivera is the author of the book, A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear and has co-authored the devotional, Dawns, published by OMF Literature. She a contributing poet in the books Joyful Light and Whitmanthology: on Loss and Grief by Various Authors. She is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine.