It was Valentine’s Day 1996. I was a single mum with three little boys. My heart ached because my husband was celebrating with another woman. I felt rejected and miserable.
After my children were bathed and put to bed, I sat down with my Bible and a cup of tea. I wept over what I didn’t have – a husband to hold me on Valentine’s Day. I wanted him to come home. I wanted the nightmare to end.
I couldn’t imagine any quality of existence without a man in my life. Though active at church, and appearing strong and recovered, I had disguised the emotional mess inside. Instead of taking steps to recover and regain a godly perspective from the grief and loss, my foolish heart led me down a path of pain and further destruction.
Four years later, Valentine’s Day was "some enchanted evening" for me. With candlelight, long-stem red roses and love songs playing softly in the background, a man I had fallen in love with asked me to marry him. I felt fulfilled and wanted.
However, the honeymoon was barely over when my new husband became violent and abusive. After three years of counselling sessions, calls to the police and court dates, the marriage ended. I cried out to God, "How did I ever get here?" He showed me that I had not trusted Him with my future. As a result, I had made bad choices.
The second breakup destroyed me. During those dark days, my King’s still, small voice consoled me in my brokenness: I love you, Sheila. You are My precious daughter. I have a plan and purpose for your life. I listened and welcomed God’s love. He gently restored me to spiritual and emotional health.
On Valentine’s Day 2006, I spent a quiet evening at home with my three teenage sons. Later in the evening, I reflected on two Valentine’s Days of the past – the one after my husband left and the marriage proposal.
Again I was alone with no mate, but that year, God’s peace enveloped me. Sadness and loneliness were strangers to me now. There was no desperate longing for flowers or to be embraced by a man. The quiet contentment of knowing Christ assured me that I am His and He is mine.
I marvel at how the Lord has transformed me and realise it all began at the point of my surrender and repentance to God. My choice to lose my life for His sake has yielded a life of joy.
Surrendering has caused my relationship with Jesus to grow deeper, sweeter and more real. He has opened doors that have allowed me to minister to hurting women, to be His representative in a variety of ways and to enjoy healthy friendships.
Heart for Him
Jesus is the lover of my soul, my best friend and my confidant. He is a husband like no other. I’ve discovered that the best earthly relationship is a mere shadow of the perfect love He has for me.
I still feel a little sad at times and think about a relationship with a godly man. While on a prayer walk during one of those moments, I stopped at the crest of a hill, in full view of an expanse of mountains in the distance, and God spoke to my heart: Rest your sadness in My arms and dance with Me. I am your partner. Continue to get your strength from My love.
Know and believe that there is no greater love than His. Listen for His still, small voice. Jesus Christ can and will be your "all in all" (1 Corinthians 15:28) whether you are single or married. He will comfort you when your heart is aching and He will be there when your cup overflows with joy. His love is everlasting. Give Him your heart. He’s already given you His.