When I was a single mom with two elementary children, I had to gear up a week in advance for the upcoming big day: Valentine’s Day. When this particular time of year rolled around, I adjusted my thinking and refused to walk down Pity Party Lane just because I didn’t have a spouse. While it’s true that romantic comedies on TV, cutesy heart-shaped trinkets, and everyone else’s bouquet of roses loomed before my very eyes, I determined this: “Valentine’s Day is about me celebrating my “significant other” – Jesus! I am not without! I am not unworthy of someone’s attention. But I am treasured by God. Valentine’s Day is ‘our’ heavenly stamped day of affection.” How about you, friend? How can you make this Valentine’s Day a year to remember on your calendar of love? Maybe these ABC ideas will enlighten your February 14th.

A = Adapt to what is. Rejoice in the present. God is at work NOW. Don’t waste your daily blessings by wishing for what “was” or what “will be.” Accept your circumstances NOW knowing that God is at work. Look on the bright side of things. You possess the solo gift of choice. You have freedom to live your life the way God has called you to live. You have freedom to raise your children the way you want to train them. You have freedom to choose the atmosphere of your home: peace, gentleness, self-control, along with the virtue of practicing patience. You have freedom to cook or not to cook each night, ignore the laundry, forget the undone chores, or fly away to the park for an evening rendezvous with the kids. You’re free to do “whatever” – unannounced and without the need for anyone else’s permission. Friend, when you start to get depressed, focus on the benefits of being a single parent rather than the drawbacks. You’ll be surprised how many PRO’s come to mind. Amen?

B = Be Mindful. Instead of looking at what you don’t have, look at what you do have. You can say to yourself, “I’m actually grateful I’m single! I get to choose how to live without making compromises. I’m the one who celebrates the privilege of modeling well for my children. I’m the one who has nothing holding me back from being a Christ-focused parent. I’m the one!  And I love it.” Oh, friend, don’t get all caught in the mindset that it’s a couples world. It is NOT! Did you know that well over one third of the population is single? You are NOT abnormal, incomplete or different. You are dearly loved by God and in Christ you are not a fraction - but a whole number. Romantic tales often suggest that it takes another person to complete you with sayings like, “my better half” or “I was half of a person without you” or “our two hearts beat as one.” Though that might seem romantic, the spiritual truth is you are significant without the aid of another person. So rather than entertaining the blues, rejoice in the strengths and achievements that testify to you being a whole and healthy individual, an adult who doesn’t need another relationship to establish personal self-worth.

C = Celebrate Jesus. It’s easy to get swallowed up in the emotionalism of Valentine’s Day and forget that it’s only one day out of 365 days. February 14th may be tough, but when February 15th rolls around, it’s all back to normal. Why get all hung up over one day? Your Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about finding romance with another person when Jesus fills every gap of loneliness. You have a lover of your soul that promises to never abandon you, ignore you at dinner, or find other lovers. He’s your constant companion that’s eager to spend time with you and shower you with his delight and approval. He’s the One who longs to court you into the chamber of his love and lift you to levels of joy you’ve never known before. His love is not casual or temporary, but one that’s committed for the long haul, one infused with intimacy, protection, and compassionate care. So forget needing “someone” for Valentine’s Day. You’re surrounded by the King of love, the One who woos you into an abandoned love affair that far surpasses any kind of earthly romance.

Friend, this Valentine’s Day buy a box of candied hearts. Choose purposefully the inscription that best fits the gift of your singleness. I like this one. How about you?

Lord, I’m going to love the life I’m living,
and live the life I’m loving.

Pam Kanaly, popular author and one of America’s leading advocates for single mothers, serves as cofounder of the single mothers’ conferences – Survive ‘N’ Thrive. Pam exudes with a God-given passion in seeing women know their value in Christ the King. She is the co-founder of the national organization Arise Ministries, having been featured on the 700 Club and other national programs. www.ariseministries.net

Publication date: February 12, 2014