It's Valentine's Day, my friends! And let me just tell you - I'm getting quite the kick of out my Facebook Feed right now. Of course, along with all of the beautiful 'couple pictures,' comes the cynical and skeptical single posts from those whose relational life isn't up to par with their expectations. Some posts are just flat out ridiculous! LOL.
Amongst some of the funny memes and pitiful posts, I know that some of you are really hurting, disappointed and frustrated right now. It seems like another Valentines Day will come and go without any change to your relationship status. It feels like you're doing all the right things, but nothing is happening. At this point in your life, seeing posts from the happy couples just plain hurts.
Because of that, I want to speak to YOU. My heart goes out to you and I understand how times like this can be difficult. Here's a few things I want to encourage you with to help you survive this year's Valentine's Day:
DON'T BUY INTO THE HYPE
Look, Valentines Day is simply another day. Yes, our culture will throw everything at you to remind you that, if you don't have a date this week, you're single and alone - possibly alone FOREVER (so extreme lol). But buying into this will only bring you more frustration. February 14 is JUST ANOTHER DAY. You aren't obligated to do anything other than live your normal life and stick to your routine. Don't let the media make you feel bad for not having crazy, romantic plans!
ACTION STEP: When your mind starts moving towards discouragement, pull yourself back! Speak God's truth over you and remember that He knows your story from the end to the beginning. God isn't thinking... "oh man I forgot it was Valentine's Day!" He's got you!
COMPROMISE MAKES FOR BAD COMPANY
Hopefully, you've taken the pressure off of yourself to have a date for Valentines Day. But if you're still feeling like you need to have a backup plan, please keep your head on straight. Do NOT compromise on your values and standards just to "have someone." I promise you, it may feel OK in the moment, but it will only bring more problems later. Stick to your guns and hold out.
ACTION STEP: When an opportunity comes along that you know could compromise your standards, cut it off from the very beginning! Tell a close friend about it immediately so they can keep you accountable to your purpose and help you during weak moments.
When you're making any decisions about relationships or moving forward, HALT - don't make the decision while you're:
- Hurting (I also like to use Hungry for this one lol)
This is definitely true when it comes to choosing something that could compromise your purity or your purpose. Just take some time before you do anything you might regret!
ACTION STEP: When you are faced with temptation, difficult decisions or steps to move forward with something, take 30 seconds to zoom out and identify the context you are currently in. Ask yourself, "is this the best moment to make this decision? Do I only want this because I am lacking something right now?" Once you've got your head on straight, sleep it off or get with healthy friends, resume.
FOCUS ON TODAY
The moment you start saying things like, "I'M GONNA BE SINGLE FOREVER" and "IT'S ALWAYS GOING TO BE JUST ME AND MY DOG" is the moment you lose the battle. Sometimes, you just have to focus on today. It literally takes ONE SECOND for everything to change, and that life-changing second could be TOMORROW. So why are you wasting all of today's energy worrying about tomorrow? Take this thing one step at a time!
ACTION STEP: Every time you start to worry about tomorrow or the next day, start speaking OUT LOUD and thank God for everything He is doing and has done for you up unto this point. Focus on having a grateful heart and praise God for 5 minutes. This will recalibrate you with the right mindset!
ENJOY THE SILVER LINING
It's not always going to be like this. It's just a season! So take advantage of the time you have now. Guys? Once you get in a relationship, Valentines Day means money, usually more than you were prepared to spend! Girls? Once you get in a relationship, your time and attention gets absorbed! Try to enjoy the season you're in and spend some time with friends. Go to church. Watch a movie (not a love story lol). Go to the gym!
ACTION STEP: If you're struggling with your current season, start making decisions to do things you COULDN'T do if you were married with kids. Plan a trip to travel or a schedule a road trip with friends. Create that workout/eating plan you've been wanting to stick to. Start writing that book. Do it NOW!
BECOME THE ONE YOU WANT
Everyone's looking for the one. Instead of putting all your efforts into searching for 'the one,' invest time into becoming the best you there possible could ever be. BECOME the one you would want for yourself. Learn to LOVE YOU! Yes, you need to figure out what makes you amazing and own it! Identify your weaknesses and work on them! You are worth investing into, and if you won't do it for yourself, you can't expect someone else to want to do it!
ACTION STEP: Get intentional with your life and start investing in YOU. Go to a conference, read books, listen to podcasts. Serve you church and disciple someone. Go back to school, go to the gym, take a relationship class. Make it happen!
STAY ENCOURAGED & REFUSE TO BELIEVE LIES
Don't let your heart be troubled! Get connected with friends who can encourage you and laugh with you. Refuse to give into the self-pity emotion and stay confident. God has an amazing plan and purpose on your life - and you're smack dab in the middle of His will!
Just because you're not in a relationship does NOT mean that you are not desirable. This can become one of the most detrimental steps towards compromising. Get that trash outta here!
Also, stop comparing your story with everyone else and realize that God has a unique story for you. And it's going to be amazing. I'm believing, it's going to be better than you ever thought it could be.
You can do this!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jared Ellis was called into ministry at the age of 16 years old, after being delivered out of a life of darkness, depression and depravity. He has traveled all over the world, preaching the good news of Jesus Christ and has worked with some of the leading churches in the nation such as Bethel Church and Elevation Church. He also pastored in Abilene, Texas and grew a youth ministry of 12 students to over 300 - signs, wonders and miracles taking place each week. Jared is the author of "Yes: Simple Response | Radical Results." He travels full-time as an Evangelist, preaching at churches, conferences and events. He is also the GE Coordinator at Christ For The Nations Institute where he teaches and trains Youth Pastors and works as a church consultant. While at home in Dallas, TX, he serves as a worship leader at Trinity Church.