I came across an old writing last night from years ago. I wanted to share it with you today, just in time for Valentine's Day!
March 9, 2008
As I open my mother's Bible for the first time in 23 years, I find a tattered old filmstrip in black and white being used as a bookmark. The photo shows a giggling 3 year old snuggled closely in the arms of her mother. First faces are smiling, second is silly faces, third is facing each other eye-gazing, and the last bursting out in laughter. I could feel the power of love coming through the photos. As my eyes fill with tears that will fall with the next blink, it reminds me of a time in my life that love was not just a selfish feeling, but an action. My mother spoke love to others with her actions. As I look down into my hands that are now holding many tears, I am thankful to know each one holds a memory of love.
My mom didn't just tell me she loved me, she proved it by holding me tightly in her arms. As I child I thought she enjoyed coloring as much as I did, but now that I'm a mother doing the same, I realize it was simply a kind and unselfish act of love she chose to enjoy.
I'm thankful to have this memory. It reminds me that my mom was my best example of love. I'm also thankful for the page it was marking. 1 Corinthians 13. WOW, now that's powerful! Why did I find this today? What is life trying to say to me today?
As I read the scripture, my spirit understands that love is patient, kind, and it may suffer a long time. It isn't jealous, doesn't boast, and is not arrogant. It isn't rude or selfish, and thinks no evil. It only rejoices in truth. It endures so much, as it believes all things...LOVE NEVER FAILS!
People often tell me I'm altruistic. I just tell them they should have known my mom who was the most altruistic example of my lifetime. People also say I'm a giving person, but not compared to my mom. My mom was one to take care of herself and others. She was not some self-sacrificial person who was run down with resentments. She cared for herself, loving herself and others, just as exemplified by 1 Corinthians 13. There was certainly a bright light beaming from within her soul.
When I make friendships, I make an effort to speak love with my actions. It takes little effort because it comes so natural for me. I am my mother's daughter! To love is SO easy...it will certainly bring joy to the spirit.
When the policeman came to my door on December 8, 1984 to tell me my mother had been killed, I cannot describe the feeling in words. For a brief moment it felt as if someone reached into my chest and twisted around and around until my heart was ripped from my chest and thrown to the floor. I was 15 years old. I can still feel a little of that pain right now as I write this story. It's a GOOD thing because it reminds me that I am alive and still have healthy emotions.
I could have chosen to forever feel cheated, angry, withdrawn, depressed, hatred, etc. If it were not for God's love that my mother had taught me through her actions, I might have fallen into the pits of depression and despair. Rather than being angry and resentful, I chose to go through the natural grieving process over time and then let her love live on through me.
As I look into my mom's smiling eyes in the filmstrip photo, I realize she is now being tightly held in God's loving arms. I'm so thankful I was allowed 15 long years with her influence, because now I carry her spirit within me so others may be reminded of her soul.
No one is promised tomorrow, so be happy and use the opportunity to love your family, friends, and even your enemies with a little act of kindness. Love is an emotion but action is what makes it really work.
Thanks be to God for the mother I was blessed with. She was my perfect example of love...for without it, I wouldn't have a heart at all!
It seems odd that I found this old writing right around Valentine's Day. So many people out there think February 14th is reserved for traditional couple's love. I've been single for 11 years and have never felt sad or depressed on this date. Let it be a reminder of love in general. Love your children with a big hug, call your sister or brother to ask about their life, see if your parents need help with anything, and make time to reach out to a friend in need. But NEVER forget to love yourself! Light some candles and take a hot bubble bath. Celebrate life by being happy with what you have rather than what you don't. Maybe you have a hard life, but at least you've got one :)
Happy Valentine's Day to all!
Lynne van Buul