Every year around Valentine’s day I have lots of friends who complain about their poor, sad, miserable little love lives. And you know what? Their love lives are poor, sad, and miserable. Mostly because that is how they choose to see it.

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Sometimes I get sad and upset too. I”m lonely. I want to date someone. I could spend all of my time fussing and whining about my attraction to men and how it isn’t fair that I have to live my life and not be able to date those to whom I am attracted. While it is better than in years past, I still crave a relationship with a man. But I have decided that I will not live a gay lifestyle because I believe that it isn’t pleasing to God.

How do you deal with that? How can you be happy when you don’t feel happy? Simple. You choose to. I know it sounds too easy, but it really does work. I learned this lesson (or at least started learning it) from a book I read in high school. It is my favorite non-scriptural text. I recommend it to everyone. It is a book called The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (I put the link here so you will go buy it. You know you want to.).

It is the amazing true story of Corrie Ten Boom, her sister Betsie, and their father. They lived in Holland during the time of World War two. At the beginning of the war, they saw the oppression of the Jews and knew that they were God’s children and what was happening to them was wrong. So they made their house a hiding place for the fugitive Jews and helped smuggle them out of the country. Eventually they were caught and the three of them were sent to a concentration camp.

I remember reading the book for the first time and being amazed at the attitude that Corrie and Betsie had. Betsie in particular was so positive. She thanked God for every little mercy, for the smallest grace. At one point their barracks had lice, for which the sisters both thanked their Heavenly Father. Why? Because the lice kept the guards from entering the barracks and the women were able to read the small bible that they had smuggled in. In the midst of such horror, they were still grateful.

Their story always makes me think of a hymn, one which has become increasingly more important to me. Taken from the 23rd Psalm, the fourth verse (my favorite) says:

In the midst of affliction my table is spread.
With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o’er.
With perfume and oil thou anointest my head.
Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?
Oh, what shall I ask of thy providence more?
(You can listen here)

I learned from Corrie and Betsie that I can either focus on the bad things and be miserable or I can rejoice in the fact that my cup runneth over with blessings. I have so much to be grateful for! We all do! And quite frankly, to let the fact that you don’t have that “special someone” in your life make you miserble is a mockery of the love that everyone who does love you feels. I refuse to cheapen the relationships I have with others because I don’t have everything I want. It’s just plain childish.

I don’t mean to chastise. Being alone is hard. I know. But there is so much more to life! So much beauty and love to be shared with the people around you! And when I still feel alone or unloved, I remind myself that my Savior Jesus Christ loves me. He loves me infinitely and so much more completely than anyone else.

The Lord is my shepherd and I shall not want. Happy Valentine’s day!

 
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