Sarah held the Valentine in her hands, all the while her mind going back in time. She thought of that Valentine week so very long ago. She could see her husband standing before her, all smiles and loving twinkles in his eyes. Jerry had always been much more sentimental than most men, bringing her flowers, candy, and cards for no reason at all. But this, this card was more beautiful and special than Sarah had ever beheld, with it’s heart shaped cut, lace trimmed edges, and flowering printed words expressing great and everlasting love. She never could get herself to throw the card out, even after….
Jerry took Sarah in his arms and danced her around the room. He lifted her high in the air whirling and whirling her around. Sarah giggled and Jerry heaved out a hearty laugh. Then in an instant he was down and clutching his chest and arm. “Jerry! Jerry!” Sarah called out. She tried everything she knew to bring Jerry around. She called 911. By the time the medics had arrived Jerry was gone.
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven; a time to be born and a time to die” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2b NKJV)
After Jerry’s funeral, Sarah placed the Valentine in a tissue lined box and stored it in her hope chest. Every Valentine Day, she would take it out and lovingly hold it in her hands, remembering the love that it represented, and remembering the sweet young Christian husband who had given it to her.
Sarah had experienced the best and never thought she would ever meet another man that she would want to marry. Then a year ago, a visiting Pastor at her local church caught her eye, and he her. He was single and had been praying for God to send him a help mate. A woman to encourage him, stand by him, and most of all love him.
Sarah and Nathan knew in a few short months that they wanted to be husband and wife. With that in their hearts and having prayed for God’s wisdom, they quickly turned their courtship into their engagement. Nathan chose Valentine Day for their wedding day. That request just about annulled the engagement, as Sarah had not yet given to the Lord her pain for that fateful Valentine Day that took her beloved Jerry away.
“A time to weep,
and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3: 4 NKJV)
Sarah quietly knelt beside her bed that evening of Nathan’s request. She prayed, “Heavenly Father, I know that Nathan’s request is one that I should grant, but how do I replace the mourning I have in my heart for the loss on that day of that week? How do I replace one husband for another, without sacrificing the love I have for one, for another?”
“Sarah, my child” God whispered. “I want you to embrace your new life with your new husband, and end your embracing of the past. I gave you Jerry for a season, and now I give you Nathan.”
“A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing” (Ecclesiastes 3:5b NKJV)
Sarah lovingly held the Valentine in her hand. She read its words one last time, and let the words of love seep deep into her heart. They landed in the special place that only Jerry resided. There they would remain just to keep the memory of the precious gift of God that his life had been for a season.
Sarah felt the slide, like the slide of Jerry’s hand caressing her hand, as she let the card fall over the mountain edge. It floated away giving Sarah release to go into her future.
“A time to keep,
And a time to throw away” (Ecclesiastes 3: 6b)
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