Candy hearts. Chocolate kisses. Red roses. Yep. Tomorrow must be Valentine’s Day. It can be a great day for those who are in love. For those who are not, an entire holiday dedicated to romance can be a little (okay a lot!) discouraging.
I know that many of the readers of this blog are single. You have written to tell us that you are committed to God’s will when it comes to romance. To you I send out a colossal pat on the back. (I’d send you each a bag of chocolate if I could!) I know that waiting isn’t easy, especially when the whole world seems to be celebrating being in love.
That’s why I wanted to tell you Stephanie’s story. Stephanie knows what it’s like to wait for love. She also knows the rewards of waiting well with her eyes on Jesus. If you find yourself waiting this Valentine’s Day, be encouraged by Stephanie. She’d tell you that spending a few Valentine’s Days alone is a small price to pay for letting God write your love story.
Meet Stephanie. She’s my super-talented, super-fun, music-loving friend. She also happens to be thirty-nine years old. Oh, and she’s single. She’s been faithfully waiting for God to bring her the right man at the right time for a long time.
Several years ago, Stephanie decided to do something while she waited. She started collecting pennies. I’ve been with Stephanie when she’s seen a penny on a sidewalk. Watch out! Little old ladies and small children best not stand between Stephanie and a penny. That’s because for sixteen years Stephanie has put the pennies she finds in a jar. For more than six years she has saved every single penny she comes across. When she puts a penny in a jar, she prays this prayer:
Jesus, thank You that You are going to bring me the man of my dreams in Your timing. When You do, I will cash in these pennies to buy his wedding band.
The pennies keep Stephanie’s heart focused on God. Every penny is a reminder that God is good . . . He is faithful . . .He can be trusted. The pennies have become a reminder to trust, to wait patiently, and put her hope in God.
Stephanie isn’t the only one who needs this reminder. As people heard about Stephanie’s penny collection, they remembered that they are also called to put their hope in God and to wait patiently for His plan to unfold. They started sending her pennies as a thank-you. She has pennies in her penny jar from all over the world.
Stephanie has waited a long time. She’s collected a lot of pennies—over 20,000 to be exact.
Then one day last year, Stephanie met Eloy. (Eloy happens to be a super-talented, super-fun, music-loving guy!)
I happened to be in the room for that electric introduction. Sparks flew, but they were tempered by two hearts that had learned long ago to let God call the shots. After that day, Stephanie and Eloy prayerfully moved forward. They sought wise guidance from others who committed to pray. They looked to God for direction every step of the way.
God’s direction led to a diamond ring.
Next month, Stephanie will walk down the aisle to the groom she has waited so long for. Her promise will change from agreeing to faithfully wait on God’s timing to agreeing to faithfully be the wife God has called her to be. She will still need to put her hope in God. She will still need to keep her eyes on Him. And He will prove that He is still faithful, every step of the way.
What happens to the pennies? Well, Stephanie has officially cashed them in to buy Eloy’s wedding ring. On the inside she had these words inscribed, "Ur Worth Every Penny!"
I don’t know how many Valentine’s Days you will spend without a valentine, but I do know this: God is faithful. He can be trusted. His plan is what’s best for you. This year, instead of pining for love or pushing for romance, let me encourage you to start a penny collection of your own. Grab a jar. Toss in some pennies, and offer this prayer.
Jesus, I want You to be in charge of my love life. If it’s Your will, please bring me a man who loves You in Your timing. While I wait, I want You to know that You are my treasure.