By Jeremy Reynalds, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NM (February 7, 2018) — With Valentine’s Day just around the corner (Wednesday, February 14), I wondered if our Joy Junction guests had any special plans for the day.
We asked them, “Will you be celebrating with your partner/significant other while you’re staying at Joy Junction? If so, what do you have in mind and how easy will it be to accomplish?”
One woman told us that she will be spending Valentine’s Day alone this year “because I came to Joy Junction to get my life back together.”
Roseanna said, “I really haven’t thought about Valentine’s Day because with my problems with memory I can only think about today.”
Josie said she and her husband hope to do something special if he doesn’t have to work. It will also be their 10th wedding anniversary.
She said if things do work out they would like to have a nice dinner somewhere.
Josie added, “We plan to place the Lord first in our marriage, always praying for reconstruction in fixing what needs to be fixed in the flaws in our marriage, one day at a time.”
Another woman said she would love to have dinner with her husband and “alone time.”
“I have not celebrated Valentine’s Day in a long time and I am not used to it, but I would love to be surprised and feel special because I know I am doing well and I want to feel it.”
Someone else said she doesn’t have a significant other so it will be spent with friends, while another person commented, “For Valentine’s Day it is just going to be me, myself and I. Thanks for reminding me. Ha. Ha. Just kidding I actually love being alone, because it gives me more Jesus and me time.”
One person plans on saving a few of the gift checks they receive for being part of our life recovery program at Joy Junction and having dinner as a married couple or taking the family out to eat dinner.
One guy said the idea of a dollar movie with his wife and kids sounds good, but he’s not entirely sure yet if that will happen.
He added, “If nothing happens with my immediate family I will be spending it with my brothers and sisters here at Joy Junction as well as with my main father, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This person had an interesting perspective. “Everyone here is my significant other and I will be celebrating Valentine’s Day by showing my love for my Joy Junction family as I always do, by serving them. I truly love my Joy Junction family.”
Victoria said she will not be celebrating Valentine’s Day with anyone at Joy Junction.
She added, “It will only be with my immediate family whenever we reunite or when I go home. It is personal between my family and loved ones. I am still missing them.”
Shannon said she will spend Valentine’s Day with “my number one love, like I do every day Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. He is the king of my heart.”
She said she will also enjoy dinner and a movie with friends at Joy Junction.
Another person said, “I will use Valentine’s Day to remind me to tell my family that I love them. I (do) try and tell them when I can.”
This person was very direct. “I have never liked Valentine’s Day even when I was with someone. I will be spending that day here at Joy Junction. I have nothing planned or in mind, so that will be easy to accomplish.”
This response was my favorite. “I would love nothing more to be with my partner, but we will be separated by physical locations. I know that we will come together in God’s timing. I will just spend time with my friends … and then I will take time to spend time with my heavenly father. (He) gave me the greatest valentine of all, His Love, and the gift of eternal life through His one and only son so that I might receive the best Valentine gift ever.”
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and please remember to take a moment to say a prayer for everyone who will spend it at Joy Junction.
Photo caption: 1) Valentine’s Day illustration (www.destinyusa.com). 2) The late Joy Junction Chaplain Gene Shiplet joins Elma and Jeremy Reynalds in marriage on March 27. 2015. 3) A recent picture of Jeremy and Elma Reynalds.
About the writer: Jeremy Reynalds, who was born in Bournemouth, UK, is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico’s largest emergency homeless shelter, www.joyjunction.org. He has a master’s degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in La Mirada, California. One of his more recent books is “From Destitute to Ph.D.” Additional details on the book are available at www.myhomelessjourney.com. His latest book is “Two Hearts One Vision,” is available at www.twoheartsonevisionthebook.com. Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with his wife, Elma. For more information, please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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