Happy Day? HAPPY DAY!
Good Day, Friends! It's a beautiful August day...not just any August day for me...it's August 28th, my Birthday!
We all have birthdays and we all like to feel thought of, special, pampered a bit and very much celebrated. But what happens if those things don't happen for most of us? What if these desires of being treated a certain way by others on "our special day" just doesn't play out the way that we expected them to?
Let's rewind a bit so that you can understand where I am coming from and the ever changing growth that is happening within my heart and the new-found clarity of what I see in regards to my birthday.
Here we go...
as a child I would be eagerly awaiting my summer birthday planning in my head of what it would be like for that particular year. What color crepe paper to get and how many rolls should be bought for my mom to twist and tape upon the wall? How many balloons will hang from the curly ribbon that drapes across randomly in our backyard? What gifts will I be getting this year? And cake...let's not forget the awesome designs of yesteryear that held fantastic works of art to a kids eye!! The days come and go...MY DAY is almost here...pure excitement awakens me as the morning dawns!
Later on, guests arrive (mostly family with a sprinkle of neighborhood friends.) Presents are piling high (really it was a small amount and not always elaborate things but thoughtful and treasured treats) The chatting and catching up of grown-ups begin, kids running around carelessly and freely about --laughing and having a great time. Good times, right?
Well, it always was great times until...
Until, like clockwork, something very dramatic that I never truly understood would happen. Confusion, conflict, fear, concern would fill my mom's face. Dad would be missing from my party and I began to feel all that was shown on my mom's face. Adults would huddle around my mom and/or scurry about. Party was no longer in the forefront of things...it...I was placed on hold, put aside until all else could be figured out and taken care of. The party often times ended with me being with relatives at their home or Grandma's. Them trying to make the best of the situation and trying to whisper their voices and mask their faces of concern for what was going on.
Pictures would be taken of me that captured a little girl on someone's lap displaying the gifts that were unwrapped trying to force a smile upon my splotchy red face with tear stained cheeks.
This was my typical birthday for many years. It never stopped me from dreaming that the next year would be better and even more brilliant that I could ever imagine. However, that was not the case.
Years pass by and now I can control what I get to do to celebrate my birthday. Believe me, I chose to go do what I wanted and do my own planning of my parties. I was bound to have a fantastic time. Those birthdays were better than those of my younger years, but I still felt empty, unthought of and not worth being celebrated.
Even more years pass and now I am married. Surely things are bound to be even better when it comes to celebrating...ME! Should be easy for my husband to meet all that I expect my birthday should hold...ummm....NO! For just about 9 years of our marriage,by the end of my birthday I was again red faced with tear stained cheeks, but this time I would be the one to leave going for a drive and wondering why it is so difficult for others to celebrate ME. I'd always end up asking God the infamous question...WHY? The answer...silence...nothing.
It was the following year that I went to a retreat of sorts and during one of the chapel times the minister invited those who have been wounded emotionally, struggling with hurts and having a hard time forgiving others to come forward. Well, well, well...let me tell you I wanted to leap to the front after his invitation but it took three more times of him making this invitation for me to reluctantly move forward to the front.
As I did, I walked with my head held down using everything within me to keep it together...let them pray for me and then dash back to my seat. God is good all the time and all the time God is good! He had different plans, better plans. As I stood head held low, a man's voice softly spoke as his hand rests upon the top of my shoulder. His words were simple, yet powerfully healing! He said, "God loves you and celebrates you everyday, not just on your special day." WHAT?! I wanted to quickly look upward to see who spoke these words but God wrapped Himself around me and spoke to my heart. Now standing alone, weeping, feeling Gods strong yet gentle arms around me He said,
"Christy, I know how very sad you have been on your birthdays. I know that you have not felt that you were worthy enough to even be celebrated by others. Let me tell you, I was present with you, right by your side at every one of those birthdays. I celebrated you and sang over you! I wept with you holding you close to me. I love you, Christy. I will always be with you. Happy Birthday!"
Such healing in an instance. Growth and change of my heart, attitude and where I fix my eyes is an on-going beautiful process.
What I've learned in the years since that healing is freeing, beautiful and the most precious gift that I can ever receive. I realized that as an adult I was setting such high, unrealistic, unattainable expectations for others to try their best to meet. Of course, they were never met because they weren't meant to or even capable to meet these ridiculous expectations that I had set. God showed me that it is He that gave me the gift of life to be celebrated. He revealed to me that He desires for my eyes to opened and fixed upon Him and my mind to be enlightened by His Truth that I may know and understand that I have a rich glory of inheritance in God. He showed me that I needed to release myself from the prison of my human expectations and reasoning. I needed to stop believing that I was not worthy of being gloriously blessed or celebrated. My thoughts of considering myself an outcast, one whom no one seeks after or cares about needed to be erased from my mind.
I celebrate Him for this precious gift of life and treasure the many gifts that He gives me each and every day of my life. He's given me the gift of family, friends, health, church family, freedom, love and HIM!! When God healed my wounds, He released me from my chains that imprisoned me and replaced it with arms of Love. What more could a girl want! Well, this girl is lacking nothing and is appreciative that she serves a God who is faithful and always my present...my GO-TO-GUY! He's healed me from all my hurts, disappointments and sadness. God holds me snugly. His thoughts of me are love. His plans for me are very good. His dreams for me are higher than I can ever imagine. I am His and He is mine! I choose to celebrate the life that He has gifted me with and share this life with others around me. My birthday wish is to be a light to others that they may see Christ in me as I live this beautiful life that God has richly blessed me with!
"By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints, and [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength..." Ephesians 1:18-20 AMP
I would like to close with a lovely old hymn that speaks so dear to my heart:
Take My Life and Let It Be
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to The; take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy Love. Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee; take my voice and let me sing always only, for my King. Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold; take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my will, and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine; take my heart, it is Thine own, it shall be They royal throne. Lord, I give my life to Thee, Thine forevermore to be; Lord, I give my life to Thee, Thine forevermore to be."
Take care and be blessed,