So Happy Birthday to me!
I really can't believe that I turned 27 today. Last week I read a piece that Annie wrote about her birthday. She said that turning was such a scary and daunting word, so she was choosing to twirl into the next year of life this time. I like that. And today, I've been twirling. Really.
Today really has been one of the best days I've had in a long time. And that's saying something for a work day. People have come out of the wordworks to wish me a Happy Birthday (even ESPN!) and I have felt so very loved. I even got flowers at work which, if you are a single girl, you know is a gift from heaven.
I'm not so much of an attention person (secretly, I am) but today, I've chosen to sit back and let God rain down his love and mercy over me through his people.
It really makes me laugh, and brings me to my knees, to see how far God has brought me in the last 20 years.
Twenty years ago, I gave my life to Christ. He came into my heart and took away my sin.
Ten years ago, I found myself on my way to college and falling quickly in love with a boy I'd never thought I'd see in a "romantical" way. Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of who the most important person in my life was supposed to be. First it became the boy, then it became me. I had forgotten that God, while loving and merciful, was a jealous God. And he frankly wasn't going to take it anymore.
Five years ago, God moved me out of my comfort zone and started working in the deep down yucky parts of my heart. He started by proving his faithfulness to me through provision and then he got down and dirty. He's shattered me like a clay pot and has been meticulously (there's a five million dollar word for you) been putting me back together. Slowly but surely.
He placed people in my life that weren't only teaching me from His Word but challenging me to put those teachings into practice. And that group of people ranges from pastors to close friends.
I read somewhere, and I think it might have been Jon Acuff's twitter, the following question and I may have shared this before. Does God have the right to crack the vessel if breaking it is the fastest way to share with the world what he poured into it?
My answer is a resounding yes.
I think along the way, I've been giving God a little piece of my life here and a little piece there. Recently, I just dumped it all into his big hands because that's where it should have been in the first place. For what I believe is the first time in my life, I'm stepping out on faith and leaving the rest up to Him. He knows better than I anyway.
I'd say 26 was an okay year, not without it's trials and hurts but I learned a lot from it. I'd say it was my growing pain year. (Emphasis on the pain.) Do you remember when you were little and your bones and your muscles would ache? You complained to your parents and they would diagnose it as growing pains. It hurt, but you came out on the other end of it stronger and maybe (not me) taller than you were before.
I know that I've still got my fair share of pains to endure. We all do. And they won't stop until we have reached the end of this life. And if they do stop, that means we've stopped growing in our relationships with each other and Jesus Christ.
However, if today is any indication of what 27 is going to look like, I'm quite pumped, to put it plainly. I see a lot of big things coming my way. One huge change, but one that will put me right where I need to be -- in the center of God's will.
I plan to take a lot of risks. Live life a little louder. And hope to make a difference for the glory of God the Father, in one way or another, everyday.
I listened to Francis Chan's last sermon yesterday and he said this: "There will be no cowards in Heaven."
I hope that when I reach the place of judgment, God looks down at me and can say, "Well done", because I dared to live radically for His namesake.