I’ll come clean–I was going to skip blogging this week.
Yes, I had a birthday, but, well…I honestly just didn’t have too much to say about it this year. (I know, I know…which is surprising for this normally long-winded girl…)
Until there I was at the gym right before the fitness class started, chatting with my Zumba friends, and one of them mentioned that she wouldn’t be there Thursday night because she had a funeral to go to. Apparently her daughter’s friend had just finished his first year of college and he and a bunch of his friends were celebrating…by jumping off a bridge into a river. Well, her daughter’s friend drowned.
We all said our “I’m so sorry’s” and then the music began to play. Normally, my Zumba hour is my “let’s-pretend-I’m-on-a-professional-dance-team-and-actually-good-at-it” hour, but not tonight. I couldn’t follow along with my usual carefree-ness. I couldn’t stop thinking about that young man whose life was over when it had barely begun, and about his parents who were obviously sitting somewhere, completely devastated. Did he know the Lord?
And then my mind wandered to me…and to all of the incredibly stupid, stupid, stupid things I did back in the day, all in the name of “fun” or “celebration”…and how any of those things could have ended the way this man’s life did.
He has been so merciful to me.
He gave me another year. He has given me so many years. Thankfully my stupidity level has significantly decreased since a.) I surrendered my life to the Lord at 18 and b.) since I have gained a tiny bit of wisdom over the years (I found an ENORMOUS gray hair on my birthday…proof of my crown of wisdom, right?!!) but all those years of just being unwise…of feeling invisible…of thinking nothing could harm me…He was there. He kept me. He guarded me and protected me. Every.Single.Time I hear a story of how someone’s mistakes early on are wreaking havoc in their lives today, I hit my knees in my heart as I listen. Because that could have been me. No, that SHOULD have been me, save for the grace of God.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:8-10).
I have been saved not only from physical death, but from spiritual and emotional death. I have been saved from living a life of immorality, I have been saved from the death of anger, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment and fear. I have been saved from the chains of insecurity and confusion and hopelessness. He saved me. I am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.
Thank you, Lord, for teaching me to walk in them. Thank you for giving me another year to do so.
“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13).
Cheers to another year of knowing and loving the Lord with all of my heart. And cheers to my dear (local) friends and my precious, precious family!!
These two…they are SO into wrapping presents. Daily I will find a new “present” to open and inside is one (or many) of my possessions. Selah literally gets so excited to watch me open one of these “presents” that she shakes and squeals with delight from her tippy toes on up. Here, Selah wrapped up tons of our crafting stuff. When I opened it and delighted over the array of tape and crayons and markers, she just beamed with pride :). Oh, how I love her!!!! And Elliott made me this puppet out of an old vitamins box! CUTE!!!
And, a birthday date with this man and some lobster-stuffed shrimp. Mmmmm……
How about you? If you’re reading this, He’s given YOU another day. Have you seen His mercies? Have you received the free, undeserving gift of salvation?
With much love,
The gray-haired, birthday girl 🙂