I celebrated my birthday a couple weeks ago and as most of my friends know I become “pouty” on my actual birthday. I am super excited leading up to the day, but when the day happens I become pouty. Strange! I think it is due to the fact that the day has arrived and in less then 24 hours it will be over and I had expected to have fireworks, surprises, unicorns, a Mariachi band, and all of my friends and family in one place! (Obviously I am exaggerating when mentioning a unicorn! But you get the idea) It has been my goal each year to conquer my “poutiness” and I think this year I did!
I woke up on the day and determined in my heart to appreciate all that the day was to hold and that I would have no expectations. I had a coffee delivery from a friend and I went to my deck to enjoy my coffee and to journal. It was sunny and warm, and the feeling of thankfulness was starting to overwhelm me as I received messages from people saying the sweetest words. As I sat there on that day, I took stock of my life and where it was. I looked back at the last year and all that I had walked through and experienced. In writing, I wanted to express to God who He had been to me during a very difficult year. Part of my entry:
June 20th, 2015
Thank You for loving me, for leading and guiding me
For keeping silent at times and letting me search
For speaking and instructing
For holding me close through an unstable year
For letting me flail about, while still in the grasp of Your arms
For being peace
For being hope
For embracing my anger, hurt and pain when I threw it at You
For healing my heart slowly as to make sure that every crack, bruise and wound healed whole
For making me aware of a better way to love and communicate
For allowing me space to vacate my situation
For bringing an abundance of friendships
For showing me that You have the best for me
For letting me hear Your voice say, “I haven’t left you behind”
That evening my friends threw me the most amazing dinner. It was so heart warming to have my friends around one table eating, chatting and laughing. Good for the soul! I just wish that all my friends and family could be there (cue: pout)
My friends decided to go around the table and say what they appreciated and valued about me. It was such a hard task for me to do; to sit there and listen to words spoken in love from friends I do life with. (Info about me, I don’t do well receiving compliments…something I haven’t ever been good at) As I listened to the words with the most awkward smile and expression on my face, giving the slightest glance to the one speaking so they knew I was listening and receiving, something was happening inside of me. That something was healing. God knew that after walking through a very tough year where my value and worth were challenged, where lies were created in my mind, and where I had to rebuild my heart; He knew these words were healing to the deepest core of my being. I am not being dramatic when I write this, I am expressing the beauty of what happens when your friends speak life into you, affirm you, and go deep with you. Being vulnerable creates a connection that does so much more then we realize. On that day my friends created an atmosphere of healing, worth and value by speaking love to me.
It was an awkward, yet beautiful moment that I forced myself to sit through and truly receive from.
After everyone spoke, it was my turn. I returned the sentiments and spoke to my friends (even to the ones that weren’t present) and thanked them. I thanked them for walking and journeying with me through this last year. For listening, understanding, speaking wisdom and council, making me laugh, allowing me to cry, understanding my anger or sarcasm that was rooted in hurt, for loving and seeing me through. I told them I couldn’t have done it without them. They always knew my worth and value, they saw it the whole time, and I wanted them to know that their patience in letting me find it again was the most beautiful gift they could have given me on my birthday.
When I look back at this last year, through my heart’s eye, I see myself walking forward, surrounded by a group of stand up people who truly made the journey more valuable.
Your birthday is usually a day where you are the one celebrated, but I think it is actually a time to celebrate those in your life and look back at the year and thank God for all He has done for you.
I thought He was a silent partner this last year, but in fact He was the beautiful Potter that was reshaping me through my resistance and my surrender.
I didn’t expect that day to be the day where I took the biggest step forward.