Sunday, September 22, 2013

It's My Birthday! ~

Today is my Birthday! I turned the big 4-0. 40. Forty.

I can't believe it because I still feel really young in a lot of ways. I only have 1 gray hair. For real. I still like to color with Crayons. I still like cartoons (Tom & Jerry). I like sprinkles on my cakes. I want hugs from Mama and Daddy. My Mama is the first one I call when I'm sick and don't know what to do.  I still like all those things - but I'm 40.
The past five years have taught me a lot. They say that into everyone's life a little rain must fall. A little rain is desirable.
A lot of rain can drown you. 
And that is where I finally found myself, right before my biggest birthday - drowning. Drowning in sorrow, drowning in doubt, gasping for breath. I begged God to help me and all was silent...

I combed through the past 5 years... both the good and the bad and it was no comfort.

My husband left and left me with all the bills - I was able to recover and even remarry.
Lost my job - I almost lost everything but didn't.
I got cancer - I regained my health.
I had a miscarriage - still searching for the silver lining on that one...

I was mad. Hopping mad. I read things like "The teacher is always quietest during the test" and "When you are down to nothing, God is up to something" and grew more bitter by the minute. Through everything I had said, "God is good" and now I wanted to eat my own words. My thoughts were that I'd used the God thing when I needed to make some kind of sense of my world. I changed my mind and said, "If God was good, then something would go right in my life. People who didn't want babies would stop having them and I would get one. I would not have to go for a cancer scan every 6 months. I would be able to have the bills paid without a struggle every single month. God is not good." Furthermore, the stuff that I had given credit to God for, I took it all back. That scholarship, the time I did get pregnant, the acceptance letter into nursing school, the positive report on my scan - all of it was just coincidence, I said. I no longer felt like a daughter of the King. God could just leave me alone and I would leave Him alone. And, in my anger, that is how I felt.

And then, the greatest loneliness I've ever known settled over me. I was hopeless. I knew God existed, I just didn't think he cared about me. I was too tired to keep on trying and trusting and I wanted to curl up under the juniper tree... and I was right where the enemy wanted me.

And God said, "I know."
I said, "If you know, then why don't YOU fix it?"
He said, "You won't let me."
I said, "Here! Take it and do something! Why are you letting me stress like this?!"
He said, "Really?? Seriously?"
I said, "Yes! You see me floundering around out here!" (Big Eye Roll)
And He said, "Well, no need to flounder. No need to stress. No need to get mad at me because YOU have trust issues..."

Ok, that's not exactly how the conversation went. But it was similar. And then I started feeling like a real jackass. My stubbornness had gotten me nowhere. I was angry for no reason. People who had no faith recognized I had lost mine - and pointed it out. What a shame...

But that happened when I was 39. Today I'm 40. I have more wisdom today than I had yesterday when I was only 39. Today... I woke up with a brand new perspective.

I read this verse today also.  This was Paul as he was speaking to the Corinthian believers.

II Corinthians 1:8-9
"We do not want you to be uniformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experience in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead."
We don't really know what happened. I'm not aware that the Bible really tells what Paul went through but, whatever it was, the pressure was so great he didn't know if he would survive. However, the part that stood out to me was the last part. "It happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God."

Please don't tell me that it has taken 5 years for me to realize that I can't rely on myself. But if it has, then it is a lesson worth learning. And God in His goodness didn't let me drown after all.

So it's my Birthday. And the most valuable gift is knowing that I don't have control over anything. And I don't have to control anything. All I have to do it step out of the way and let God. Happy 40th to me~!