Yesterday was my birthday. I'm now 43 years old. -uff da-
I'd been working on a birthday rhyme to share with you. I do love a good rhyme ya know! I thought I'd write one about enjoying a birthday Starbuck's mocha.
Maybe I'd include a line or two, maybe three, about the increasing number of my gray hairs -BAH!- as well as my disbelief that the Husband and I are now parents of teenagers. What??
Okay so it's only one teenager and one almost teenager, but still. It happened so fast!
But I changed my mind.
Last year was a hard one. It brought a wide variety of struggles. It brought suffering, grief, and sorrow. There were strained relationships, financial setbacks, and loved ones in need. There were things hoped for that turned to disappointment. There was uncertainty and heartache. It was one big, never-ending storm!
Kind of a downer birthday blog isn't it?
My purpose in sharing this with you is to say - in the midst of the storm, it can be easy to allow the storm to become the focus. I don't want the storm to be my focus!
In the midst of the storm, I see that the Lord has blessed me with many gifts. I want those gifts to be my focus and those gifts are what I decided I'd like to share with you on this my 43rd -uff da- birthday.
Psalm 30:5b Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Jeremiah 31:13b For I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow.
I shed plenty of tears last year, I've no doubt I will shed plenty more, but God covers them with joy and laughter. Though my sorrow isn't gone, it is often close to the surface, but God has caused the root of my joy to grow deep in Him.
God gave me joy!
Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped! Therefore my heart greatly rejoices! And with my song I will praise Him!
Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!
Here I just need to give a WHOOP WHOOP!!
Though last year was very difficult, the Lord gave strength where I did not possess it on my own. He gave me peace that He remains in control! He gave me peace to surrender all to Him.
God gave me strength!
Psalm 29:11 The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.
God gave me peace!
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
The Lord gave me guidance through scripture. He covered me in truth. His word was a comfort.
God gave me truth!
Galatians 6:2a Bear one another's burdens.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him.
Though I believe the verse in Galatians wasn't exactly speaking to bearing with one another's heartache, it definitely applies. God surrounded me with loved ones who supported, encouraged, helped to carry the burden of my heartache, and loved with great compassion.
God surrounded me with His children, who loved with His unfailing love!
Philippians 4:19-20 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever! Amen.
There were disappointments last year, and there were setbacks, God always provided for my needs!
God met my needs!
The storm may rage, it cannot diminish the good gifts God has given!
How could I but thank Him and rejoice for a year in which He did so much that is good?
It was indeed a very good birthday!