Happy birthday to me! :-) Each birthday we are given is a gift. It is a chance to rejoice in the life we’ve been given.
In Italian they say “Buon Compleanno!” it literally means happy completion of a year. Each birthday is a celebration of your life – of another year completed of your amazing life! It is a time to look back and thank God for the good and the bad, because all of it makes you who you are. And in fact, it is often the difficult and challenging times that perfect us and molds us in strength and beauty.
A year ago today, I was at a business event all day. I was eight months pregnant and in so much pain from my RA I could hardly walk. It always seems to flare up at the end of pregnancy. I had a difficult time holding back tears that day. That was one of the most challenging birthdays I have ever had. I didn’t feel exuberant and my main goal was: survival.
And survive I did! My youngest son was born this past year – and what an absolute joy he is! Such a happy baby!
Over the past few months, pain has crept back again and I have had to deny myself and really focus on keeping track of what I’m eating so that I can use food and not drugs to control it. It hasn’t been easy – it takes consistent, focused effort, constantly reminding myself of the reason I am choosing this way. But oh how badly I’ve craved chocolate and breads! But Lent is a good time for self denial and when comfort food is weighed against debilitating pain, I sigh and let it go, as sad as that it.
Yet, here I am today – celebrating another birthday! And you know what? It doesn’t matter! The challenges, the struggles, even the pain, don’t matter. All of that reminds me of one thing: life.
I am alive.
I have been given this life by God and have been saved by His Son. And I REJOICE! I really do!!
Today I am exuberant with JOY. I look back over the past year and then over the past 37 years and I rejoice. My life has been blessed. Has it been easy? Not always. Have I fallen? Plenty. Have I been forgiven? Absolutely, and I continue to seek forgiveness daily.
Life is not about perfection. Your past will have many faults, but if you look closely there are so many more blessings than struggles – so many more moments of grace and love. What has happened is a part of you – don’t shut it out; however, it does not need to dictate your future. You are free.
Every day is an occasion – RISE TO IT!
So, today I pause and look back in joy. I thank our Lord for the many blessings of my life and thank Him even more for the struggles, without which I would not have the fortitude, perseverance, courage, faithfulness and spunk I have today. Each person I encounter – YOU – are a blessing in my life. I pray for your intentions today. Never lose hope in the great love of our God! He is the only one who turns sadness into joy. He turns pain into happiness. I stand here today REJOICING in the freedom from the burden of pain! The cross of Christ is the road to eternal life; may God make us worthy.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes!