Today is my birthday. I have lived 38 years. 38 happy, wonderful, scary, sad, hard, emotional, short, long years. Tomorrow starts year 39. I am not as afraid of it as I thought I would be. I am not celebrating it with who I thought I would be. Year 38 has been one of the longest, yet shortest years, so far. The hardest, but yet sprinkled with lots of good, holy hard. Nothing I ever asked for or imagined, yet full of some of my greatest spiritual, eternal growth. And isn't that really what this Christian, Christ-following, sanctifying life is really all about?
Death will do that to you. It will show you what matters and what doesn't. What is worth your time and what isn't. What is eternal and what will fade away like the melting snow. It sharpens your vision and, eventually, your focus (I am still waiting for that last part!) I never dreamed my Kevin would not be beside me for a birthday. Especially this one. And the next one. And the next one. I was looking forward to seeing what he would inevitably do to surprise me when I hit 40 (and how he'd rub it in that I got there four years before him.) We won't celebrate together today (though he's certainly celebrating, but it has nothing to do with my birthday. Jesus trumps that in every way!) There are no grand, selfless plans of providing water or Bibles or shoes or handing out gift cards with my birthday this year. I admit, I am being totally selfish. I whisked the kids away and we're having some fun, just the three of us, and it's just how I want it today.
What I want has changed so much in year 38. Making people think our lives are perfect and wonderful is a ludicrous thought now. I can't believe I ever thought that was important. Showing only the best moments and leaving out all the real ones is just ridiculous to me on this side of addiction and death. Being real, raw, and honest is the only way to truly live. The only way to truly be able to draw close to my Savior and let Him bring the healing, rest, joy, and peace that I need to be able to keep putting one foot in front of the other each day.
Are the days hard? Yes. Is this life impossible without Kevin by my side? No. Why? Because the Lord hems me in, before and behind. The Lord of Hosts has an angel army surrounding me that is far greater than anything satan throws my way. The Lord has seen all my days before even one of them was lived. The Lord is my Rock and my Salvation.
So, as I take my first steps into year 39 on this whirling, twirling planet, I have a theme song. A song to sing over every one of these coming days. I first heard this song toward the end of last year, and liked it, but didn't think much of it. Today, every word is just for me. Every word is what I am begging God to help me live out over the next 365 days as I inch another year closer to 40. Another year closer to seeing Kevin again. Another year closer to meeting my Savior face to face. Oh, how I want to serve Him well with the time I have left on this earth. Some days I just don't understand why we can't just go to heaven as soon as we're saved and skip all this hard, painful, earthly living. Some days I know that without this hard, painful, earthly living there's no way I'd love my Savior or see the deep love in what He's done for me.
This year, I'm not looking back to who I was because I'm gonna be someone I've never been.