Today I am 53 years old!
Although I am not so excited about my body getting older, I thank God for the many gifts He has generously given throughout my entire life. Because He has blessed me with so much – mercy, grace, compassion – I am refusing to stay the same. I want God to continue to grow me, change me, and mold me. I don’t want to make the same mistakes year after year, but I want to learn from and overcome them. I realize that God is doing a new thing in me each year, so I dare not look over my shoulder and dwell on past mistakes.
Psalm 139 says it is God who created us, and as a result, we should praise Him. Our birthdays should be a day spent thanking God that He created us and celebrating that He has protected us and allowed us to see another birthday. He has ordained our days and brought them to pass.
For years, I’ve heard women tease about their age and joke about being “forever 29.” In my opinion, age means credibility. Age means another year of life that God has blessed me with, and it beats the alternative (death). I do understand the anxiety some can feel when they realize they have fewer days in front than those that are behind. But there is a bright side to this truth. I would rather be the age I am now, than to be in my 20s and 30s again, still trying to figure out life, still needing to learn the lessons God has already taught me, and still making the mistakes I no longer want to repeat. This is the age where I can truly thank God for lessons learned, experiences gained, and wisdom that comes from living life.
There is another thing that comforts me, especially on days when I can’t figure myself out or understand why God would want to call me His own. He was the God of my childhood, the God of my teenage years, the God of my honeymoon and parenting years. And He is now the God of the second half of my life, just as He was in the first half. God has seen my life from beginning to end, and as I’m in the second half of it inching toward the end, He is there to guide me to the finish line. For this reason, I can be content to “forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize,” which is the best gift of all: to be eternally present with the Lover of my soul! These days, I live with eternity on my mind like never before.
With all that being said, I am reminded that my Birthday isn’t really about me. Rather, it’s about God and His work. He is the One who created me, the One who has protected me, and the One who has used people to shape, guide and grow me. My birthday shouldn’t be a day of selfishness, but a day spent thanking and praising God for all that he has done and for all the people He has used in my life.
I sit and bask in His grace that has been laced with so much love and favor.