Today is my birthday. Historically it’s been a miserable day for me with a past marked by really bad stuff happening on THE DAY. So bad that the details aren’t boring. But I’m not going to share those details, because that’s not what this post is about. What this IS about is how this day was created to be a glorious, jubilant day of celebration.
But the celebration almost didn’t happen.
A few days ago I started feeling bad, lost, desperate and without hope. I was hearing FAILURE everywhere I went. But I’ve been here before, so I know that I know that I know that what I was feeling and what I was hearing was not from God. But still, I had to tell Him about it.
I said, I’m lost.
He said, No. You’re not. You’re right on track.
(Really? Hmm.) So then I had to ask, Okay… so then HOW am I NOT lost?
I’ve never gotten a more specific answer ever in my life, than THAT answer to THAT question. First I got a history and heritage lesson, complete with a vast amount of details, all explaining why I was feeling the way I was feeling. (He directed me to a post someone had just written.) To keep it simple, let’s just say what I was feeling goes with that old saying, “Must be something in the air,” and that air was flowing from the current season of time on the Jewish calendar. I’m half Jewish so I was picking up on the air big time. And it wasn’t good.
God showed me how this season of time on the Jewish calendar was typically honored by Jews with fasts and deep mourning. Their mourning puts their attention on the many tragic events and great loss that occurred during this calendar season. I didn’t know about this history, but since my own history had its own tragic events, it was tempting to agree with the feelings of failure and despair in the air.
But God is a redeemer and my history is history. I’m pretty much over it. But now that I was remembering it again, I was reminded that God is always redeeming and giving back what was taken away from me. My birthday is supposed to be a time of celebration! Not mourning. And usually if I’m hammered hard in a particular area (or day on the calendar) that means THAT area is where God has stored the most good stuff. For me! For the good life and plan He has for me!
So hope started to rise when He showed me do the opposite of what Jews typically do to honor this season on their calendar. Instead of remembering the tragic and real history of my life, honor the history of God in my life instead! Look at the good stuff!!!
So I did. I focused on His history with me and HOW He has loved me. Not the, “how,” as in “how much,” but the, “how” of His ways and His means.
The moment I made this decision, the despair, the sense of being lost, just vanished, vaporized. But now I wanted to fill that space with God’s love for me. I was desperate to FEEL it, yet I knew I couldn’t make it happen. That was up to God. All I could do was follow His leading.
So I’ve spent the last two days reviewing His history of all the ways and of all the means of HOW He has loved me. There’s a song called, “Oh How He Loves Us,” and it talks about God’s love being like a hurricane of jealousy for us, a force that bends but does not break. As my list continued, going back in time forward to the present, His love and the power of His love kept getting bigger and bigger in my eyes. As the view in my eyes got bigger, so did the love I was feeling from Him towards me.
See, when He first found me, I was under mountains of shame, brokenness and fear, and I wanted to stay under the mountains, hidden and unseen, full of apology. And yet… I longed, I ached, for more. For greatness, to be seen, to know and to be known for who I truly am. As I continued reviewing God’s history of loving me, it was like watching an action adventure movie of my life, seeing his strength and often violent purpose, as He relentlessly moved in my life, tossing one mountain after another into the sea, calling me out, the real me, the me who has no reason to apologize for anything!
The real me who’s created to shine, to bless, but to never be used.
Along the way He’s called me by many names: Chosen, Gatekeeper, Songbird, Beloved, Daughter, Holy, Faithful, Delight, Deep, Starfish, Pool Maker, Phosphorous, Luminous One and Spring. I think the list could go very long, but I’d have to go digging through journals and memories. But I’m not doing that now.
Because I have a birthday to celebrate.
So. Today is my birthday. I feel reborn once again and filled with His love. This day created by God is a day of amazement and wonder. This IS the day the Lord has made and I AM GLAD TO CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY, TO CELEBRATE THAT I WAS MADE BY HIM FOR MORE!’
Shining in 2013,
Carla Porter writes, sings, designs architectural interiors and loves God, all in Los Angeles, California.
© 2013, Carla Porter and Whisper of Grace, all rights reserved.