So, it’s birthday day. Normally these can be accompanied by a slightly grumpy Kath, my inner 3 year old can have the upper hand as the greed monster in me proclaims I want more. I want more love, more affection, more stuff, more more more. Ugh. Also in a day of over expectations the perfectionist in me pipes up and proclaims that the only way to enjoy the day is to spend it in a different way from the one in front of me, the only way to enjoy the day will be if it’s perfect in every way. Again I say ugh.
What is the point of birthdays after all? I watched the excellent Sue Perkins and Lisa Tarbuck on their dangerous road epic through Vietnam and Laos last night. They met people who didn’t even know how old they were. What’s the point in marking such a day in a world where you are just trying to survive? Birthdays are weird things. I’m torn between thinking they should be the perfect day and just ignoring it all together.
I think there is a better way to mark the event of me being on this earth for 34 years. It’s not in a getting more stuff fest, it’s not in creating the perfect moments, it’s not in ignoring the day all together. It’s in seeing the hand of the one who has carried me this far. I’ve not made it through those 34 years without the presence of the one who has promised to complete his work in me. I’ve had crazy years, hard times, I’ve seen massive change in my life and circumstances, I’ve had normal stable years, I’ve lived life and been held onto tightly by the one who breathed the stars into the sky. I can’t claim much credit for that. He’s done massive change in my heart over those years, has brought me from moody teenage darkness, into flourishing 20s, through heartache and pain, through friendships and joy, into marriage and pregnancy land, through the twisty turns that both those things brought. He’s helped me realise I am a beautiful woman who belongs to him. He’s helping me realise these things more and more.
So this birthday really belongs to him. Psalm 71 is one I always start my birthdays with now. It says brilliant things like this:
For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you. I have become like a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge. My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long; Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.
The day belongs to the one who has brought me this far. The hope today lies in the one who will bring me home. I’m being taken away this afternoon by the excellent Husbandface for some fun surprise times over night. I’m very delighted by this and I hope to be free from the need for perfect moments. I hope to remember as I fall asleep tonight that today has been excellent not because of the greetings, the cards or presents (all of which are lovely) but because I have a God who does not let go of me despite my stubborn proud heart and who will not let go of me in the years to come. Here’s to another year of discovering the depth and wonder of that.