Today is my birthday. As we grow older, birthdays seem to mean less and less. But every year I stop and look back at my life. All I’ve accomplished. All I have been through. And this year, that leaves me thinking of you.
You see, we all have our own stories. We all have different experiences, different pasts, and different presents. But we all have a lot in common too. So today, I want to share some of my story. As I was thinking about what to share I thought of a lot of things I could share.
I could tell you that I am a cancer survivor, that I have a prosthetic, and the teasing I endured as a child because of it. I could focus on the guilt I felt from my parents’ divorce. The shame I felt after being abused by my step-father.
I could tell you about how my first husband cheated on me and then left me for the other woman.
I could tell you that my son was born with cancer and will most likely be legally blind before he turns 18.
I could share a story of emotional and physical abuse.
It could be a story of hurts and heart-aches.
It could be a story of my own sins and failures.
I could focus on how horrible I am at cleaning house, or my fear of public speaking.
I could tell you about all the times I have let my anger get the best of me.
But my story is really the story of Jesus.
It’s the story of how no matter what my life looked like — whether I was a victim or a villain — Jesus loved me through all of it and considers me righteous despite of it.
And the really awesome thing is, whether you see it or not, that’s the story of your life, too.
Whether we are a victim or a villain, Jesus loved us through all of it & considers us righteous despite of it.
Each of the experiences I shared above was enough to knock me off my feet. Each of them has brought me down. But because of Jesus, I didn’t have to stay down. Because of Jesus, I was able (I am able) to get back up. I can dust myself off and keep moving forward. Not because I am a strong woman (I’m not), but because of Christ.
My strength comes from knowing that this world is not all there is, and it’s not about me. No matter what happens in life, I know that Jesus is king. And I know my purpose is to honor Him.
My life up to now, it has all been about learning about God’s goodness. It’s been about seeing the gospel in action, and learning what that really means.
So as this birthday comes and goes, I pray that my years are not about me at all. I pray that Christ can use my struggles and successes to bring Him glory. Because there will come a day when I will run out of birthdays. When this world fades away, and I don’t want to leave a legacy. I don’t want people to honor my memory. I want them to remember how great God is.
As I look forward, I pray that the theme of my life wouldn’t change. That it would all be for Jesus.
That’s my birthday wish.
That my life would point to Jesus.