We all have one every year. A birthday. Some of us dread them and some of us, mostly children, start talking about our “day” six months in advance. This day, 1 of 365, is always a bit different than other days. Even if you’re a person who isn’t excited about your day, you can’t help but feel a difference. It’s not ordinary. You can’t pretend it’s a regular day. Your birthday has a way of forcing you to evaluate.
Now, this evaluation, whether the duration is a few minutes or extends for a longer period of time, can cause a person to have multiple emotions almost simultaneously. Joy, sadness, love, amusement, anger, happiness. Indifference is also an option, but I would wager that most of us, after looking back over an entire year of our life, do not feel indifferent about it. Looking back stirs up feelings of some kind. In addition, I would say that you cannot look back over your last year of existence and have only one kind of emotion. Ups and downs were a part of it. Highs and lows, joy and pain were a part of it. Moments beyond your expectations were littered throughout the year as well as moments that caused you more pain than you thought possible.
Whether the majority of your feelings are positive or painful, one thing you can say for sure is that you made it! You made it through an entire year, three hundred sixty five days. Three hundred sixty five days. That is a lot of time. If you were waiting for the results of a test and the doctor or teacher told you, “I’ll get you your results. I’ll drop them in the mail. They will arrive in about three hundred sixty five days.” You’d think, “Are you crazy!? I can’t wait that long!” However, somehow, you can and you do.
We are stronger than we think. We can endure more than we give ourselves credit for. What’s interesting is that, most of the time, the person we believe in the least is ourselves. Why is that? Is it because we know ourselves better than others do? Is it that we see the weak points and frailties that others miss when they look at us?
What if what they see outweighs what we see. What if those around us, those who truly love us and believe in us, what if they are right and we are wrong? What if we changed our perspective?
As I look back over this last year on my birthday, I realize that my mindset is shifting. My thought process is changing. My outlook is different. Over this last year, no matter what I went through, good or bad, it has helped me to reshape and remold my self-image. It’s quite possible that it could have been a negative reimaging, but thankfully God has taken over this remolding process, and I am amazed by what He is revealing to me about me every day! It really is quite exciting. It’s like opening a present every so slowly. You begin to glimpse a piece of what’s underneath, and as you peel the paper back more and more, the revelation of the gift inside is almost more than you can bear!
So, I am excited about discovering more of the “gift” that is me. In this next year of my life, the next 365 days, I can only imagine that the discovery is going to become increasingly awe-inspiring. Most of the awe is in the realization that God has made me so unique and so complex, so gifted. It is Him, though, that I am amazed by, not me. It’s Him in me that causes me to scoot to the edge of my seat waiting to see what He will do next and what He is going to reveal.
Even if today is not your birthday, I hope the same is true for you as well. I hope and pray that you begin to discover the gift that is you. Let God slowly peel back the wrapping paper and show you what has been in you all the time. You will be amazed. It will be hard to believe at times, but trust Him. He knows what He’s doing. :)
I think the biggest disservice we can do to ourselves is miss what’s right in front of our eyes. Don’t miss it. Don’t let the fog you’ve allowed to settle in to cause you to miss what’s in you … who is in you.
My challenge to you today is see what others see. See what God sees. See “you” through His eyes. Your experiences look different in that light. Your shortcomings, your issues, your frailties and faults all take on a different appearance when you view you through the eyes of a God who loves you beyond measure. When a father looks lovingly at his child, he doesn’t see the cracks and weak points. When a mother looks at her baby she isn’t picking out the issues. God doesn’t do that either.
So, today I’m wishing YOU a happy birthday! It’s a day where a new view of YOU is being born. Mark it on your calendar. Celebrate it! The rest of your life is going to take on a whole new look starting today. Happy birthday to you! I am excited to see where the next 365 days will take you.
~ Jeanna :)
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