I'm 32 years old today. That means it's been 17 years since my freshman year of high school, 13 years since I finished high school, 10 years since beginning my bachelor's degree (at least the one that I completed), 7 years since I completed my degree, and 5 years since my husband and I got married. Lying in bed this morning and looking back at my past, I felt like I was looking down a tunnel...a tunnel of memories. (Cheesy I know.) And I know it's not really that long a one, and one day (if God wills) it will probably be much longer, but it seems really long.
I was laughing at myself this morning, at all the plans that I've made, dreams I've had, and things that I've decided that I would do...most of which have never happened. And then I smiled, and realized how thankful I am that my plans for this life have not worked out, because if they had I would not be married to the man that I am married to today. I would not have the children that I have, and I would be living somewhere completely different, going to a different church, and living an entirely different life...and it would not be nearly as good as the one I am living right now. The truth is, this life is not mine, it's God's. And I don't have to do anything special, or be anything special for that to be true...it simply is the truth...whether I choose to acknowledge it or not. Because God, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, died so that I could live...and today I am living still because of Him.
And now, I'm getting all choked up, thinking of the goodness and love of God, of which I am so entirely ill-deserving. It's not something I earned, it's something HE gave. It's not something I chose to accept, it's something He chose to give. I am not mine, I am HIS. And the wonder and glory of this is so amazing and undeniable and awesome, that I can't decide whether to laugh or cry, because it's so beautifully overwhelming that I could easily do both. Why is this so wonderful and glorious? Because God is so incredibly good. Incredibly, indescribably good. He gives me grace and love that I couldn't possibly earn, and showers me with blessings that I couldn't possibly gain, ones that I would never know that I needed if it were not for him. Because some of the biggest blessings have been born from the greatest pain, and some of the things that were a curse have been transformed by blessings innumerable... simply by the loving work of my gracious life-giving heavenly Father.
And I realize, at the same time, that I am tired. Tired of trying to figure my life out, tired of trying to plan my life around me. Because I have seen how much better God's plan is, and always has been, for my life. I want to look up at Him, rather than inward at myself. I want to ask Him to show me what it is He is calling me to, each and every day, rather than trying to do what it is that I want and figure out what I "need" to do for myself. I want to live my life intentionally in light of Him, because He's showed me all along that His work is better, that His plan is greater, and that His love is deeper, than anything I could ever come up with on my own. And I amazed by Him and by the undeserved love and favor that He has poured out on me through all the years when I thought I was living "for" Him, but in reality was really just living BECAUSE of him.
Father, Father God,
Thank you for all the years of love and care that you have poured out on me. Years when I thought I was living For you when I was really living for myself, and yet you loved me with that "Never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love." Your love is a love that I could never earn or deserve. And I am amazed and astounded by it. It's such a gift and often I don't understand or comprehend it, but I am thankful for it. I know that all the work that you've done in my life has been a gift, one that I could never have earned or deserved or created on my own.
I want my life to be centered on you, because you are the center of all things. Because you are my loving Father God. And I am astonished and amazed and awed by you, and how you have continually showed and poured out your love for me all these years, over and and over again. I want each and every day to be intentionally devoted to you, because you are my everything and you make everything in my life a blessing. From the hardest and most painful days, to the easiest and most pain free days. All of them are a wonderful gift because of you.
Show me what it is that you are calling me to, and help me and strengthen me to follow your calling each and every day. Make my life a testimony to you. And show me how and where I can best serve you, in my home, in my marriage, in my church and in my friendships. I'm all-in. There is no other way that I want to live. Make me like Jesus more every day, and show me your truth in every way.
In the name of my wonderful Savior Jesus I pray, in the power and light of the Spirit...Amen.