My birthday was last Thursday. I started out the day wallowing miserably in my very own pity party.
I had my game face on during morning coffee with my husband, but the tears came as soon as I kissed him goodbye for work and shut the door behind him. He hadn’t even pulled out of the driveway yet and I was a sobbing mess. I prayed he hadn’t forgotten something in the house.
I just wanted to sulk by myself. I was convinced my frustration and sadness were justified and a good cry was in order.
Can you relate to this scene? Have you been in my shoes?
You see, one of my sons was out of town leading junior high kids at church camp with his wife. Sure, use God as an excuse not to celebrate my birthday with me.
Another son picked up an overtime shift at work. How ambitious of him. His wife needed the day to prepare for company. Busy, busy, busy. And my super-cute, super-fun grandson isn’t old enough to come over on his own. Whatever. (Okay, I’m seriously kidding about this one!)
And yet another son and his family live out of state. While I’m insanely proud of their service to the USAF, I miss them a lot. The fact that our beautiful granddaughters are with THEM (the nerve!), leaves grammy just a little extra sad sometimes.
This would be the first birthday in the history of ever where I didn’t get to see any of my kids!
And wait. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, there’s more…
On this particular day, my very best friends were, either temporarily or permanently, out of town, my extended family is more fractured than usual, and to add insult to injury, my birthday fell on a workday. Really Lord?
This day had ALL the makings of a sensational pity party.
Have you ever had days where you felt the negatives were stacked up a mile high?
As I drug myself into work, I was met with the smell of fresh coffee and homemade apple cake. I hadn’t eaten breakfast at home and didn’t have time to stop for a bite on my way in. My grumbling tummy roared a grateful ‘thanks couz’ in response to the wonderful aroma. My office was decorated and gifts sat atop my desk. I felt loved.
My son and his wife called me from church camp and I got to enjoy a great conversation with both of them on speaker phone. My other son made a special trip to my office, with his wife and son, on his way to work. My grandson showered me with loads of yummy kisses. My daughter-in-law in WA sent me the sweetest picture of my granddaughters; it absolutely melted my heart. I felt loved.
And wait. If that doesn’t sound wonderful enough, there’s more…
Friends and family from coast to coast called, texted, and sent messages of love. I heard from New Jersey, Massachusetts, Virginia, Georgia, California, Missouri, Ohio, Nevada, Washington, and Pennsylvania to name just a few. Some messages were tender, some were funny, but every single one made me smile. I felt loved.
One friend sent me a pop up birthday cake because she couldn’t be here in person to make me one. Another friend, who I didn’t even realize was back in town, surprised me at my office. I got a couple of much-needed, incredible best friend hugs and the pleasure of her company for over an hour! (Sorry boss!) Oh, and a great gift too! I felt loved.
My husband hit it out of the park. He picked out the most perfect, thoughtful present for me and wrapped it up all fancy…by himself! I’m so excited to wear my new workout outfit I can’t stand it. He took me to a delicious sushi restaurant for dinner and even stayed up later than usual so we could snuggle on the couch to watch a movie. I felt loved.
And the topper? The last phone call of the night came from the oldest friend I have. Not oldest in terms of her age, but in regards to how long we’ve known each other. Thirty-six years to be exact.
She’s a wild one – always full of wonderful, crazy passion. As I picked up the phone, this insane lady was on the other end yelling excitedly how she ‘freaking loves me’ and ‘freaking loves my life’! She proceeded to tell me what I mean to her, how she always thinks of me, and how she loves to hear all about my amazing life.
My amazing life. MY AMAZING LIFE???
Can you say embarrassed? Ashamed? Regretful? Convicted?
Have you had moments where God’s truth just smacked you upside the head – hard?
I was determined to have a pity party but God would have no part of it. He created a birthday for me more special than ANY I can remember in a very long time and he delivered it in grand style. And I got his message – loud and clear. I am blessed by an amazing life, complete with wonderful friends and family who love me dearly.
But it occurred to me there was an even deeper meaning behind God’s handiwork. If not, wouldn’t my behavior do nothing more than label me a petulant child who was only happy because she got what she wanted?
Actually, God gave me what he knew I needed.
He knew what I needed before I ever asked. Heck, I hadn’t even figured it out myself. God promised he would supply ALL my needs, every last one, every time. And regardless of his time frame or method, I must trust with all my heart that he’s got my back, without fail, every minute of every day. It wasn’t JUST that he showered me with truth and love. The lesson rests in the fact that WHATEVER IS NEEDED, God WILL provide.
Thank you God, for the reminder to declutter feelings of sadness, discontentment, and impatience, and to fully rely on your love, grace, mercy, and provision.
Do you sometimes struggle with similar emotions?
Turn to God in your moments of despair. He knows exactly what you need, before you ask, and will never, ever let you down.
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