Yesterday I turned a very wonderful 31 years young! It was such an amazing day that I really feel the need to post about it, in order to preserve each moment that came together in a way ordained purely by our Creator. I stand to say it was definitely one of the best I've ever had. Looking back, I've had some great ones...truly honorable. My 13th birthday was a lovely surprise party, attended by people I still love today. My 16th was memorable for many reasons and most of all, it was again the people...the souls I shared that time with. Best birthday ever was 21 - a conglomerate of events that joined to form a truly memorable and worthy celebration of my life. Most of all - it was the people I shared that day with. Some I have not been able to keep close contact with, but oh what a group and how I love them still. 30 was the milestone it deserved to be. It ushered in the next chapter of my life in a way that will forever remain a part of me...surrounded by all of the amazing women who have contributed to who I am, and a celebration of finally beginning to like who I am - what a beautiful reason to celebrate!
While I have faltered and stumbled through the past year, it has brought me to the most spiritual point in my life, 31 and in love with God. The last few days, actually no, weeks...ok months, have brought on what I know is the most transformational and deep and true time in this life of mine, thus far. The last few months held some of the saddest days of my life, a sadness that wanted to overwhelm and conquer me. But I allowed myself to feel that sadness. Actually, I couldn't escape the sadness. It seaped into my soul in a way that eclipsed all else. I can't even say it seaped, like it suddenly appeared. It's been there all along. I just never recognized it or allowed myself to feel it, never gave it a name. I couldn't. I know it would have killed me, literally, to do so, before I walked in relationship with Him.
So in order to understand that sadness, to really grasp it, shake it up a bit and put it under the microscope, I have prayed. And when I say pray, I mean scream at God, cry (sob), raise fisted hands in anguish, feel lost, broken, hopeless and alone! I didn't want to deal with it. Actually, every ounce of my being wanted to run the opposite direction! Every step of the way I tried to resist, tried to stuff that sadness back in it's place ~ back into the wall (see earlier post - "Alone...In His Arms"). But my almighty and gracious Father wouldn't allow that! No sir, He would have none of it! He held my hand and, ever so gently, dug in and worked out that sadness, that anger. He showed me the source of that sadness, helped me to digest it, and understand it...so I can release it!
In case you're wondering, my sadness was not due to some catastrophic event or tragedy. I think in some strange way it would have been easier if that was the case. What He has shown me is that my sadness is rooted in a life lived outside of His will and His ways. Author Robin Sharma refers to this as the "Integrity Gap". It is the space between where we are, what we present to the world, and who we really are. It is "not living on the outside what is on the inside". And not knowing what is really on the inside, but knowing there is more to this thing called life. Basically, not living our truth. I have known for a long time that there is more, I just need to get in line with Him first before the rest of it will work.
So last week He brought to fruition an amazing opportunity for healing and growth and maturing. An opportunity to discover the root of the root and grow some new vines! I started my first class of Elijah House, and for those of you who aren't familiar with the course, it is a journey into Prayer Ministry. For those of you who are familiar, you know this is the beginning of something very beautiful for me! Hence, He has restored my Hope!
Which brings me to yesterday, my birthday! To begin with, I found out that Joyce Meyer would be holding a Day to Heal and Restore, on this very day. She was having a day to pray for their partners and people in need. So, being both of those, and knowing this was falling on my birthday for a reason, I submitted some prayer requests. God then put it in my heart to submit requests for my friends and family (that's something He and I have been working on - focusing on others and getting out of my own way!). Well, that turned out to me sending an e-mail to every person I know and asking for them to pray a prayer that I wrote, with a little help from the man above, for me and for themselves! This led to an absolutely beautiful day, and not just for me, but for those around me, which was the best present I could have asked for! The outpouring of love I experienced yesterday has truly shown me how very blessed I am! He is so gracious and good to show me this yesterday. I've always "known" I was loved, I just never fully received it or allowed it in. But yesterday that love was poured over me in abundance and to the full! From beginning to end, top to bottom, inside and out, it was a day of love, peace, and goodness. I am humbled in a way I couldn't comprehend until now. I am so very blessed and loved, and He is at the center of it all. He has shown me, in more ways than one, He will finish the good work He has started in me, and I know that yesterday was a huge step in this awesome journey. So I will post more on the actual events of the day yesterday, but for now, just suffice it to say, it was a birthday that has me Praising Him!!!