Some Thoughts on Turning Thirty-Six

Yes, you read that correctly. Thirty-Six. Not the usual “Things I’ve learned by age 30″…or 40 or even 35. Nope. Thirty-Six. Because honestly, if you’re having a birthday in #theyearthatshallnotbenamed, you have thoughts, amirite?

I do not typically find myself being reflective on my birthday, but this one is different. Along with being my birthday, it was also the first day of kindergarten for my oldest. I have no idea how nearly six years has flown by, but I assure you, it goes as fast as everyone says. Sitting with my coffee this morning while everyone was still asleep, I was overcome with gratitude for the way I can clearly see God’s hand in my life over these 36 years. At the same time, I have spent many minutes (okay, hours) recently thinking things such as, “What in the ACTUAL CRAP is happening this year?” I think it’s safe to assume that I’m not the only one.

Unfortunately, all of my asking has led me to zero answers for you, but I do know one thing. Whether it’s your birthday or not, the Bible is clear that this day was planned for you long before you were born. Psalm 139:16 says:

You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

I love these verses at any time during the year, but there is something especially poignant about them when it’s your birthday, ya know? God graciously gifts us time on this earth. It’s so easy to take this incredible truth for granted at times.

The Lord of Heaven and Earth saw you, saw your life, saw your struggles and joys and even your boring moments. He sees you and is concerned with the intimate details of your life. More specifically, this day right now – the one you woke up to this morning – he planned for you to be part of it. Yes, even though it’s 2020 and we’d all prefer to just skip this year, God has plans for your life in the midst of it. In fact, the Bible says that you are “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance” for you to do (Eph 2:10).

The remembering of these truths – that God planned our days and has purpose for them – is especially critical during this year of chaos. If we do not take these to heart, it can be easy to fall into despair and a feeling of helplessness during these times (I’m guessing it’s not just me that’s been there this year). But take heart, friend. He has plans for you. He has a purpose for you. He has good works for you to do. Today. This moment. This hour.

Take a few minutes today to reflect on where God has you and to remind yourself that there is purpose in it. Here are a few prompts to get you started:

Name your feelings:
Today, I feel _____________________________.

Name your challenges:
Today, I am facing ___________________________.

Declare Truth:
In the midst of feeling _____________________ and facing ______________________ , God planned this day for me and has good works prepared for me to do.

In the midst of feeling ____________________ and facing ________________________, God will still bless me to be a blessing. I have purpose.

Lord, thank you that this is the day you have made, that you have planned for me to be part of since before I was born, and that you have given me purpose and prepared good works for me to do. Help me fix my eyes on you and not on my circumstances. Amen.

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