40 years

Today is my 40th birthday.

I tried to keep a daily journal for the last month of my 30s (which, arguably, would also be the last month of my 40th year, but I digress). It didn’t work out so well, at least not as a daily exercise. It did get me to write more than I would have otherwise. Given the circumstances of my life, which has been focused around my mom’s illness for months, that’s something.

In the midst of the darkness of this season of life, which has nothing to do with my age and everything to do with watching my mom suffer the pain and fear of cancer, God continues to remind me that I am his beloved. He does it through friends, whose calls and visits and notes and hugs are treasures more valuable than I can express. Thank you all.

And here’s another way He has reminded me—through an email message received on my 40th birthday from a stranger. Here’s just a brief excerpt of today’s devotional from the Purpose Driven Life website, “Only one you” by John Fischer:

…think about the things you have gone through so far in your life — especially the difficult or challenging things where God has met you with his faith. That information is not just for you, it’s for you to empathize with and encourage others who have encountered similar struggles.

God isn’t messing around here. There are no accidents with our lives. Whatever we have received and experienced has shaped who we are, and because of that, we are qualified. There is truly no one else like you…for a reason.

I’m grateful for the first 40 years of my life, and I pray that, with God’s help, the next several decades will be full of meaning and purpose. Even if it’s hard to recognize at the time.

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