Last day at 28.

Okay, so tomorrow I'm going to celebrate my 29th birthday. Next year I will celebrate my second 29th birthday :) Ha ha.

I get really weird and sentimental about birthdays. It's as if everything I do is a reminder of the passing of time and I must make it count. It's how I get about New Year's. I don't know. It's like I smack up against a wall and realize I can never go back to that age again. I will never be 28 again. Just like I will never be 13 again.

Time passes in strange ways. Days can feel so long and full and never ending and yet the days turn into weeks and into months and into years. I never understood as a kid why adults said time went by fast... it felt like ages.

Someone explained it to me recently. The concept of time passing being relative. To my daughter, Libby, when I say Christmas is coming it will feel like forever for her. But she's only had 4 Christmases. Now I on the other hand have had 28. I've had so many years behind me that it will feel like a drop in the bucket when a month passes. To her though she's only experienced so many months so it feels longer. For her everything is still relatively new.

Sometimes I wish I could capture the wonder of being a child again. Really noticing the rain when it falls. Viewing things from their perspective makes life seem almost magical. Instead I'm quicker to notice the faults with the world rather than the joys. I notice the clouds instead of the silver lining.

I've been reading a lot lately. A book I'm keenly enjoying is by Joan C. Webb- The Relief of Imperfection. It's reminded me of so many important things.

"Coming to God with expectancy and faith will help us understand His love, experience self-worth and know the joy and freedom of transformation. God asks us to come out of hiding, risk revealing our pain and flaws, and trust Him for the future. In imperfect release, we find satisfaction and relief."

Accepting our imperfections and Christ's perfection.

One story in particular struck me, a woman was trying so hard to make a ministry happen. She went and talked her pastor. This was part of that conversation.

" 'What am I going to do?' I asked. 'Lauri, look at your hands,' he said. I did. 'Are there any nail prints in them?' 'No,' I admitted while staring at my upturned palms. 'Well, you're not Jesus then. He is perfect, not you. Go easy on yourself.' he said. 'It's not your job to save your friends. Neither is it their job to meet your needs. Only God can do that.' "

Accepting your feelings

"Each man's life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro; He bustles about, but only in vain...But now Lord what do I look for? My hope is in you. (Psalm 29:5-7)

Perhaps you believe you must put on a happy mask so that others will think you are a strong spiritual person. Even when you are hurt or depressed, you smile and attmept to prove to your world that all is right. Perhaps as a child, your role models gave you the impression that it was inconvenient, cowardly or ungodly to admit to disappointment, sadness, discouragement or anger. But what you learned is a misconception. Althought there is nothing wrong with maintaining a postive outlook (actually, it's a worthwhile approach to life), you need not pretend you never hurt.

'The Scriptures are much more realtistc and kind to us than some Christians are, as they clearly show that it is possible for a Christians to be very depressed,' writes Dr. David Seamands.

Many nations looked up to King David, but he made major mistakes. He sinned. He experienced the rejection of trusted co-workers. He felt angry, jealous and hurt. Yet David was a truthful man who allowed himself to think, feel and be. Often in his psalms he expressed sadness, discouragement and confusion. His acceptance of reality and the resulting feelings of disappointment and pain led him again and again to God. And God called him 'a man after his own heart' (see 1 Sam. 13:14 and Acts 13:22). Sometimes we feel happy, sometimes we feel sad, hurt, disappointed or angry. God never rejects us because we feel."

"Honesty before God requires the most fundamental risk of faith we can take: the risk that God is good, that God does love us unconditionally. It is taking this risk that we discover our dignity." Gerald G. May, MD Addiction and Grace

Anyway, I think that my hope for this year is that I would be able to let go of my perfectionism. That I would embrace how God has made me and to become who He has created me to become. To let go of these ideals and "right ways" that are truly only in my mind. To stop trying to live up to MY expectations but to do what the Lord has set before me. So, here it is. Here I am. Willing to be vulnerable. Willing to change. May I always cling to God and be pointed back to Him. I thank Him for my frailty and weakness because in it I am reminded how much I need Him.

Thank you Saviour for making me me. For changing me and redeeming this fallen creature.... and for calling me your daughter!


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