Usually on my birthday, I just write in my journal. I usually stay up late until the clock hits midnight and I turn another year older. Then I put the pen to the paper and start writing. I’ll write a reflection on the year, the highs and the lows and the lessons from God woven into my story. As I tried to do that today, I was overwhelmed.
It hasn’t been a year that can be summarized on a couple pages of my journal. It hasn’t been a year that could even be wrapped up by the eighty some blogs I’ve posted. I can’t look back on the year and come up with three main points, type them down, and put on bow on it. 365 dollars can’t even buy your textbooks for a semester. 365 text messages barely gets you through week. But give God 365 days and He’ll turn your whole world upside down in the best way possible.
All I can really think about when I look back on the year is that God has been really really good to me. He’s been good to me circumstantially. I’ve got an awesome family and wonderful friends, old and new. I went from an incredible learning environment in Ames, Iowa to another phenomenal learning environment in Waco, Texas. All of my physical needs were met with abundance.
But if my list ended there, I wouldn’t be content. I probably wouldn’t even be happy. Because my contentment doesn’t come from the list of things above. My contentment comes from the God above. And today at nineteen, looking back, the good news, that this all-powerful and all-good God loves not just me but this whole world enough to die for the darkness and crap and sin this world and myself contain, and that through the truth of Jesus’ resurrection and the fruit of the Spirit we are changed and transformed and renewed, has never been more real.
He gave me so many opportunities to proclaim that this year. He gave me such an awesome storyline to live. My prayer is for more opportunities to shout about His love and grace and justice in the next year as I begrudgingly leave my teens and have to start acting like more of a grown-up.
If you’re a Christian, the greatest gift you could give me for my birthday is to share the good news of Jesus with your friends. Send them an e-mail to set up a coffee date. Text them a verse that’s been on your heart. Invite them to church next Sunday. Maybe repost this blog for a start.
If you think that the Gospel sounds about as real as the tooth fairy, I’d love to have a dialogue about faith and I’d love to hear what you believe. E-mail or facebook or text message me. Share what you believe and then maybe ask why I think Jesus is worth writing about and living for. Tell about the god that you believe in. Or maybe tell me about the God you don’t believe in; I probably don’t believe in that god either. Open your mind to the possibility that this could be true. Because if it is, it’ll change everything. He will change everything.