photo credit: whitelilyz.com
I have a birthday this week.
A forty-something birthday.
I really don't keep track of the exact number anymore since age is just a number anyway and forty is the new thirty and forty is fabulous and with age comes wisdom. At least, that's what they say. I'm not sure if any of those things are true, but they work for me, so I'm pretty much okay with turning forty-something.
However, I have to admit that birthdays do bring about some ambivalence in my heart. It's not the number that gets me, or the random gray hairs that continue to find their way upon my head, or the fact that I consistently need stronger reading glasses. It's not the crows feet around my eyes that lengthen and deepen with each passing year, nor is it the few extra pounds that have mysteriously crept on that I can no longer blame on the holidays, or the fact that I gave birth to two children many years ago.
No, it's none of those things that get me, no matter how frustrating and horrible those things sometimes seem.
It is the longing, though...
Oh, how the longing gets me.
Each year, around my birthday, I find myself reflecting on my journey... what the years have held, where life has me now and what I hope for in the future. And almost always, the reflecting brings with it the longing. Not the unhappy-with-my-life, frustrated and anxious kind of longing, but the wishful, hopeful, can't-wait-for-Christmas-morning kind of longing. It keeps me up sometimes at night and lingers over me during the day and tempts me to become impatient and restless.
It's the longing for so much more...
More of life and more of love and more in my relationships. More healing and growth, and the subsequent beauty and strength that comes with it. More courage and trust, more faith and hope. More of who God made me to be... more of my calling and place in his kingdom and more of Jesus... always more of Jesus.
Wanting so badly to see and experience what lies ahead, I'm sometimes guilty of trying to rush my journey instead of waiting on God, who usually isn't in a hurry and whose timing is often not my own. He's much more concerned with my healing and growth than he is with the passing of time. And though I might wish differently, He may choose to take years to accomplish something in my life and develop me for his purposes.
So, for my birthday, give me patience for the journey, Jesus. May I stay in you... being and resting, hoping and trusting, as you continue your beautiful work in my life. May your plans for me gracefully unfold one day at a time, in your time.
And give me more of you, so much more of you, Jesus...
because anything else is really just the icing on the cake.
"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out... plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call to me, when you come to pray to me, I'll listen." Jeremiah 29:11-12