Wow. I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness. The Lord is so incredibly good, and His timing is more than perfect.
On Monday I had the best birthday that I have ever had. Yes I have had an amazing 20 years of my life so far, but this birthday goes down in the books as the best of the best. As I mentioned in an instagram post on my birthday, my heart was overflowing with joy from all of the encouragement that I received on my big day. When I woke up, I had at least 4 text messages, and as I walked to my dorm bathroom, there were papers of 20 things that my roommates wrote about why they love me posted on our mirror. Things like: “we love your sweet smile,” “your ability to see good in others” or “your heart is so full of service.” Then as I walked out of the door, my roommate Morgan gave me a huge hug and encouraged me with some friendly words before I headed to practicum. My next step was practicum, and when time came for lunch, I grabbed my phone, seeing at least 15 other birthday messages/instagram posts from my friends for my birthday. When I got back on campus, everyone, literally EVERYONE, seemed to know that it was my birthday. Then before I headed to chorale I checked my mail, and I had 4 packages in the mail, along with 4 other letters for my birthday. Throughout the day the birthday wishes never seemed to end, and the love that I received was absolutely amazing. As I ended my night with nonstop laughter with my closest friends, I still was overwhelmed by the love and encouragement that I had received.
So why does this matter you ask?
Well just the night before, I had been filling empty in the scope of feeling loved and encouraged. This emptiness was not because I was not being fed from those around me, but because I was not receiving love from others.
I have this stupid flaw that yields me back from taking any sort of compliment. And instead of taking and being thankful for how others love me, I push away their love, insisting that I am a horrible friend, a horrible girlfriend, and worst of all, a horrible daughter to my parents and my Heavenly Father.
So Monday the 17th of March was a big day for me, and no one really knew how much their words meant to me. My Lord knew that I was not taking the love that He had given me through my relationship with others, so He decided to throw it in my face until I finally noticed how stinkin’ thankful I should be. He did not stop the encouragement until I saw myself as my friends see me.
And now, because of all of you who had overflowing love for me on my birthday, I see myself as a woman of Christ, I see myself as someone who will be a great teacher, and I see myself as someone who has something to give to others.
Being a follower of Christ is a extremely hard road to walk, with the battle of never feeling equipped, always seeing my sin instead of His grace, and never seeing myself as good enough for Him, but I am. I am good enough for Him to use me. He is working through me, He is encouraging me, and He is leading me to be the woman that He created me to be.
And He is doing the same for all of those who love Him.
So I will Praise the Lord my soul, all my days.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, you know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. This extraordinary knowledge is beyond me.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.