Sunday, April 12, 2015

Silver Birthday

Twenty five. That's how many years I've been alive as of today. Yes, that's right. Today is my silver anniversary of birth. I know that precious metal celebrations are usually reserved for wedding anniversaries but I'm not married and might never be so I'm instituting precious metal symbolism into the anniversary of my birth.
Most birthdays, at least most birthdays since I've been over the age of fifteen, haven't felt like that big of deal. I wake up feeling the same as I did when I went to sleep. Aside from a cake and family get together I've never wanted to make a big fuss over my birthday. Nor have I gotten emotional over being a year older.
I don't intend to come across as a scrooge who doesn't enjoy merriment and celebration. I love to bake cakes for family birthday parties and I'm the loudest "happy birthday" singer in the crowd, I just don't make much of my own birthday. I don't require a special hat with the words "birthday girl" inscribed along the brim or a special sash made of bright colors and an abundance of sparkles and feathers. I'm more of a low-key type birthday girl.
Given my uneventful adult birthday past you may be surprised to find that my twenty fifth birthday has felt monumental. Surprised? Me too. I didn't expect to feel much of anything when I woke up this morning but somehow, for some reason the number "twenty five" hit me and gave me pause. Twenty five years is a quarter of a century. Twenty five years is the silver anniversary. Twenty five years is a big deal! Married couples celebrate with parties or special trips. They give each other gifts made of this precious metal. They receive cards displaying the sentiment, "Like silver, may your marriage continue to shine in splendor and radiance all of your days as you grow old together." Clearly, twenty five is a big deal. It is precious, just like silver.
Of course, every birthday and each day lived is precious. God doesn't make "throw away days" or "throw away birthdays" that are meaningless or unimportant. Yet, in all honesty, how many of us treat each day as if it were precious and worthy of celebration? I know I don't. But today on this twenty fifth birthday I stopped and took an account of my life and here's what I determined : It is precious. It is worth celebrating. Not because of anything I've done but because of what God has done and continues to do each day.
Over the past year God has proven to me just how precious I am by sustaining my body. At this very time last year I was slipping further into a flare up of multiple sclerosis. That flare up would last nearly eight months, stripping me of strength and even jeopardizing my ability to see. But God protected me and saw me through that ordeal. During nights when I thought my body was giving out in the middle of severe hot flashes and extreme muscle spasms, God preserved me. He did not carry me through all that pain and suffering for nothing. I was spared for a purpose. I was spared because I am precious to God.
Like silver, God has been polishing me. He has spent the last twenty five years polishing me and getting me ready for...only He knows what. That is the great mystery of being in the care of God. He has plans for you and me but He doesn't reveal them while He is preparing us for them. We simply must trust that all the uncomfortable rubbing, the years of being set apart in a drawer, the time spent in preparation, has a purpose.
God is getting me ready for the plans He has for me. Good, perfect, amazing plans. I'm twenty five years into that plan and every year it just gets more interesting and more unexpected. Every year there is a new layer to the cake, a new piece to the puzzle and new evidence that I am precious to God. Some days this polishing process is uncomfortable but in the end I know it is for my good because I am a treasured piece of silver in the hands of God and He is making me beautiful in His time.

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