A Birthday Reflection

Last Thursday, I turned 21! I always get nostalgic and reflective around birthdays.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the tangible ways I have seen God’s faithfulness since my last birthday. This year, God has given me sweet and powerful glimpses of both His provision and the beauty of His presence.

bdayreflection

sweet friends who came to visit me in Colorado over my birthday

Grace for Each Day

This year, I moved into a house off-campus with seven other women, spent the summer in Des Moines, took challenging video & design classes, had my first design internship, and was given greater leadership roles within our campus ministry.

In the midst of all of this, God was faithful in providing the perfect amount of grace for each day.

I can look back and see all the ways I fell short this year.

I hard-core struggle with waking up on time… ask any of my friends, punctuality is just not one of my strengths.

As a recovering perfectionist, I tend to put a lot of false expectations on my own shoulders as I take my responsibilities to the nth degree.

And as a ‘type-a’ list-maker, it is easy for me to turn busyness into a rhythm of just going through the motions. Go to class, check. Homework, check. Bible study, check.

Can you see how this combination can quickly lead to burnout? But in the midst of all of these shortcomings, I see God’s faithfulness.

Faithfulness in Shortcomings

On the days I woke up late, He came through time and time again by opening my eyes to see how He still provided just enough time to do the important things.

When I would burden myself with unrealistic expectations, He would remind me:

  • that because of the blood of Christ, I am already made perfect,
    • “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” – Hebrews 10:14 (ESV)
  • the only opinion I need to care about is the Lord’s,
    • “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” – Galatians 1:10 (ESV)
  • and I can cast my burdens on Jesus.
    • “‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV)

By the grace of his Spirit in me, He would search my heart and challenge me to keep my motivations in check. Don’t miss Me, just be with Me, He kept reminding my wandering heart in the midst of busyness. You are working hard in your classes for My glory. You are investing in this Bible study for My glory. And I am the One who has provided this education and this community for you.

Don’t miss Me, just be with Me, He kept reminding my wandering heart in the midst of busyness.

It’s really hard to be stressed when viewing my life through the lens of His grace.

Open Hands

My inherent tendency is to hold on tightly to a semblance of control over my time, energy, money, and other resources. But as a result of this year, I am learning how to approach each day with open hands.

When I surrender control of everything I have to the One who has given it all to me, it is a beautiful surprise every time to see how He stewards these things better than I could ever imagine.

Surrendering my schedule has meant seeing how He provides unexpectedly sweet time with people.

Surrendering my money has meant seeing how He provides exactly what I need and then all the good He can use it for.

Surrendering my energy & abilities has meant seeing how He provides abundant joy, patience, and compassion when I feel stretched thin.

You guys, the Lord is faithful.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11

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2 thoughts on “A Birthday Reflection

  1. Ahhh, I love this + your heart to surrender every dimension of your life to Jesus. Those responses/verses to the expectations are super timely, especially casting cares upon Him – for He cares for us! – and that the only opinion we need to care about is the Lord’s. And the don’t miss Me part – I was going back through mission trip scribbles recently and that “Don’t miss Jesus today” reminder from one of our team prayer times in the attic stuck out to me again. I need that reminder, daily!

    “It’s really hard to be stressed when viewing my life through the lens of His grace.” “When I surrender control of everything I have to the One who has given it all to me, it is a beautiful surprise every time to see how He stewards these things better than I could ever imagine.” yessss. He is greater, better, and absolutely worthy. He has proved Himself so crazy faithful. God, increase my faith!

    P.S. Love the picture (dynamic trio right there!) and so glad you were able to have that bday adventure. 🙂 (Also, I miss you. And so stoked for your adventure. And lifting you up in prayer!!)

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  2. I miss you too, sweet friend! And I love seeing your comments on here. 🙂 Thanks for reading and engaging – praise the Lord that He is using these words to speak into your life, too!

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