I turned 25 in December.
Not because it’s one of “those” birthdays, a quarter of a century old.
Or because I’m no longer in my early twenties.
And Not even that this birthday brought me closer to the age “I actually feel” as a widowed mom of two kids.
This birthday was different because I was truly celebrating.
Every year before, I got excited as the days counted down. A day about me, whatever I want, including an eventful night.
I would buy the perfect dress, get a mani/pedi, wish the perfect wish, and surround myself with friends.
But this year, I showed up a bit differently- Truly thankful for growing another year older.
Realizing that every birthday is a day to be completely grateful for the 365 gifts you were given in between. Who cares if you feel to old, it’s a privilege many never receive.
And this mindset started flooding over into other areas in my life.
Before I was married, weddings were always an exciting night to be with old friends, and some new, dancing, drinking, and guessing when the Cupid shuffle would play.
After I was married, weddings were a prime date night to help honor the love story of two people we were excited to witness, start the same journey as us. We made sure to get the perfect attire, babysitter, and gift.
After I was widowed, weddings became a celebration of Gods favor in my friends’ lives. It wasn’t that I didn’t see his hand before. But it was like a glass of water, turning into a fountain…
Why was I at the celebration?
I started to ask myself that question, realizing as time goes by it has drastically changed.
I think there will always be guests in every stage at every celebration. And I would bet all of them love the person(s) they are there to support.
But something shifted in me, my joy, when I truly grasped what I was celebrating. When I started to fully savor the good.
Celebration was no longer a fun night, but a deep joy for what was taking place in front of me.
I was closest with one of my guy friends during a very trying season in his life. A season where marriage and love probably seemed far from his sight. A season of pain where he clung to Christ when all seemed crumbling. (His story, not mine to tell) And well, then life started to blossom again. He would soon meet his forever babe. And I would be sitting at their wedding in awe. In awe of Gods goodness. And how He works everything together for his favor. How beauty can come even from the ashes. Together these two make a great example of Christ’ love.
After having witnessed this friend in very different seasons, I was so ready to celebrate the blessing of their marriage. It was beautiful, just, long awaited, and full of jubilee.
It wasn’t just a wedding but a promise from God fulfilled. Their story an example of the love and happiness Christ wants for us. I know both of these people have went through life’s trials. But God continues to use them both and now together in beautiful ways. He is faithful.
I wasn’t just at a wedding that night. But a story of waiting, of redemption. Something so worthy of celebrating.
You see, when we look past the decorations, balloons, and dinner plans. We truly have reason to dance. Because…
Their is hope after seasons of heartache.
There is continued breathe and life.
There is restoration.
There is love.
There are promises.
How beautiful it has been to celebrate with such intent.
I’ve learned what it means to stop and savor life’s gifts, it’s goodness.
It makes the glimpses of joy turn into fountains. It turns two fish into thousands.
And It’s all about how I come to the celebration.