My Birthday

deep watersLast Sunday I turned 27. I’m not really upset by that number, just surprised. I find it hard to believe that I am that age. I feel like 27 is a strong, solid number. A number that’s established. A number that is well on their way to knowing who they are and are pretty darn comfortable with it. Its a number that has lived a lot, but still has SO much more to live. I feel like its a number in the prime of its life. When I was in my late teens/early 20’s, when I thought of the age 27, I felt like that person has grown out of their awkward stages, and is really quite good at being an adult.

Maybe it sounds a bit arrogant, but I would have to say that I’m feeling like a lot of those things right now.I’m 27, and look at my life! I have a husband. I have a son. I have a (very small) house (condo…but hey, we own it!). I have a new-ish car. I have church envelopes. I have RRSP and TFSA accounts. I have a degree. I have a career. I have my faith. I have a great confidence in myself and body image. I have SO much going for me right now.

Life is actually just really good. Better than its ever been. In fact, my life has continually gotten better over the years. Will that trend continue? Will my next birthday finish off an even better year?! It’s hard to imagine. In fact, I am continually laying in wait for when the anvil will drop. Perhaps this is unhealthy anxiety to have.

But a lot of people I see and meet don’t experience life like this. They don’t love living; they don’t have hope or joy, which leads them to have a fairly negative outlook on life. Maybe some of their circumstances really are horrible. Maybe life really is easier for me? I’m sure that yes, I have been extremely fortunate with the people in my life and the events that contribute to my day-to-day living. But I would also like to give some of the credit to my faith.

As my faith has grown over the last few years, I found that a lot of my hope and joy can be found in God. I try to pray every day with the Liturgy of the Hours, which means I pray a lot with the Psalms. The language of the Psalms is one of constant praise, even when the author’s circumstances are troublesome. Somehow, they always redirect their voice to the sovereign power and goodness of God. Reading and rereading those words daily have really made an impact on my outlook on life. Even when the days or the circumstances are hard, I am reminded that I have said “yes” to letting God be in control of my life, and since he is good and loves me, I know that he will take care of me.

And since he is good and loves me, I can experience joy, even when I am suffering. What a strange phenomenon! To still have a deep well of joy within me at all times. It’s lovely. I wish I could make others feel it too – then there would be no question that they could believe in God. I wish I could let them know that there is someone who will love them, and take care of them through every storm and trial. It brings tears to my eyes to think of all the ways I have feebly trusted in the promptings of God, and the riches he has brought into my life.

So, what if the anvil does drop? What if something truly horrible does happen to me or my family? What if sailing isn’t smooth anymore? How will I feel and how will I respond? Will I still experience hope and joy? I think that is one of my greatest fears: to be hopeless and joyless. I can’t know the answer to this. I can only comfort myself with the hope that God would be with me in those moments, and his Spirit will teach me how to trust, how to listen, and how to respond to his love. He won’t abandon me. He is with me always – through the storms and in the deep waters.

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