That’s the quote on the front of the card we’ll give to our daughter later today. It’s her birthday, and while she is home for the time being, I have a feeling it won’t be for long. She’s our youngest and after a brief journey where she learned to stretch her wings a few months ago, she’s home until the wind pulls her up and out yet again.
And so we’ll celebrate. Whether she’s here or she’s gone, we’ll celebrate. We’ll celebrate the miracle that she is, for truly she is one.
We’ll celebrate a life that’s enriched ours and others’ lives as well. We’ll celebrate the laughter, the learning, the happiness and the joy she brought with her the day she was born. We’ll celebrate the frustration, the uncertainty, the fears and the weariness that also arrived the day she was born.
How can you celebrate one without the other?
How can a life be complete without the peaks and valleys of emotions and experiences that teach you how to “count it all joy”?
The older I get, the more I learn to celebrate all of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the miserable, the joyful, the contentment, the silliness, the sadness, the frustration, the oddness of it all. The older I get, the more I understand that there is a plan far bigger than the plot of earth I see from where I stand.
If there is anything I would wish for my daughter on her birthday, beyond the usual happy birthday wishes, it would be that she would learn this too.
But learn it sooner than most people.
For there is an undeniable serenity in trusting the living God. Trusting Him with ALL of it.
I live in a very rural mountainous area, and the other day I was driving on a road that had no asphalt. Steep dropoffs with no guardrails. No signs even, looking for a particular house out in the middle of nowhere. I had no cell service, no GPS, and I was as lost as lost could be. Even following the directions that had been given to me, I was close to irritation and defeat because I was lost in a place where no one would even know to look for me. Still, I followed the directions written down, as that was pretty much all I had to get me where I needed to be.
Usually, if I’m tense when I drive, I turn the radio off. For some reason though, I had a local Christian station on, and the DJ read the scripture of the day:
Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20
Honestly? I’m pretty sure that was the word I needed not only at that moment, but ALL the moments of my life. Following the instructions written to my destination, within 5 minutes I was there, and the journey’s end was almost too stunning for words.
Maybe it was because each bend or fork in the road seemed to lead me further away from where I wanted to go, when I arrived, I was in awe of the beauty at the end of my journey.
Maybe it was because each bend or fork in the road seemed to lead me further away from where I wanted to go, I couldn’t comprehend that they were taking me exactly where I needed to be.
Today, I celebrate each bend and fork in the road of my life, so intertwined with the life of my birthday girl. I celebrate the bends and forks that will inevitably take her near and far. Up and down. Through hardships and through triumphs.
May she learn to trust Him in all things.
May she learn to celebrate in all things as well.