Today is my 56th birthday.
Fifty-six years ago my Mom and Dad were busy getting ready to add one more baby to their family of four. They thought they were finished, but God had other plans. I understand why she wasn’t happy when she found out I was on the way (she was 37), but I’m grateful she accepted me as God’s will for our family.
Both of my parents are resting in the Lord now. It’s on days like these when I miss them most. Mom’s been gone over two years, Daddy over 11. I learned so much from them and wish I could pick up the phone to ask my Dad a quick question or pick Mom up to go get a Gabriel’s tuna sub–one of our all-time favorites. But I can’t. What I can do is reflect back with thanksgiving on the thousands of memories we made together. We didn’t waste our time, and as a result I have no regrets.
Life has a way of throwing unexpected events our way. We have to learn to accept them with grace or wrestle with God, which opens our heart to bitterness and resentment of all sorts. When put that way, of course we want to do the former. But change and our reactions to it can be difficult to handle on our best days. When it happens in an already challenging season we are prone to all kinds of temptations–to bitterness, anger, resentment and depression. The effect this has on a marriage can be devastating if communication doesn’t happen and understanding isn’t reached.
I am grateful for a husband who loves me, listens to me and seeks to understand me, even when he can’t relate to what I’m going through. You see, he still has a close relationship with his parents. They talk on a regular basis, and we get with them as often as our time will allow. We’re still in the process of making those special memories we’ll cling to when it’s no longer possible.
I am even more grateful to God for walking with me through these 56 years. He knew my frame when I was being formed in secret. He held me close then, and He is holding me close now. In this world of ever-changing circumstances–God is the only constant. He never changes. But He continues to change me so I’m not the same woman at 56 that I was at 55. I am growing little by little, and I’ve noticed something important this year. These changes don’t have the sting in my heart they once did. I think I’m finally adjusting to my new normal and it’s good!