The Bible reminds us frequently that the Lord has numbered our days and that He knows each one. This truth has proved resoundingly true recently as I've been reflecting on the "ironic twists of fate" that have manifested themselves in my life. Let me give you a few examples:
April 9, 2010 was the first time I experienced the overwhelming hope & joy that a bit of pee and two tiny lines can bring a woman. Though I was never able to meet that little life, hope & joy persisted still. April 9, 2011 was the first time I experienced the overwhelming hope & joy that holding your child (or children in my case!) for the first time can bring a woman. I was finally able to meet the little lives that were forever to be entrusted in my care. One year to the day.
Three days later on April 12, I legally became a mother. All the way on the other side of the planet, on that very same day, my dear sister-in-law Shannon became a mother as well to two beautiful twins. We've walked the long and sometimes bumpy road toward motherhood together, and in some ways we reached our destination together. Together. On the same day.
Today happens to be my birthday. Last year, I was so thankful to spend my birthday with my parents, brother, and sister-in-law eating sub-par Moroccan food in a Chinese tourism hub city (not a good idea if you were ever considering it!). This year, however, my husband is on another continent, enjoying the opportunity to see our sons. My "new" family is together on this birthday while I'm at home. I don't share that with you to elicit any pity (it's actually been a wonderful day, especially the part where I bought myself a birthday pineapple, shoved a candle in its leafy top, sang to myself, and blew it out) because there's no trace of sadness in my heart now. This is such a work of the Lord in my heart from years past! I used to be the person who reminded folks that my birthday was on its way. If the day didn't live up to my expectations, I was disappointed. The disappointment robbed me of the joy of recounting God's faithfulness to me over the past year.
But this year seems different. I'm so thankful that Kevin has the opportunity to be in Africa and that we got to talk for 8 whole minutes on the phone today. I'm so thankful for the low-key morning I got to spend at Starbucks with my friends. I'm so thankful that I got to meet with the same local friends tonight that I meet with every Wednesday night. I'm so thankful for the handful of local friends who remembered my birthday and sent my sweet text messages. I'm so thankful for the Facebook messages that have made me feel loved from across the ocean. I'm so thankful that this is hopefully the last birthday that our family will be separated. Lord willing, next year, I will look back at this birthday, remember the separation and be overwhelmed once again with thankfulness that that particular season of waiting is behind us.
It is the specificity of God's sovereign love that arranged these events to play out just so. It is the sensitivity of God's spirit working in my heart that helped me notice them at all. Therefore, my responsibility is to love Him, thank Him, praise Him. Won't you join me in that?