Today is my birthday.

I have not been looking forward to today. I’ve wanted to be excited. My last few birthdays have not produced great memories, though. In fact, as I look back, the birthdays that I have been the most excited about recently have yielded huge disappointments.

I’ve had a lot of different thoughts about what to write on my birthday. Memories of the past have cycled through my mind, and the result is a complicated mess of emotion. Today, though, I don’t want to feel the negative of the past. At least, I don’t want those feelings to overshadow the feelings of joy and hope that I have for the future.

Instead of focusing on the disappointments, I determined to focus on the lessons that I’ve learned over the past year. While several things came to mind, two predominant lessons stand out.

  1. I am learning my worth and value. My worth and value are rooted in Christ. They never change. They cannot be taken away. They are not determined by my actions, successes, or failures.
  2. I am learning that I don’t have to settle. It’s okay to go after something better, dream bigger, and actively strive to achieve. It’s okay to want more – as long as my “more” is focused on God’s best.

What I want for today is to look ahead at what’s coming, and to meet it with courage, strength, determination, and optimism. I want to blindly trust my good Father to take care of all the anxieties that I feel, to blindly trust that He will continue to lead me towards His best, and to blindly trust that surrender means freedom.

I can’t erase the past, and I can’t wish away the devastation it has caused. But I can reclaim my present and future each day by taking one more step forward.

lighted candles on cupcakes

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