It’s seems like I’m always starting my posts with a few fun facts, but I like routine so I think it’s fair. Today is June 24, which means that it’s my birthday. If I’m being totally honest, I get so anxious every time my birthday rolls around. I actually don’t like celebrating my birthday. Well that’s not entirely true. I like the attention received on my birthday, but I don’t like that I like the attention. And it’s not a secret that birthdays are the epitome of being put in the spotlight.
I don’t like the big parties where a ton of people are invited who I don’t have a personal relationship with. But most of all, I cannot stand the many Facebook posts, tweets, and Instagram shoutouts. Simply because although those things may be nice, they don’t entirely appear completely genuine to me. Most of the people who wish me a happy birthday wouldn’t even know it was my birthday unless Facebook notified them or they saw other people wishing me a happy birthday. If someone is going to wish me happy birthday, I want it to be someone who actually cares for me, not someone doing it out of obligation or because they see someone else doing it. Sooo the result? I try to hide the fact that it’s my birthday, and I feel ashamed of this, which I will explain in a minute.
And then there’s the gift part. Whenever my parents ask me what I want for my birthday, I always tell them that I don’t want anything. It makes me feel selfish and a bit guilty telling them I want the latest electronic or whatever else is the popular trend. Watching them pay my health insurance, medical bills, gas for my car, groceries, etc. is enough for me.
But the weirdest part about all of this is that I adore celebrating birthdays for other people who are close to me. It makes me so happy to celebrate them, even though I don’t like celebrating my own. So now that I’ve listed all of my apprehensions about my birthday, I figured that I would do something a bit different this year. So here it goes.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
Since growing in my walk with Christ, I’ve learned how important it is to celebrate my birthday. When God created me, He took special care in doing it. Not only did he take time to actually form me in His image (Psalm 139), but He took the time to plan out the best possible life for me (Jeremiah 29:11). And he did all of that because He loves me. And to put the cherry on top, He sent His son to die on the cross for my sins so that I could spend eternity with Him (John 3:16).
So what an insult it is to the Creator by not wanting to celebrate the day that He gave me life. How rude and selfish it is for me to try to hide that it is my birthday from others, when it could be a day where I can describe how thankful I am to live another year. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s not entirely about the actual day, but it’s sometimes about the 365 days leading up to it. So for the first time, I’ve actually taken time to reflect on the past year.
In the 365 days prior to my birthday, I have been challenged. I have cried lots of tears. I have laughed until my stomach hurt. I’ve gotten into terrible arguments. I started working with a wedding planner. I’ve had wonderful worship experiences. I’ve made new friends. I found a summer job. I’ve grown in my relationship with Christ. I’ve shared memories with good friends. I’ve failed. I’ve succeeded. I’ve had bad days, and I’ve had good days. And it’s all because of Jesus. So isn’t that something worth celebrating? Shouldn’t I take the time to celebrate the life He’s given me? Absolutely.
So today, I just want to take a moment to praise the King for giving me life.
God, thank for allowing me to see another year of life. Thank you for loving me so much that you would send Your precious Son to die for me, so that I can spend eternity with You. Thank you for wanting me and making me an heir to your Kingdom. Thank you for Your goodness and Your grace. Thank you for growth and thank you for the lessons I’ve learned in the past year. Thank you for times of celebration, like today.
God, I praise you because You are enough for me. I don’t need gifts to celebrate this day. I have everything I could ever desire because I have You. Thank you for choosing me, for pursuing me, for loving me. Thank you for the grace that is always sufficient. You are so worthy of every single thing that is within me. God, I pray that you would take my heart and transform it in this new year. Help me to stay focused on You. Take my broken and contrite spirit as a living sacrifice. Mold me and use me how You see fit. Have Your way in my life, and let Your will be done. I love you so much.
In your precious and holy name, Amen.
So here’s to 21 years! Thank you to all the people who have wished me a happy birthday and have helped me celebrate the 21 years that I have lived.
Hanha Hobson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Transparency Ministries. From published devotionals to empowerment workshops, she will stop at nothing to see women encounter God and she is passionate about teaching and equipping them to live a life of freedom. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating Chickfila, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!