Today I celebrate my 25th birthday!
Exactly one-quarter of a century ago today, I came into this world, fragile, crying, and completely dependent on others to take care of me.
It doesn’t sound like much has changed, eh? I’m (mostly) kidding, of course!
This year, I’m feeling especially reflective and have spent a good amount of time thinking about my life, past, present, and future. (You have a lot of free time to think when you spend most of your days on the couch!)
In looking back, I am reminded of the many blessings I’ve had in my lifetime: years of health, a loving family, the best friends a gal could ask for, and the most amazing husband, just to name a few. How many of these things have I taken for granted? Well…all of them at one time or another.
I hope that 25 will be a year of growth in gratitude. In the spirit of moving forward in thankfulness, here are five small things that I am incredibly grateful for today:
- A hot mug of tea on a rainy day
- Puppy snuggles
- Cheesy jokes
- Hilarious sitcoms (shout out to Friends and Parks and Rec for forever making me smile)
Examining my present life is not easy. I can be quickly lost in a maze of symptoms, what-ifs, frustrations, and fears if I’m not careful. Though it is a challenge, I find that stopping to look around, breaking the cycle of “I just have to get through today” is not only healthy, but necessary.
What I gain by looking at my present situation with fresh eyes is perspective. Yes, it is hard to be chronically ill without answers. It’s frustrating to not be the wife, daughter, sister, friend, or dog-mom that I want to be. It is infuriating that my body demands rest when all I want to do is go! But how small are my problems in the light of eternity? How trivial do they seem when compared to the widespread suffering of people across the world? Perspective does not diminish my own pain, but it does give me a new lens with which I can view it. And sometimes a new outlook can make all the difference.
Looking towards the future, I have hope. Yes, I certainly hope that 25 is the year I get an answer to all my health questions. I hope for treatment and healing and to have the ability to lead a normal life again, but it goes beyond that.
Romans 8:23 says “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” I read that, and the words redemption of our body hit me hard every time.
Redemption of our body!
Now, in researching this verse some more, I found a ton of commentary about earthly body vs. spiritual body, how our physical bodies are ill-equipped for heavenly things, sown in sin but raised in glory, etc. I’m not even going to pretend like I understand everything that’s going on in this verse…But what I do understand is that someday, I won’t have to count spoons, fretting over what I’ll spend them on. Someday, I won’t be in pain. Someday, I won’t have to worry about if my body will fail me.
Someday is probably not tomorrow or next week. It might not be next year or the year after either. Someday might not even come on this side of Heaven. But praise God, I am able to have hope, because someday will come! In the meantime, I have hope that my suffering won’t be wasted, and that the Lord will work all of the mess that is my life together for good!
So here’s to 25! May it be a year overflowing with gratitude, new perspective, and hope!
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