I turned twenty four this week. It wasn’t a thrilling day. I watched someone back into my car twice as they tried (and failed) to parallel park in front of me. I went out for drinks with friends and ate gluten which left me bloated and unhappy the day after (but it was good on the going down!). In sum: I worked a shorter day than planned and had a delicious dinner and got to see friends and it wasn’t an extraordinary day but it was still lovely.

I’ve been thinking about where I was this time last year. I was dating N and we went downtown for my birthday (me in a cutesy dress) with just a couple friends. It was fun but it felt…off. I think I knew that while N was a better choice than previous suitors, he still wasn’t right. I was coming out of a rather dark period in life and to be honest, I was failing in nearly every aspect of my small reality.

This year, I still struggle with a lot of the same things. I still speed and drive rather aggressively. I’m insecure. My skin continues to break out (what’s up adult acne! how you livin’?). I’m prideful and selfish. I’m envious and ill content. And, in case you didn’t know, I really do know everything and I wish you people would just stop acting like I don’t!

But this year I have experienced a great movement of the Holy Spirit in my life. I have forgiven some people who hurt me–even those grudges I had been holding onto for years. I have gone back to school and I have found a purpose, a chance at doing something real and important. I have been challenged, I have been convicted and I have been so well loved by a great number of people that I have been given a real chance to grow.

Sometimes, I feel like I harp on this subject. But then, I think if there’s any subject worth repeating over and over, it’s this one:

My God is so good.
He redeemed me.
He cleaned me.
He clothed my nakedness.
He turned my sorrow to dancing…

…my ashes to joy.

And tonight, as I watched the sun set over the Rocky Mountains I thought that there is no greater birthday gift than the love of a Galilean who somehow found me–even in the muck and mire–more beautiful than the streaks of gold and rosy orange through which the sun sank to its nightly rest–more beautiful than the snow capped peaks and the clear green blue of mountain rivers–more worthwhile and hopeful than the late spring warmth that broke over the pine trees on my morning commute to Colorado Springs–my God found me more beautiful, hopeful and worthy than all of that. Or perhaps that is not the best way to say it. He did not redeem me for what I am or what I’ve done; but for his glory he somehow chose this wretched child and brought her  home to live, deep in his love, safe in his arms, always to delight in him.

my redemption came just months before my birthday in the season I love the least.
and there is such great irony in that. such mystical, haunting beauty to be reborn in such a time.

Man’s chief end is to know God and enjoy him forever.

God is most glorified in us, when we most delight in him.

I think that is the best gift a girl could ever ask for as she enters her mid twenties in the post modern west that has left Christendom behind and strains on for what it has always longed for–the very thing that she has been given.

Thank you. Very much.


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