Well, here we are, friends. The eve of my birthday.
And I got a Spanish love letter from God.
Haha, no but really. Allow me to tell you the story —
So over the weekend, I needed to go to a different Mass than usual, because of some plans I had on Sunday. So I searched Google to find a church near me that offered a time I could swing, and low and behold, when I got there…the Mass was in Spanish.
Which, was fine. I’ve taken seven years of the language, so I was able to understand some of it.
But it actually gave me a beautiful opportunity to spend the Mass listening. The meditative lull of the romantic language, with its rolled R’s and cavernous vowels, put me in a peaceful state where I was really listening for God.
My heart was in a bit of a weird place, coming into Mass. My birthday is never something I look forward to, if I’m honest. Each year is just another reminder how different my life is, compared to where I thought I would be at this stage of life. And particularly, how the chyron on my dating app profile is one year older, and one year less desirable to men.
Anywho — that was the headspace I was in, and I was really asking God to just calm my anxieties about this next trip around the sun, and reveal to me some birthday wisdom.
And well — He showed up.
I was following along with the readings at Mass — the only English thing I could find in my Spanish missalette — and…
First – from the first reading: Ecc 2 — “For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart?“
And secondly — from the second reading, Col 3 – “Think of what is above, not of what is on earth…You have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed.“
Well, if that couldn’t be more plain as day, I don’t know what is?
These last few weeks, my heart has just been in knots, thinking about getting older. I’ve been focusing so much on trying to control my future, and my love life, and job opportunities, and finances — those earthly things that I have been letting define who I am, and what I am worth. And in a way, that tight grip of control is actually a lack of trust in God. I’m forgetting what has been the cornerstone of my recovery: that my worth is as a child of God. Not from any of those other “definers” in life, like marital status, income bracket, LinkedIn profile, etc. His truth sets me free.
God wanted to remind me, yesterday in that Spanish Mass, that, I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
I spent the rest of the Mass, thinking about that word: renewed. Because the fact is, with God’s immeasurable grace and mercy, I have taken off that old self — I am now 12 years strong in recovery from an eating disorder that nearly took my life. I was dead in mind, spirit, and nearly body, and He broke through the wall around my heart, saved me from that darkness, and has been renewing me every single day since.
Renewal is not a one time thing. Just ask my skin care regimen. It is an every day, consistent process of turnover and growth. And I am right where I’m supposed to be in that journey.
And that, friends, is something to celebrate.
Today, I am celebrating life. Celebrating the fact that I was blessed with another year to live. Blessed that I’m here, and didn’t succumb to anorexia, and blessed with health of mind, body and soul. I’ve been blessed with an incredible family, and wonderful friends that I love and cherish with my whole heart. And blessed with a job that I love, and people I have met along the way who truly enrich my life. And blessed that I have a God who loves me enough to die for.
That is my birthday reflection this year.
Turns out, I was supposed to stumble into that Spanish Mass afterall. 🙂
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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