Today is my birthday. I am not ashamed to say that I love my birthday. In fact, if you ever try to hack into my email account and one of the security questions is “What is your favorite holiday?” the answer is going to be “My Birthday.” I don’t mind getting older and truthfully, I am looking forward to being 80 years old, sitting on the porch with Michael and talking about all the life we’ve lived.
I’m convinced that there is little in life that is worth really pursuing besides wisdom. I don’t mean wisdom from self-help books (can you even call that wisdom?) or pithy sayings from friends. I mean real, God-given wisdom. This past year has been hard but it has been full of seeking, and I hope, obtaining wisdom. Unlike all my studies in school, there have not been direct methods or paths to pursue for success. There is no unit outline or study guide that spells out exactly what I should know. But there have been some themes that have emerged.
Last year I felt really judged for a variety of things even though no one ever really disagreed with my decisions. I really struggled with the Mommy Wars and what I saw as needless comparison among women in how we feed, diaper, clothe, and train our children. Today, I seriously could not care less. I do not care that my house has toys strewn all over the floor. I do not care that my son has eaten a hot dog at every meal since Monday. I do not care that he has watched too much TV today. I do not even care if you know all of this and judge me for it. It just does not matter.
Here’s what matters: The Gospel. Family. Friends. SOULS.
We live in a broken world and walk among broken people. People’s lives are literally crumbling down around us and we are fighting with each other on Facebook about nursing vs. formula, cloth vs. disposable, and home school vs. public school vs. private school vs. un-schooling. I do not say this to condem anyone and it’s true that we do actually have to make decisions about how to feed, care for, and educate our children. It’s just that those discussions are often so LOUD that they are all we hear. I want to reset our focus on the things that matter– the things of first importance— and filter out all the noise that threatens to overtake us.
One thing I am learning as I walk through this life is how true 1 Corinthians 13:7 really is. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love bears all things– like the consequences of someone else’s sin. Love bears the weight of our brokenness, foolishness, and selfishness. Christ’s love has paid for our sin. It’s even paid for the sin of other people– the sin that gets all over us and threatens to destroy us. Christ paid for that sin, too.
Love believes all things– the good and the bad. Love is not fooled, manipulated, or deceived. Love shines the light of truth into our darkness and makes it possible for our hearts to really, truly, fully forgive. The love we see in the Gospel shows us that the most absurd thing possible has happened– I have been forgiven and am now reconciled to the Father. There is no more condemnation for me. If I can believe that, I can believe anything is possible.
Love hopes all things– like redemption for the best of us down to the worst. Love hopes in a way that is not possible for us on our own. Love looks on hopeless situations– desperate situations– and says it’s okay to hope. It’s okay to trust our Father that He is redeeming all things. All the sad things will one day come un-true.
Love endures all things– even the most tragic circumstances possible. Love endures to the end when we will see Him face to face and finally be changed.
I do not know what this year will hold. I hope it is full of healthy babies and joyful moments. I hope my friends are safe and happy and there are moments of rest. But even if the Lord breaks my heart beyond anything I can imagine, I know that there is hope for me. He will not leave me in my distress or abandon me in times of trial. His love for me will endure to the end and his plan for me will not fail.