This birthday is special. And it is one that I plan to celebrate well. It is the first birthday since God instantly healed me of a degenerative condition with no medical cure about 6 months ago on Jan. 23rd, 2011.
Among the multitude of blessings that He has showered me with, I thank God for the prayers that He has answered and for His grace that has brought me so far.
More importantly, I thank God for every single request that I have ever asked of Him that He chose not to answer no matter how much I whined, complained and protested about it.
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? This takes me back to my teen years, which was no easy road.
I had everything going for me: terrific parents, awesome brother, great friends, excellent grades, a bright future ahead; yet I was sinking fast in feelings of despair and worthlessness.
I did all that I could to put on a brave face, but I struggled to deal with the shattered remains of my self-esteem, and memories of a childhood incident that left behind deep mental and emotional scars.
Fear tormented me every day and I dreaded being alone because I battled suicidal thoughts.
Despite the numerous family members and friends that I had around me, I felt that I couldn’t trust anyone enough to disclose what I had been struggling with. I had more than a handful of close calls; and as the years dragged on, the attempts became more frequent. I asked God every day to make sure that I didn’t wake up the next day. And I became more and more frustrated when I did wake up to another day.
It was purely the Lord’s hand and grace that preserved my life through those trying times.
There were times when I cried out, yet I couldn’t hear the sound of my wailing. There are times when tears fell, yet I couldn’t feel it on my tear-drenched face. There were times when I thought that no one could ever understand this hopeless, wretched person that I was.
But God did see, hear and understand me.
In 2002, I had an opportunity to spend extended time alone in prayer and reading the Bible at a youth retreat. The Word of God literally became a mirror for me to see myself. I finally began to see myself the way that God had created me to be. That’s when the distorted filter that I had been using to look at myself all along vanished.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made. He called me by name even before I had been conceived in my mother’s womb. He has numbered every hair on my head. And He will never leave me nor forsake me.
It is His love that has made a way for me through His death and resurrection. His unconditional love is available to me if I so choose to accept it.
I had a fresh revelation and encounter with the Lord that weekend. It was that moment that I chose to completely surrender what I saw as my broken, tainted and useless life into His capable hands for good.
I knew that I could not go on a second longer without His help. And He embraced me with His loving arms and flooded my heart with His love.
God erased the burden, pain, fears, haunting memories, anger, bitterness, hopelessness, suicidal and self-destructive thoughts; everything that held me hostage from experiencing the freedom that is found only through Him. The many chains that held me hostage were broken that day.
How it has transformed my thinking; how He changed me.
I thought about this turning point in my life this week, and recalled a quote by Jean-Baptiste Massieu: Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
How true it is that in order for us to be grateful, we must think with our heart. I have been feeling very overwhelmed over the Lord’s goodness in my life. I am so undeserving of His love, but He surrounded me with it in abundance.
So today, on my birthday…on a day when I know that I will be hearing the birthday song, I would first like to serenade my Heavenly Father with an amazing song of worship and adoration called A Beautiful Exchange (video below)…to express my gratitude for all that He has done…for planting me on this earth for such a time as this – to be all that God has created me to be and to experience His goodness and mercies all the days of my life.
And once again, I thank God for all the unanswered prayers.
When only love could make a way; You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange. When only love could break these chains; You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange.
If the walls of life seem to be caving in on you, then this post is for you. All you need to do is ask God. Just as the orchids in the first image on this post are emerging out from the rocks, His love has already made a way for you to emerge from whatever situation that you may be in.
He did it for me and He will do it for you! Trust Him and allow His unconditional love to flood your heart today!