This thing called a birthday, a day that I don’t really like (and not because it means I am getting older), marks the passage of time. But, well, it’s just a day.
It’s a day that needs children to be fed, messes to be cleaned up, boo-boos to be kissed, and contrary to my seven-year-old’s expectations, a day in which school needs to be done.
“What? We have to do school on your birthday?”
Yes, it’s just a day.
And yet, I try to use this once-a-year memorial to think through the past. The past twelve months — and the past 37 years — have been full. Full of good things. Full of really good things. Full of hard things. Full of really hard things.
One lesson that God continually reminds me of, though, is that all things work together for good. Some days I wonder how I got to be where I am: a homeschooling mother of six kids, a wife of fifteen years, an expat living in Asia for ten years. All this good…came from so much hard.
I look at the way God has been weaving my story together. If I could take a strand of good in the present and trace it back these past 37 years, I imagine I would find variegated colors and hard on the other end. Pain and struggle and confusion and loneliness and brokenness and sin and discouragement and fear…woven beautifully in a way that is truly redemptive.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
And we KNOW (not hope, think, wish)
that GOD (not time, not people, not our own resolve)
causes ALL THINGS (not some things, not a few things, not just good things)
to work TOGETHER (it’s the mixture of the good, bad, and ugly)
for GOOD (not for harm, not for fear, not for worry)
to those who LOVE GOD (“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”)
and are called according to HIS PURPOSE (not our own dreams, desires, or ambitions).
It was Corrie ten Boom, I believe, who first likened life to a tapestry. We see the ugly underside where nothing makes sense. God sees the front and is purposefully and creatively creating a masterpiece. And one day, in eternity, we’ll see the other side and His purposes and beauty will shine ever so brightly.
I am so thankful for these 37 years and all that He has blessed me with and all that He has walked beside me in.
Life is But a Weaving
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ‘til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him
— Corrie ten Boom