My Other Birthday

Today, I celebrate my other birthday, and I remember . . .

Our family of eight never made a big thing out of holidays. No costly festivities or extravagant decor, and birthdays didn’t have cake. Instead, we partied in our own simple way and celebrated what was most important. We pulled out the dusty birthday plate, made unique and superior desserts, and created beautiful memories.

But when I turned 5 years and 55 days old, a new tradition began: the other birthday.

For on that day, I experienced a birth more glorious than the first, and from that moment on, I truly lived.

July 2, 1991, Memphis || An ordinary day likely filled with childhood play, while worlds collided inside my head, and my little heart found itself believing. A phenomenon of grace which brought me to my knees, when at our old, green leather couch, my soul bowed to a new kingdom.

When something like this happens, you celebrate. When dead people live, you shout with the angels, you weep at the mercy, and you make a big thing out of it. And that’s what my sweet parents did.

So, every year on my “other birthday” {or “spiritual birthday,” as we often called it}, I received a special gift. A Bible, a book, or some other meaningful keepsake inciting remembrance.

Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ . . . having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Eph 2:12-14

July 2, 2018, Louisville || I remember.

I remember how I was scared of the baptism water and couldn’t stand to miss a day of church.

I remember the early days of faith that felt simple and routine.

I remember specific names – people, stories, places, and experiences that shaped me.

I remember conviction by the Holy Spirit, passion for holiness, and resolve to walk in the steps of Christ.

I remember ridicule and doubt and the realization that my life was not my own.

I remember heartaches, suffering, and pain that graciously drew me to a deeper place with my Lord.

I remember when the Bible was familiar. And I remember when it became precious.

I remember thinking my salvation testimony was boring. And I remember when a fresh awareness of the beauty of the gospel shattered that thinking.

On this, my other birthday, I stop, and remember, and rejoice ever still. That a glorious hope was born in me, and I yet live.

 [image credit: unsplash.com]

 


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