Tomorrow, Jan. 12, 2010, I will turn 50 years old.
Hard to believe.
Some friends are planning a lunch for the day after and my husband says he'll take me out to dinner. I do appreciate those things.
Yet I also know that every year, in itself, is a gift - even the bad ones, the ones we hate to go through.
Because we learn from them.
Years ago, I read an Ann Landers column. Apparently, a woman had written in because she was depressed about turning 50.
In this particular column, Ann ran the letter of a young mother of three children. The woman, who was in her 30s, had cancer. She wrote about how she'd never see her young children graduate from high school or get married. She'd never see her grandchildren.
Oh how she wished she could live to see her 50th birthday.
I think I was in my 20s or 30s when I read that column. I can't remember how old I was, but I remember that letter.
It has since shaped my thinking.
I may not be happy about an achy knee or thinning hair or weight that seems to cling a little too easily these days, but I am so grateful for what I've learned during these last five decades.
I'm closer to God and more at peace than I've ever been. I have a confidence founded not in myself, but in the Great I Am, the Most High God, the Creator of the Universe. I can rest in hands of a God who sees the future that I do not and loves me for who I am, despite my flaws.
Better yet, I know that the Lord doesn't play favorites. He doesn't love me any more than he loves you and I know with all my heart that he wants to shower you with the same blessings.
So as I so quickly approach this 50th birthday I want to say "Thank you Lord for being so good to me - for teaching me through trials and lavishing me with blessings. I love you Lord."
And if you haven't already, please reach out to the Lord.
Years ago, man shared the plan of salvation with me. He told me that none of us are perfect. We all mess up, but if:
1. we repent of our sins (that means to be so sorry that we never want to do them again);
2. and believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to save us from our sins;
3. and ask him to come into our hearts and be our savior, we will be saved. That means we get to go to heaven when we die.
The Scriptures say that if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth you will be saved.
Plain and simple.
I prayed that prayer when I was 16 years old. My life has never been the same. Oh, I've messed up and suffered the consequences and then come back to the Lord.
He's always been faithful and I know he always will be. And as I look back on my life, I can agree with the Psalmist who wrote: "Be at rest once more, oh my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalm 116:7.
I pray that God blesses each and every one of you who read this.