Gratitude

On the eve of my 44th birthday

March 6, 2021

Can I be honest with you? I didn’t think I would make it to tomorrow.

I was thirty-nine when I was diagnosed with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. When we celebrated my 40th birthday a few months later, it felt like a miracle. It still does. It was. It is.

So on the day before my 44th birthday, I am sitting here in my bed, with my goldendoodle Nala curled up next to me. And I’m thinking about you.

Time flows like a sloth but also a hummingbird. In four years I have written four Bible studies (if you’re counting, yes there is one on the way). I’ve celebrated countless holidays and family birthdays, walked down Disney World’s Main Street four times, and said a goodnight prayer over my son 1,460 times.

I’ve also lost loved ones. Lost whole days to migraines and chronic pain. Lost out on living because of anxiety. Lost chances to live like Jesus because I was selfish. And dropped to my knees to cry out, “Jesus, I am lost. Fix this. Get me to the next moment. Comfort my grieving heart. Make me more like You. Let me love You more today than I did yesterday. Come. Even so, Lord Jesus, come.”

Like all of us, I live with the tension of knowing I am whole in Christ but yet unfulfilled in this broken world. Life is sweet but splintered. I am hopeful but not yet at home. I am overjoyed at the time I have been given on this earth. I yearn to see Jesus face to face.

I’m rambling, I know. These are the musings of someone who is incredulously approaching another birthday while hearing the whisper of her disease that is deceptive, destructive, and deadly. It is joy, it is wonder, it is thank you, Jesus.

So I’m wondering if you are also living in that tension of what is now and what is to come. If you are, can I send you a fist bump right now? And may I remind you of a few of things God has taught me that have sustained me over the past four years:

  • Romans 8:28 was written for you.
  • Rest is worship.
  • We will see glimpses of heaven in this broken world.
  • Your weaknesses (physical and spiritual) are an opportunity to reveal God’s glory.
  • It’s okay to grieve.
  • Jesus was determined to rescue you.
  • There is still work to do.
  • God has gone before you and will light the way for your next step.

Lord willing, I will wake up tomorrow. I will kiss my husband and hug my son. And I will say a prayer of gratitude for you. I am so thankful for you. You are one of the ways that God has rescued me. You make my life sweet. So know that all of what God has taught me in these past four years is true for you too. You are not alone. And I’m rooting for you, always.

Much love,

Heather

6ish year old me, who had no idea how prophetic that typewriter would be…or how much joy
God had in store for her. Thank you, Jesus.

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