Tomorrow is my birthday, y’all. YAY!
In the past, I’ve struggled with my birthday, struggled with inviting people to celebrate my life with me. The day has oftentimes been a reminder of some of life’s previous hardships.
But, as our good God continues to heal my heart, He affirms me of my belovedness, that I am loved, worthy, enough, and a product of His love. Despite whatever I might have felt or believed at one time, these are the only truths I need to hold onto in my heart and mind.
If you are completely secure in being beloved, praise God! You can encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ and call them out to see and receive their belovedness.
If you feel you have room to grow in loving yourself and the person God created you to be, I want to speak to your heart.
What is it that holds you back?
What stops you from knowing—unabashedly—that you are completely loved by a God who is head over heels for you?
What stops you from fully running towards and receiving this love?
The Life of the Beloved is a book that has had a profound effect on the way I see myself. In it, Henri Nouwen invites the reader to contemplate the spiritual life in four stages: taking, blessing, breaking, and giving. He discusses how God nudges us along these stages as we move and grow so that we can continue to grow into living out our belovedness. Nouwen draws a direct symbolism from the Eucharistic sacrifice of bread into the Body of Christ in this journey.
The Lord takes His child, just like a priest takes the bread.
The Lord blesses His child, just as a priest then blesses the bread.
The Lord breaks His child, just as a priest breaks the bread.
The Lord gives His child, just as the priest then gives out the Body of Christ.
As I journey through these stages in life, God helps me see how much He loves me. As I receive God’s blessing, I allow Him to take me to my brokenness so that He can pour in the healing balm of His love. When healing takes place, I am more available to Him to be given as a bearer of light and truth to those around me.
He helps me to fathom my belovedness. And as I continue to grow in my sense of my belovedness, I can then more clearly see the belovedness of my brothers and sisters in Christ.
And this is what I’m learning. How to live out being the beloved. How to celebrate the gift of my life, and how to receive the blessing of being celebrated and loved by others.
I thank God for creating me, and for this crazy life journey. I thank Him for the highs and the lows. He is in all of it anyway.
Do you praise God for your life? If you haven’t, are you willing to do that now?
God, I praise You for calling me by name and bringing me to life. I thank You for loving me from the beginning of time. I praise You for waiting for centuries for me to be born. God, I surrender my life back to You. Show me Your way.
It’s taken me a long while to believe that God is good, and He is always rooting for me. But it’s true. God is celebrating me, and He’s celebrating you every day. On our birthdays, we get to step out and embrace that celebration a bit more and with intentionality.
It’s hard to digest, really. God is pure love. He’s an active being because He’s always loving. He never stops this loving activity. And who is He loving? He’s loving YOU and me. He’s rejoicing over us, delighting over us, and celebrating us every second of every day.
And He only wants us to grow in our awareness of this state of being infinitely and unconditionally loved. So that we might get a more heavenly taste of what it means to live the abundant life He’s called us to (John 10:10).
Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all started welcoming and living life abundantly? How rich our society would look and feel, rich in love, in goodness, laughter, excitement, and activity.
God is always wanting to call us into this abundant, divine life. Here, Bishop Barron discusses how God is always drawing us into Himself, that we might become more like Him and live out the special calling He’s placed on our lives.
Most of us spend our lives trying to prove our worth and earn a spot in God’s favor. But Bishop Barron reminds us, “The essence of the spiritual life is not trying to make ourselves worthy of God because God has already made us worthy. The essence of the spiritual life is to live out the implications of our dignity as deified children of the Father.”
God is divine, and in offering His Son on the cross, He literally broke open His own heart so that we might be drawn more into that divine life. He already made us holy in our baptism as His sons and daughters.
The holy life is not primarily about moral excellence or spiritual athleticism or any sort of human achievement; it’s about being drawn, by grace, into a dignity infinitely beyond our merits or expectations.”bishop Barron
I’m looking forward to celebrating my gift of life tomorrow! I am learning how to stand on the holy and solid ground that is God, with an identity and belovedness that rests in Him. So, this thing of living and being created—it’s something to be celebrated. The more I’m aware that Christ lives in me, the more I can live!
And when I can more fully comprehend that, I realize that it was never about me anyway. My life has meaning only in relation to a greater whole. In relation to a loving Father and the loving people He’s blessed me with.
So, I hope you’ll thank God with me. I hope you’ll join me as I thank Him for everything about this life. Thank Him for making us His, for always loving us, and taking care of us.
We’re on this journey together, reader. My prayer for all of us is that our faith opens the doors wider to God and the abundant life He wants for us. That we can celebrate being alive and living in a joyful surrender and sense of wonder of: What will God do next? What delicious next step of this journey awaits?
Hello, 35. I’m ready for you 🙂