10 seconds of grace that made my 26th birthday

I am a birthday celebrator.

I can’t help it. I LOVE celebrating people’s birthdays. And I like celebrating my own birthday. I enjoy marking one more year of God’s faithfulness by having people over. I like sharing the amazing fact that after all I’ve said and done, God has graciously given me one more year of blessed life. Oh! and I absolutely love surprises!

So being the birthday celebrator that I am, I decided I would celebrate my own birthday this year. Unlike last year, August 3rd would find me at home with a bunch of friends. We’d chill on my roof, eat chinese food and watch the stars. Nothing too fancy, nothing too loud…just us mingling and marveling at the greatness of our God. I wanted to make my friends feel comfortable. I wanted to give myself the treat of hospitality.

It was a great idea. Actually, I think it was a brilliant idea. None of my friends would have come up with something like that. But God had a better idea.

What does a stormy day sounds like? Or how about the threat of a storm?

The day before my birthday I had to cancel my plan and surrender my will to His. Last year He had taught me how His plans were more exciting and better than mine, right? This was a test. And a good one for my soul so that once again I would lean on God, and not on myself. I had to speak truth to my disappointed soul. “It’s ok. He is good and He is in control. Last year the Lord threw the most special birthday party I have ever had. He surprised me. So I’ll wait and see what He has in store for me tomorrow”

I spent most of August 3rd, 2011 at my grandma’s. I really enjoyed people’s birthday greetings on my Facebook wall, and was deeply thankful for some phone calls I received. A friend baked me a cake, and my uncle bought us some pizza. Around 6:00 pm I was singing “happy birthday” with my 4 younger cousins, my aunt, uncle and my mom. It was indeed a very special moment, full of laughter, prayer and birthday wishes. As I sat back and thought about the day, it was like the Lord slowing me down and pointing me back to the treasure I have in my family.

*deep sigh*

Yet, I was still disillusioned. “Lord, is this it? No surprises for me today?”

The answer to that question came later that night.

My friend Linnette was in Haiti at the beloved orphanage we visited last summer. She uploaded a photo of baby Mackinson one year later.

When I saw it, I started crying tears of joy. I couldn’t believe how big and beautiful he was. I praised the Lord for His faithfulness and care for this sweet baby boy. I then asked her if we could talk using FaceTime. I wanted to be able to see the kids at least once. We tried and tried, but we couldn’t make the connection. I was bummed. I thought I was not going to be able to get through. I sighed almost in despair…

“Let’s try one more time…”

And…the next 10 seconds I witnessed on my computer were worth the whole day.

There was our church’s team and my precious kids, all together sitting at the table singing “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU”

I wept.

And wept. And wept.

I couldn’t stop crying even after the connection was gone.

My Father, the Lord Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of me…created a storm that never came, so that I would not throw my birthday party, but rather attend the birthday party He had planned and arranged for me. He knows how MUCH I LOVE Haiti and those kids. This was the best surprise I’ve ever had.

He is the best birthday party celebrator. Hands down.

Father, you know the longings of my heart. You also remember I am but dust. Thank you.

Jesus, Son of God and my faithful friend. Thank you.

Holy Spirit, wonderful Counselor. Thank you.

He’s done it once again. I have indeed tasted the undeserved goodness of the Lord.

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