So amazingly, I turn 30 today. I say amazingly because I don’t feel like what I imagined 30 would feel like. I think back to when I was fifteen and how I pictured myself at 30… “a grown-up.” Now in my mind at fifteen “grown-up” meant someone with kids and a house and lots of responsibilities… someone very different from who I thought of myself then. But now that 30 is here, I find it kind of funny that I still don’t feel like a “grown-up.” I mean, yes, I am married and I have a lot of responsibilities, but I still feel the same. I didn’t wake up this morning and the whole world had changed. I am happy and I feel blessed and grateful.
There is one huge difference in my life from when I was 15; I now know Jesus. So, I guess I am a different person, but not in the “grown-up” sense, in the sense that I have been given a new life and hope. I was 25 when I gave my life to Christ, now 5 years later my relationship with Him just keeps getting better. Of course, I have stumbled and taken some backward steps, but once I felt his love, I don’t want to live without it.
It got me thinking about gifts that we give to each other on special occasions and sometimes for no reason at all. Why do we? Out of obligation or out of love? The presents given out of love are always the best ones. It could be something that has little monetary value or is kind of ugly, but you love it anyway because it reminds you of the love that someone has for you. My best birthday present is God’s unfailing love. His open arms for me even though I screw up all the time. Nothing can compare to the gift of eternal life and hope that he has given me. He even gave me my second best birthday present, my husband. He poured out his love on us and he gave me my husband’s love. He blesses us to overcome the obstacles that we face in our marriage; that every couple faces in their marriage. That is why the vow says “in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health,” there are hard times in every marriage and I thank God that he helps us to get through them.
I thank God for all of my family and friends. Those are the priceless birthday presents. Of course it’s nice to get gifts, but they are never as valuable as the people who gave them. It reminds me of the scripture that we had read at our wedding (and that lots of people have read at their weddings):
Love Is the Greatest
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13