Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

I firmly believe there’s a reason for everything. Even being sick and staying home on a day like today. (And even staying up an hour later than intended to get this on paper!)

Truth is, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed had it been a normal day: I would’ve been caught up in the world of SD cards, and process docs, and a typical post-work evening/dinner.

But, for whatever reason, God had me stuck at home, with little but naps, emails, and most of all my thoughts to keep me occupied.

* * * * *

Happy Birthday.

That’s how I would’ve started the email that was never sent. Actually, maybe I would have used an exclamation. Or two even– an extra for good measure.

But ultimately, that email was never written, never sent. For what good would it do? For what reason would I be sending it? For what remedy would actually transpire?

* * * * *

Not too long ago, A asked me this: do you ever truly get over your first love?

A’s answer was no.

I disagree.

I like to believe that you do “get over” that person, but I don’t think you ever truly forget.

I think people have different ways of remembering though.

For A, maybe it’s just imagining what could have been, whenever faced with a significant event in life. That’s A’s way of remembering.

Or like another friend once said, there’s just certain memories he doesn’t want touched. Days that were too good perhaps, too pristine, days he would never take back, though his heart would later break over their very fact.

So I guess today was my way of remembering, of mourning even, a time that came to an end.

* * * * *

It’s interesting how life has a way of changing the way we remember. Psychology proves that we remember events differently as time progresses.

There were times when I could only recall the bad. Arguments. Insecurities. Ways that everything had become, or maybe always was, so dysfunctional (for when two sinful, totally depraved human beings try to love each other, isn’t the result always a little dysfunction? On the same note, praise be to God then that He has changed our very nature, replacing it with His!!).

And there were times when I could only recall the good. Days spent together. Life-shaping conversations. Times that once seemed like a fairytale.

But with time (and hopefully maturity!), I’ve been able to better grasp the fact that it was not all good, not all bad. Just as people are not all good, not all bad.

There were times when I would totally blame him. It was all his fault. He was the one who gave up. He was the one who lacked integrity. He was the one that wasn’t enough.

And there were times when I would totally blame myself. It was all my fault. I was the one who was so blind with selfishness. I was the one who wasn’t able to make things work. I was the one that was unlovable. I was the one that wasn’t enough.

But with time (and hopefully maturity!), I’ve realized that it has little to do with blame, and more to do with the Lord’s sovereign timing and planning. For He gives, and He takes. He is the initiator of all seasons, and He is the one who brings them to an end.

What once was, was meant for a season. And again, bringing that relationship to an end is one of the few things I can say without a doubt was God’s prompting and God’s plan.

* * * * *

It would’ve gone something like this:

Happy birthday!

I hope things are well for you. I hope God’s peace and favor has been upon you. I hope that seminary is going well and that your life is turning out to be all you hoped it would be.

Thank you for all you once did for me. I do appreciate it and I can see how God used you to reveal more of Himself to me.

I’m sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you. I understand a lot more now the ways I would hurt you, make you feel sub-par, inadequate. I’m sorry. But I trust that God is bigger than me and my mistakes, and that He is doing a good work in you.

Good news: I think I’ve forgiven you. Don’t know when it happened, but one day I just realized by God’s grace it did. For just as much as me, you are a sinner in need of grace, and who am I to not give that to you when the blood of Christ flows freely to cleanse sinners like you and me?

Things are going well for me. Work is work. Church has been an adjustment, but it’s been good. And that boy I told you about when we spoke last February? Well, you probably heard ages ago, but it’s official now (!!) and all I can say is God is so so gracious to me! We’ll see what God has planned, but as you said you’d hoped, he’s such a sweetheart and he is very, very good to me.

So again, happy birthday! May God bless you this year. May you walk more and more in the freedom you’ve been given.

Pass my love onto your mom especially and your family for me.

In Christ,
MG

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