Dear 20

new lungs

You came in a rush, chasing any sort of gloominess away. With the promise of marriage to Ben and a beautiful ring on my finger, you welcomed me with love.

And the hectic sort of happiness that comes with being engaged. There were plans to be made and people to ask, things to organize, and tears to cry. There was the white dress to buy and the decor to choose from. There were bridal magazines to rifle through, and my stick figure rough sketch of how the wedding was to look.

But despite all the wedding day plans, there was other life to live.

Dear 20,

You came with doctor appointments, and phone calls. You came with frantic rushing around and the continuous prayers for healing. You came with frustration and tiredness. You pushed me to my knees in pleading to God for miracles.

And God gave them. Every single one.

Dear 20,

You came in and insisted that I learn how to say NO to things, so I could say YES to the other things. You had students for me to love and countless lessons of patience and consistency for me to learn.

Dear 20,

This was the year, you were the time, that God allowed me to finally have surgery. I didn’t pay a dollar. I could feel my body patching together, slowly healing. Someone told me that I seemed like I had more energy.

I did.

For the first time in years–years– you granted the energy I have so long desired.

In just the time I needed to feel back on my feet, May 23rd came along. All I wanted to do was get married.

And Dear 20,

That’s exactly what I did! I put on the white dress, rather unceremoniously as I did so in the tiny walk-in closet. And I walked down to Ben. We listened to “I Love You, Lord”….a moment I will never forget.

And then we vowed.

Dear 20,

It was in your year that I got to experience the honeymoon, which by the way, is even sweeter now than it was in May. I have enjoyed being a wife. And I have learned so much about myself as a woman.

Dear 20,

I feel like you have pulled me through the ruts and hoisted me on mountaintops. I can’t  adequately explain the feeling of transition that has closed in on me in the last few months.

I am no longer a child.

I am no longer a teenager.

I am an adult.

I am a woman.

The transition started years ago and the doors are closing fast. I couldn’t be more happy or uncertain, as confidence in God pushes me on.

But—

Dear 20,

Above all this, I now approach the weeping that I must do for you. Because it is in your year that I have no longer felt the valley of chronic pain bearing down on my mind and body. I had not realized how this many years of pain has emotionally taxed me—burdening my mind and body.

But God heals.

So–

For joy, I weep!  Because, not only has my spirit found  continual comfort and peace in God’s strength and love,  but at last–at last–this shadowed valley is breaking up in sunlight. Beautiful patches of light.Sometimes, it even blinds me for the joy of it all.

Have you ever felt your body begin to heal? I have. It is miraculous.

Dear 20,

You have marched in with joy, a year unmatched by many. A place of mountaintops. Trials yes–trials are for always—but the joy, the healing, the comfort, the sunlight–

This is you.

This is 20.

And so—

I love You, Lord. And I lift my voice to worship You, O my soul rejoice!  Take joy my King, in what you hear. May it be a sweet, sweet sound unto your ears.

Lord, I give You 21. Even if I lose the patches of sunlight for fire and shadows. And today & tomorrow my 21st prayer is this–

“With new lungs, I’ll begin again. Lift my voice and sing my part. This is the sound of a Living Heart.”

Twenty-one is Yours.

******

(lyrics by JJ Heller from her song, Sound of  Living Heart)

Previous Birthday Letters

Dear 18

Dear 19

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