Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dude, it's my birthday.

I turned 27 today. A little bit closer to "old." My friend called me this morning and said, "You're one year ol-wiser!"

And thus begins the dance. Pretty soon people will stop calling to say "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" and they'll start saying, "I'm are you?" And it seems as if, in accordance with such attitudes, I've become more and more blase about this - 'my day'. As if all those years of pajama parties and gift bags wore me out. As if I've had so much attention in the past that I'm tired of it. I claim that all I want is to do something low-key with my friends.

But...I don't.

In all honesty, I want something different. I don't want my birthday to be an everyday. It's embarrassing to admit but, for some reason, I couldn't sleep last night...and I woke up early. Apparently my pre-birthday is some sort of narcissistic Christmas Eve for me. The indifferent attitude never meant that I stopped caring. Believe me, I want the attention. I want it bad. It's just more difficult to get when your parents aren't organizing parties and people stop feeling obligated to buy you presents. Either that or as an adult, it starts feeling a little petty - like we should be above thinking much of ourselves. And I don't feel entitled to a celebration. I know I've done nothing out of the ordinary. I've survived another year, which may sometimes seem like an accomplishment...if you escaped Nazi Germany...or you live in West Valley. I don't expect lavish gifts or large brouhahas (mostly because no one is really sure what those are). I don't want much from you. You don't need to start calling me pet names like the email I got from this morning (Dear La-Lohlo? I'm sorry...what?) I just want you to be glad I've lived because, heaven knows, I'm glad I've lived. I am glad, glad, glad.

So today, I fully admit that I care, and now, I'm going to celebrate.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

A princess for all mankind.

Once upon a Bible time there was a woman named Sarah who was ensured, with her husband, constellations of children - as numberless as numbers go, shining multitudes of little promises.

And so she waited.

And so she hoped.

Judging him "faithful who had promised," she looked forward. Three times the assurance was given. Ten years nothing.

Unwilling to let her husband go childless because she was childless Sarah sought a solution. Partly fulfilling the promises, she gave Abraham a second wife who bore him a son. How hard it must have been. I wonder if she felt mocked at the name - Ishmael, "God hears". I wonder if she doubted - perhaps the Lord only intended to bless Abraham after all. Perhaps she felt unworthy, forgotten, rejected.

Thirteen more years went by, Sarah now incapable of bearing children. Still no cosmic cherubs. Still no Milky Way babies. If doubt had previously failed in its siege upon her fortified heart, it must have now felt certain of victory.

Sometimes I feel as incapable as Sarah then was. Unable to find forever. Unable to overcome. And I think that, surely, there's something inside of me keeping me back. If I could just find it, if I could dig deeply enough and tear it out, I would be home free. I would "mount up with wings as eagles; [I would] run, and not be weary; and...walk, and not faint."

But these abilities are reserved only for those that "wait upon the Lord." Oh, how we must wait sometimes. More than twenty-three years of it for our protagonist. Finally, when it was past the point of probability, past the point of possibility, the Lord said to Abraham, "Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed." And, indeed, she did.

Time and time again I try to boil my problems down to a science. I ask over and over and over again, "What is wrong with me?" "What's wrong with me?" Wrong. Me. Well...I will tell you:

I. Am. Broken.

I am barren like Sarah. I cannot fulfill His promises to me. All I can do is try. Try to be worthy. Try to have faith. Try to look forward. I place my bleeding, broken, tired heart on the altar, pleading "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief"...and then I wait. I wait upon the Lord, "being fully persuaded that, what he [has] promised, he [is] also able to perform."

And then as we, like Sarah, perform all that we can to the best of our meager abilities - proving our belief through our obedience - He gives us a son, THE Son, and through him we receive the fulfillment.

"Is any thing too hard for the Lord?"

**Quoted scriptures - Hebrews 11:11, Isaiah 40:31, Genesis 17:19, Romans 4:21, Mark 9:24, Genesis 18:14