Wednesday, August 15, 2012
What are birthdays like in your late twenties? If you don't already know, it's much different from the confetti-filled, balloon-popping, sugar-enhanced celebrations of your youth. My past few birthdays--when I turned 26, 27, 28--have taken a turn for the existential. Outside of sharing a few drinks with friends, you would have found me taking long walks, hands behind my back, contemplating life itself. Today has been no different.
I'm inching closer to 30. It's not as depressing as people make it sound. Jokes about getting old are just as common and equally as annoying as marriage jokes; they usually incorporate death, frailty, and sexual under-performance in the punch line. However, with a six-month old and a beautiful wife at home, a heart full of friendships and experiences, and a genuine sense that my life is shaping into something beautiful, I can't complain.
Today I've been especially aware of how precious life is. A colleague of mine was making a presentation when a G-Chat window popped up, it was his wife checking in. "I felt the baby moving again, so don't worry...everything's fine." It was a sobering reminder of what really matters: Powerpoint slides about upcoming change or the beating of the tiniest heart? The accidental eavesdropping reminded me of when I first learned the answer to that question.
In March of 2011 we suffered through a miscarriage. After so much anticipation and excitement, telling our friends and family we would soon be parents, everything stopped. A little heart stopped and so did ours. We were left desolate, wondering "Where do we go from here?" Doubts, anger, frustration, and fear filled the air. And through that deep sorrow we began to shuffle along this mortal coil in a different way altogether.
I remember riding subways in Budapest and as I looked around at each passenger I would think, "You're a miracle, you made it here because of a miracle, you made it here for a reason..." I suddenly appreciated the people around me because I realized how hard it can be to travel from the womb to life outside of it. Today I've had the same revelations.
I'm thankful to be alive. Though I've faced many crushing trials, I am happy to be alive. More than that, I'm thankful to be surrounded by life. To have a wife and son who God has entrusted to me, to have friends who care for me, to breathe with others is a gift. I'm thankful to know my God, my Father who has never given up on me, even in my mess.
So, I don't know how your Wednesday is going, but just know that you are reading this because you have had life breathed into you. I pray you take it in deeply and pass it along with grace, love, and hope.