So, tomorrow (February 26) will be my birthday. And this birthday will be completely different from all the other 21 birthdays that I have previously had for a number of reasons. One reason being, this is my first birthday as Melissa Parnell, and another is I have recently experience the joy of giving birth. When I was pregnant, I learned much about the development of babies. It was always so cool to see what was developing next, or to estimate how big she was (I also loved going down the produce aisle at the grocery store because babycenter.com would say stuff like, your baby is the size of a small pineapple:) Of course when I was getting closer to my due date, I would naturally say things like "I hope she comes early." And the most popular response I got in return was, "She decides when it is time to come." And so, on a Wednesday, February 26 in 1986 around 12:30am I begin making my way out of my mother's womb and arrived at 3:15am that morning. And although, I don't know the exact feelings my mom felt when she first laid eyes on me, I can only imagine it was a feeling very similar to mine when I watch my daughter take her very first breath on Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 6:57am, two months ago from my birthday. As I think about my birthday and Elizabeth's 2 month birthday, I am reminded of Psalm 139, about how God has woven and knitted us in the depths of our mother's womb. One of the most amazing discoveries I learned, was that the very first organ a baby develops is her heart. She has no brain "telling" her heart to beat. She has no ears to listen and copy her mother's heartbeat. Her heart is simply beating because her Creator is telling it to. And His sustaining grace and power continues to uphold and make our heart beat. And for that I am grateful.
But as I think about my birthday, I am reminded of a second Birth day, one of which I had no initiation in the time I should be birthed. My second birth day is the time in my life when God sought me when I was still a stranger, spoke light into my dark heart, and did the thing that only He could do, turn my heart towards Him. This second birth did not occur when I was seeking religion and tried to create my own way of being reconciled with God. No, reconciliation did not occur when I completed my checklist that consisted of going to church, being baptized, walking an aisle, or going to an alter. It was when I realized that there was nothing I could do to merit God's love, and that my very vain attempts to have a relationship with God was as filthy rags. And in such a desperate state of knowing there is nothing in my power to make things right, God spoke the gospel of Christ into my hard heart. It is Christ's work: his life, death, and resurrection that enables me to be in fellowship with a Holy God. It was when Christ on the cross took God's justice and wrath upon Himself for my sake, so that I may be able to receive the mercy and grace of God and be reconciled to Him. You see, I am thankful to God, who not only created me, but also saved me. I'm doubly His, and for this I am even more grateful!
As I celebrate another year, and as Elizabeth celebrates another month, I pray that God too will one day seek her out and speak light into her dark heart, and that she accepts and trusts in the work that Christ has done on her behalf so that she too can be reconciled to the One who created and made her.
So here is to Elizabeth and myself..HAPPY BIRTHDAY:)