Dudes, this is long but please stick with it. I pray this story blesses you.
Kind of weirded out by the fact that I've filled out the number '30' for age on a couple of forms. Yeah, they were medical related forms for new patient visits- shut up! It's not the whole idea of 30 and being older- it's not! I'm thankful to be alive most days, for real. It's just weird writing a new number. I'm so used to the 2-something writing. It's as simple as that.
Really. I'm cool with it.
Turning 30 was fun. I mean, I'm already using x amount of creams for all sorts of remedies: firming, de-firming, wrinkles, smell goods, etc. so why not just own being 30. I'M 30 AND I'M OWNIN' THIS THANG! Really, all you 29'ers suck it up. Sorry to be brash, but come on. There is a LOT worse things out there then a silly age. We are going to have a "I'm 1,000 years old today" moment in Heaven. This is nothin'.
The Lord gave me the best presents on my birthday. When I woke up I'm not gonna lie I was a little sad on the day of due to the fact I wouldn't be hearing from not one blood family member on my day. I straight up miss my earthly daddy who's been gone now for almost 3 years. I didn't tell anyone, just Jesus. He told me, "I got you." I believed Him and went on my merry way to church. There was some hint of surprise lurking in the air. I got a big ol' surprise as I crutched into La Vida Loca at 4:30 I came into the party room and there was all my family (my in-loves) and my family in Christ -girlfriends- holding up their menus over there faces and then "SURPRISE!!!!"
John didn't get my friends' pics. He had a lot going on. I promise they were there! I didn't make them up!
Thank you John for arranging this. You explode my heart with your coolness.
Then it gets better. See, as I have lamented on here before I found almost all of my pictures thrown in our trash cans one day. Here I was holding on to these pictures of me as a baby- can you imagine? - all wrinkled and thrown away. All my memories. I was devestated and cried out to the Lord in my garage. He immediately spoke to my heart with His spirit- "I'm your Daddy. I'm your Mommy. I got all your pictures with me and I see them everyday. I love you!" I gathered the pictures and put them in our closet. If you know me, I'm an archiver. I have a photo scrapbook for Leelah as well as a journal where I write all of her funnyisms, accomplishments, firsts, etc. It's a big deal to me.
You must know, I have grace for the person that threw my memories away. I've forgiven and will keep on forgiving them with Jesus' (and a little counseling) help. I can't understand why someone who holds such a precious position in my life would do that, but that is no excuse for me holding a grudge. I know God loves me which gives me the love to forgive. Please know, I'm sorry you were so hurt by life that you did that.
In our precious small group - Cookbook Book Club- I shared this whole situation with my girls as part of our study of Captivating. One girl in particular had a tug on her heart about my memories not being kept here on earth. The Lord put it on my special friend's heart to collect all of my pictures (just about) from birth to my child's birth- my whole life! 30 years! This was mission, which took several months, not only involved her but her kind husband, my hubby, and several friends. Together they compiled them all and made me my very own scrapbook complete with letters from all my friends. Thank you Lesly for compiling the letters and for taking pictures of my church family! This present was saved for the last. I have to tell you, when I opened it I had NO idea. When I saw it was my face on the front cover and opened it to find my daddy's pics and then my birth pics, all through school, college, wedding, etc. I cried 30,000 tears for 30 minutes tears of shock that God knew just the present to get me. I cried that such a sweetheart answered the call to do this, tears of just utter amazement. It's certain that some of the guests were a little afraid of all the emotions. It was intensely perfect. Jesus came to my party y'all!
Oh and there's more, because that's how He works.
This sweet friend, Becky- I love you!- knew about another need I had expressed. You see you have pictures of yourself and all your glory moments plastered in your parents' hallways. I didn't. This was hard! Well, sweet Becky picked out some of my special moments and had them in a beautiful frame which is when my mom-in-love got up and accepted it. "This is going in our home, Gillie. We love you so much!"
Blown away. At this point, I had every membrane that produced tears, saliva and mucus working on overtime. BAAHAHAHAHWWAAAAHHHHH... It was beautiful. Not my crazy, sweaty over-emotional face, but Jesus' gifts from my friends and family.
Yeah. I'm very blessed and cannot thank God enough for it. Thank you to everyone who was a part of that moment and a part of the new moments in my life. I love you guys.
Then my sweet Mindee-friendy, had made get this- 5 of my favorite pie/cake ever: Banoffee- bannaffee? Whatever, that stuff is goooooood.
That was the birthday when I've never felt so loved.