I turned 65 today. I spent yesterday reflecting on the previous year, not in recapping the joys of victories won, although there were some, but instead lamenting areas of fragility I’m learning to come to terms with.
Last year was the year of increased health issues that left me feeling vulnerable and weak. Nothing as overwhelming as my bout with myelofibrosis in 2008, but enough things stacked on top of each other to make their total weight a burden I found difficult to bear. Like a snowball rolling down a hill, the more it turned, the heavier it got. I can’t give enough praise to my wife, Janice, who, fighting her own health issues, was able to push that weight off me enough to keep me from being crushed. And thank you to Steve Garrett and Robert Boyet, who showed up at my apartment with a KFC lunch one day, and to Dee Swearingen for regularly checking up on me over coffee. And to the countless people I know were praying for me, thank you!
In light of all I’ve discussed here, I decided to give some birthday presents to my fragile self. Here they are.
1. I give my fragile self the right to feel fragile when he needs to.
2. I give my fragile self the permission to gain strength and heal.
3. I give my fragile self the opportunity to share with others to help them heal, too.
4. I give my fragile self the right to be optimistic about the future.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8:24-31 NASB)
Happy Birthday to me!