Birthday Reflections

birthday candles

I turned another year older this week, 51 on Monday. It was a quiet time, no big party with cake, ice cream, presents, etc. Lisa, Kelsey and her boyfriend took me out to dinner the night before, so I spent Monday relaxing, got a massage the girls had bought for me, prepared to teach my Tuesday classes, and of course, took a motorcycle ride. Not a bad way to spend the beginning of my 51st year.

I am reflecting on the last 12 months, and all that has transpired. Last September, I was mostly recovered from two surgeries, a spinal neck surgery and a knee one. I took a 8-day road trip with a childhood friend, and spent the fall doing various things to earn a living, while still seeking the Lord about what He might have me do since leaving the full-time vocational ministry.

As 2014 began, my health went suddenly off the rails, with high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, and the discovery of an enlarged ventricle in my heart. Then by March came the discovery of bladder cancer and the subsequent surgery and chemo treatments. I’ve since had a colonoscopy which removed a precancerous polyp, and have been unable to put weight back on since losing 20 pounds after the cancer bout. Doctors now suspect hyperthyroid issues. Great. Another malady. All this with a guy who always felt like the picture of health.

My “half century” year was rough. Not the way I had anticipated beginning my 50s. And yet, more than the infirmities, I will recall my 50th year as one of great intimacy with and blessings from the Lord. I clung to Him and His promises in Scripture like never before, and God spoke to me in ways I will always cherish. He provided for my family’s needs by miraculous means, that I’d only heard or read about in other’s lives. In that sense, 50 was an amazing year that I praise God for. So as begin my 51st year, I am hopeful- for God to continue to heal me or give me peace in the midst of whatever I may face, for His leadership into new opportunities to serve His Kingdom, and for His continued protection and provision for my family. I look forward to all He will teach me this year, and the ways He will use me to be a blessing to others.

“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits…” Psalm 103:2

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