Birthday Wishes

It’s my birthday— and the crowd goes wild! Just kidding! I would post a selfie, or something that our generation used to call a photo of ourselves- but It’s my birthday present to you to withhold it! : )

I remember how much I looovvveeed my birthday growing up. Around 17, it was the most exciting day of the year for me. I had incredible friends in High School, and though we have gone our separate ways, I will always remember that birthday in particular. It was an intentional thing, and intentional things mean so much to me.

I woke up and my mom had made a big birthday banner for me that was hanging on the wall downstairs.I got dressed and ready for my day, and walked outside and I had a card and a rose on the hood of my car.

I got to school and had my locker covered in birthday notions…My friends about 10 of them started coming in and everyone of them had a white t-shirt decorated the same way, “Happy 17th Birthday Melissa!” The front and backs were done in green sparkle glitter glue! It was wonderful, someone handed me a rose then, and in each class I got a new set of balloons. I felt like a princess, and yes they even had a Burger King Crown decked out, that I was mandated to wear with a sash that said, it’s my birthday.

I walked out of school to a car creamed- literally. It was covered in streamers, balloons and a dozen roses. I cried, I was so moved.

I went home and my family and friends had worked together to plan a surprise party after school. I had a ScoobyDoo cake, which means my mom really does love me like she says! 🙂 I had a date planned with my boyfriend and when he brought me back home it was about 10 at night…

I was in my bathroom upstairs when people in black masks, not speaking attacked me. Yep. I was terrified, screaming and acting a fool, and then I heard my cousin Robert downstairs laughing… I finally relaxed because I knew he would NEVER let someone hurt me. Those wonderful idiots drove me around in the back of a van tied up while they played Phantom of the Opera at the loudest possible decibel. Finally they drove me home, rolled me out of the van and left me- in the middle of the field in the front yard. Apparently they had arranged a sleepover. It was wonderful. I will not forget it for the rest of my life, and if I do. I pray I have friends who come back to remind me of that special time, knowing I was on the mind and heart of so many people.

I looked up Birthday on BibleGateway and saw something that pricked my conscious.

Matthew 14

3-5 Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and sent him to prison to placate Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. John had provoked Herod by naming his relationship with Herodias “adultery.” Herod wanted to kill him, but he was afraid because so many people revered John as a prophet of God.

6-12 But at his birthday celebration, he got his chance. Herodias’s daughter provided the entertainment, dancing for the guests. She swept Herod away. In his drunken enthusiasm, he promised her on oath anything she wanted. Already coached by her mother, she was ready: “Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer.” That sobered the king up fast. Unwilling to lose face with his guests, he did it—ordered John’s head cut off and presented to the girl on a platter. She in turn gave it to her mother. Later, John’s disciples got the body, gave it a reverent burial, and reported to Jesus.

I read this and was 1) excited to see the word Birthday in the Bible- I would have expected -day of birth… and 2) amazed at how easily we are convinced to do sinful things simply because we are unwilling to lose face.

It shames me because I have done those things. Haven’t you? You were in front of someone and you reverted in your character because of who you were around, instead of reverting to your true character because of Who you were around- the One who is in the midst of all you say and do. Why does it not affect us to know that we are in the presence of the Most High God? Why do we allow ourselves to not only see the temptation to be angry, or speak unkind things, but to rampantly go after it! To become engulfed with rage, or gossip for an hour with someone only to  find later that the information you shared or heard was completely incorrect?

This birthday I look into me, and determine who will I be? What do I want my legacy to be? Will I be a woman that changes the situation? Or a woman, changed by the situation? Will I use my pull, or position with people for good or will I unloose compassion beyond someones expectations to rock their world with the Love of Jesus?

Blessings on this ordinary day… and Thank You Mom for giving me life. May I be a blessing unto you and your home!

mel

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