On March the 12th I turned 60.
Scary thought. But there it is, the inevitable march of time.
I am grateful for so many things today.
For life; though there has been many times when I did not think I could make it one more day. When sorrow, grief and despair have been so sharp, slicing to the core. But grace, and oh, the glorious mercy and love of God raining on me. Strength given for one day and then the next. The ability to carry on, and carry on finding joy once more.
For my family; their constant love and support. We’ve been through so much. You cannot live six decades without high highs, and low lows, cliche as it may sound. There has been such joy and laughter. And oh, the tragedies we’ve endured. The joy and laughter they continue, fully and with delight. The griefs we have suffered intense and raw, and new griefs we suffer still.
The rough threads of fear, and the dark threads of anger, and hurt. Yet, all woven together with the golden threads of kindness, understanding. And above all – forgiveness given again and again; received with relief and gratitude again and again. Flowing like a river, washing over the stones of offence and opening up hearts once closed. If you don’t believe in miracles, family is proof that miracles can happen. That sometimes, what you thought forever destroyed can be renewed and life can thrum through our veins again.
I am thankful for friendships. Friendships, of truly kindred spirits. If you know me well, you know I love all things, “Anne of Green Gables,” and her creator, L.M. Montgomery. To have those “bosom friends,” the ones that will set you drunk on supposed Raspberry Cordial, the ones who save your life.
Friendship – glue that holds us together, body and soul. Of whispered secrets in the dark, of giggles and laughter, and cup of tea after cup of tea. Friendships, the buffer for the evils of the world. The ones who stand beside you and with you in the darkest and bleakest of nights, the sunniest, most brilliant days. Who dare to tell you the truth, but love you enough to be oh, so gentle when they do. They who stay, listen, groan and pray.
I am thankful for faith. Faith passed down by loving parents, imperfect as they were, they were shining examples for me. I love them and miss them so. This faith, in Jesus, my Saviour. The Sovereign, Mysterious, Incomprehensible One. The God, who sustains me, upholds me, surrounds me.
He is my Rock, my Refuge, a very present help in time of trouble. The One who loves me with a Steadfast Love. He whose love is deeper than any dark pit. As Corrie Ten Boom (survivor of the Holocaust), reminded us He is Underneath; as in “Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.” With me through the thickest fear, darkest of doubts, and dire disaster. He has been the lifter of my head. His promises – sure and strong; He will never, ever leave or forsake. That He is not distant, that He weeps with us in our sorrows.
My life is wrapped up in purpose. Unfurling like the blossoms in spring, I lift my hands in worship and surrender. For He is altogether wonderful and He has got me and He will not let me go.
I admit I face the future with some trepidation. I am a worrier by nature. The world is often frightening and tilting on its axis, whirling by, spinning as if out of control. Still, I have learned bit by bit, and will be learning whatever is left of my days, I am safe in my Father’s hands. I let go of anxiety some days, quicker than I used to. I have learned and continue to learn – life is a journey. It is not about perfection but progress. And I will not give up.
My daughter, Leanne, drew me a picture for my 60th birthday. She says it is my writing persona. There is great joy for me in writing; in the writing of tales and stories, both truth and fiction. Leanne has captured the essence of this joy. I am delighted to share this beautiful work of art with you.
My deepest thanks and gratitude to all of you dear readers. Thank you for taking the time to read my words.