Celebrating a "Re-Birthday"

Posted by Rebecca Yauger, Contributing Writer, on Apr 22, 2021

Celebrating a "Re-Birthday"

Whether we like it or not, birthdays keep coming. How do you celebrate your birthday? Do you dread it – knowing there are a few more wrinkles or more gray hair? Do you just feel “old?” Or do you say, “Thank you, God. Thank you for my time here, serving you.”

I’ve had cancer three times. The second time, my diagnosis came two days before my birthday. That diagnosis certainly changed my perspective about birthdays!

Suddenly my age didn’t matter. I didn’t think about how old I was turning. What originally had been “uh oh, I’m making the turn for the downhill slide toward 50” very quickly became “I’m too young.” I’m too young to be faced with another bout of cancer that could kill me. There’s so much more I had left to do.

On the day of my diagnosis, which was a Friday, I had already talked with my doctor, and was grappling with the emotional side of being told I had cancer again. Then the mail came. There was a package from my mother – a birthday present.

With tears still in my eyes from hearing the devastating cancer news, I opened my present. Inside was a silver necklace. And on it was one word: BELIEVE.

My tears of sorrow quickly turned to tears of awe and wonder. Although I was facing a long journey with cancer, and facing another birthday, there, in my hands, was a reminder to stay strong and believe.

Mom later told me she doesn’t know why she sent me the necklace. It had been a gift to her. But she doesn’t wear silver…ever. So, it was just sitting in her jewelry box, never to be worn. As my birthday approached, Mom thought she’d send it to me, not knowing it would arrive on such an awful day.

Hebrews 12: 1-2 (NLT) says,

And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Believe that God has a plan for your life. Enjoy every moment of getting older. You can’t go back anyway. It may sound cliché, but to enjoy this life, take time for the small moments. I love when my five-year-old granddaughter holds my hand as we take a walk together. And when her two-year-old little sister opens her arms for “huggles,” as she calls hugs. The little moments are the most precious. I’m excited to see what more God has in store for me.

These days, instead of celebrating a birthday, I strive to have “re-birthdays,” where I remind myself to take time to thank God for my life and to rededicate myself to Him. To really dedicate myself to what His will is for me. I want to do the work He has for me by spending time in God’s word every morning, listening to His voice, and walking the path He has before me. I aspire to make an impact on those around me with the words I write and with how I live my life.

I may show a few battle scars, but if my eyes are focused on Him, then His light will shine. I want to stay focused on Him — and just BELIEVE.

How will you celebrate your next birthday?

Looking for ideas on how you can make an impact on those around you? Explore some of our opportunities to serve, here.

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