I turned 60 years old yesterday. And truly, I was not fussed at all about it. In fact, I took great pleasure in it. My 30th , 40th, nor 50th birthdays never really bothered me. I did enjoy these birthdays, but they did not distress me like I had thought these milestones might. But I must say, turning 60 has been a very, very special milestone. So I am celebrating it, and claiming it. I am now 60!
I guess this birthday feels special because I feel blessed to had 60 amazing years, still be relatively healthy, and most importantly to be surrounded by so many loving family and friends. Over the day, as I looked over the cards, email messages, Facebook wishes, and gifts – I felt treasured. And as I read each message, I noticed that there were comments from friends and family representing every place we have lived, and from every part of my journey. There is something very special about making such deep connections that they transcend time and distance. I cherish each person, each relationship, and all the memories we share.
These are what make the journey worthwhile.
We are made for friendships and community. Regardless of where my journey has taken me – whether I was in seasons of summer or winter, joy or sorrow – community is what made the difference. For in the summer, friends increased the joy by helping to celebrate with laughter and good companionship. Each blessing became magnified because of the amazing people walking alongside me. They have been my dearest companions through every season. And then, during the winter seasons, this loving community helped to carry the sorrow and heavy burden of grief. For over my life, like everyone else, I have experienced both glorious summer seasons and the dark days of winter. Although I treasured the companionship in each season, it was in the dark challenging seasons of winter where I felt most comforted by the loving presence of others. And of course there have been times over the last 60 years where I felt very alone. Though walking in solitude can be very isolating and testing, they are also rich times to build strength, confidence and self-sufficiency. I learned how to walk independantly, with God as my companion. And when I was once again within community, I was more able to deeply appreciated its beauty.
So as I move into another decade, I celebrate that I walk forward with so many loving, courageous, supportive people. I look ahead fearlessly and confidently. I walk boldly, with great anticipation, because I know that God has great plans for each of us. Plans to prosper us and take care of us. So regardless of what the future holds, I know that with God and great community, I am ready.