A Timely Birthday Counsel

by

I celebrated my 44th birthday last Thursday. In previous years, I would be preparing for this day weeks in advance. I will be planning my menu so that close friends could come over for dinner. However, this year was different. I did not make plans nor was I eager to prepare at all.

I don’t know where the “feeling meh” came from. It was a typical day for me. To celebrate, I just want to spend my day with coffee and my favorite 80’s and 90’s jam only. I don’t want any fanfare of special greetings. Cooking was also far from my to-do list. Worse, I thought of calling off my Thursday Ladies Discipleship Group meeting and have the day all to myself.

On the eve of my birthday, I sought the Lord. I expressed my gratitude for another year but also shared my depressing feeling. But because the Lord knows my heart, He knew what was bothering me but He did not reveal the reason for my indifference.

When I woke up the following day, I had a glimpse of the morning sun again after a very long time. I haven’t had that view ever since this real estate company started the construction of three condominium buildings. The construction blocked my beautiful view of the morning sky. But to see that once again was a blessing on my special day.

So, after taking our son to school, I prepared for my Thursday meeting, which I did not cancel. I was even late that morning. But when I arrived there was a surprise waiting for me. These women prepared something simple yet very special for me. Honestly, I was not expecting anything. Like I said, I don’t want any fanfare this year. But I did appreciate the kind gesture.

We had our usual fellowship and study session that day. When I got home, I got to read the individual notes/short letters they wrote for me. That warmed my heart that day. It was nice to be appreciated. And I returned the appreciation to them.

That night, I was able to respond individually to the birthday greetings sent to me on social media. Out of the many greetings I received that day, there was one that truly stood out. This person sent me a private message. She wrote how she values what I share on social media and for that she is grateful. I felt the sincerity in this person’s message. We were never really close and were friends in high school.

I felt the sincerity in this person’s message. She was not patronizing me because it was my birthday. It was real. We were never really close in high school but she is one of the very few people I look up because of her wit and simplicity. She was never too loud, or arrogant, or showy. And even her messaging was done in private.

Her words were what I needed at that exact time. I realized that I was riding that train of insecurity again. Unconsciously, I was allowing these thoughts to fill my mind.

“You’re not good enough.”

“What’s the point to all this?”

“Quit now!”

“This person is better than you!” 

But the Lord, in all His goodness, reminded me of my mission:

Influence one soul for God. 

That is all that matters to Him. The words I use are God’s words. The inspiration comes from Him. I take no credit. He gave me the gift of words and I am just His encoding his message. The focus is not on me but on Him alone. That is why it impacted this one person and another, and another.

I was also prompted that even if every person I know is getting more mileage in business, career, and even in social media than me, it doesn’t mean I have to keep up. I don’t have to compete with them. This is a contradiction to what most of the digital marketers I spoke with over the last couple of months advised me. So, I had to go back to my “Why”. I had to go back to my mission.

And just like that, it’s as if the Lord was saying. “Yes, their advice is good. But that is not what I want for you… Come on, you don’t even like the attention. You cringe at the thought that all eyes are on you. You prefer to be in the background, working silently, remember? Will you be content with that? Will you be content with influencing one soul for me?” 

Yes. Lord, I want to be content but my brain and my heart would take a lot of cleaning up to do. Then, I read “God’s Pursuit of Man” by A.W. Tozer, which says,

“With this desire to please men so deeply planted within us how can we uproot it and shift our life-drive from pleasing men to pleasing God? …What is required is a reversal of nature and this reversal must be a supernatural act…The believing man is overwhelmed by a powerful feeling that only God matters… Soon he learns to love above all else the assurance that he is well-pleasing to the Father in heaven.”

Like what the writer says, only a supernatural act could change the way I think or the way I see myself. Only God can do that. The positive vibe can only do so much. The result will ways be superficial. The change has to start from the core: my heart, and my soul.

It’s alright to feel ‘meh’ once in a while. But I shouldn’t allow myself to wallow in indifference and self-loathing. I need to cut it from its source and plug-in back to the words of my Father in heaven.

I cried out, “I am slipping!”
but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
When doubts filled my mind,
your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer. Psalm 94:18-19

When was the last time you felt “meh” and what did you do about it? 


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