During the 30 days leading up to my 30th birthday, I am posting a letter a day expressing thankfulness for someone or something that has played a major role in shaping the first 30 years of my life.
(I have missed a couple of days in the past week,
so some days may have two letters as I get caught up)
Happy Birthday! I'm a little bummed that we aren't celebrating your birthday this year by laying out poolside and shopping in Florida like we did last year ... or by being in London together like we were 5 years ago. I guess we can't travel every year for our birthdays, but I wish we could. You are a good travel buddy.
Although I am thankful that you are a good person to travel with, that's probably the least of my reasons to be grateful for you. Whenever I think of you, the words loyal and dedicated immediately come to mind. In my mind, you exemplify the verse, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn." God's path for your life hasn't included the some of the typical events and timing of many in the Bible belt, but I have watched you continually make the choice to enjoy and love your friends whose lives are in other stages. When a lot of people would complain about feeling left out or being uncomfortable in certain settings, you seem to shrug those things off and enjoy yourself. Thanks for rejoicing. However, you are also no stranger to mourning. You have walked very close to your friends through some heart-wrenching circumstances. You haven't let the discomfort distance you, but instead have chosen to be a help and comfort through your presence and acts of service. Thank you for mourning.
I'm not totally sure how to say what I'm trying to articulate without sounding awkward ... I guess the heart of the matter is that you aren't just about yourself. People who are about themselves require a lot of work in a friendship. They need lots of affirmation and for others to cater to them. You do not. You are easy to be with because you choose to not be about yourself. You also are not a doormat. I have watched you make tough decisions to maintain the health of your heart. You know what it is to be confident and independent, but you also value relationships and connection. That's a great combination.
Thank you, finally, for being a woman who trusts in the Lord with all her heart. It has been such a joy, encouragement, and challenge to watch your relationship with Jesus over the years. You really love Him. You really want to serve Him and please Him and you are willing to let Him change you, stretch you, grow you. I love that you want His plans for your life, and that you are willing to let Him shape your years. I really do look up to your example and hope that I will demonstrate the same kind of faithfulness.
I am honored to call you friend and blessed by who you are!