life:unmasked – Almost Over The Hill

Life: UnmaskedSeveral months ago I started doing something new, in an effort to become more authentic on the blog, and joined Joy, a writer I’ve come to know, in sharing about life: unmasked. I’m grateful for Joy’s allowing me to participate in this blog meme, and look forward to sharing some of my struggles, questions, and failures.

Today, I turn 30. That’s enough to make most people question if they’re where they should be in life. Much more so someone who hasn’t finished college, is still single, and whose job really doesn’t make any kind of important impact on life or society. My family got together last night to celebrate this sobering occasion in my life, and I was really surprised by the outcome.

I normally don’t like celebrating my birthday. I mean, what I do on a daily basis doesn’t really have any lasting impact, right? I’m far behind in life when compared to almost everyone else my age. Admittedly, part of this has been due to laziness in the past, and part of it due to life smacking me upside the head right when I think I’m about to start going somewhere. So, somehow, getting together to celebrate yet another year in societal and financial stasis doesn’t seem all that appealing, or warranted.

Last night, though, my mom wanted everyone there (the 20ish members of my family) to stand up and say something they remembered about me, some memory that stood out from the previous 30 years. As they each stood up sharing part of their heart with everyone there, I don’t think they realized how encouraging it was to my heart. Some shared stories of the past, talking about my having a tender heart, not knowing that for a couple months now my heart has been anything but tender. Some shared stories about the silliest of moments forging connections of which I was unaware. Some shared stories that made me blush. Yes, I have one of those uncles too. Some shared testimonies of how they perceived my faith, and how it encouraged them, not knowing that for the past couple months I’ve been doing all I could to hang on to even a thread of my identity in Christ.

I walked into this year literally wondering why I was even still on this planet. Then God was so incredibly gracious to have my family tell me why. Because even though half of the memories mentioned were honestly me just trying to be a good son/brother/cousin/grandson, which I thought were just fleeting moments that would pass by and be relatively forgotten, they made a difference. Not by anything I did, but because God chose to make those moments important to my family, while allowing me to remain completely oblivious.

I don’t want you to be confused. This story isn’t about what a great guy I am. It’s about a perfect, glorious, and awesome God who was kind enough to use an occasion filled with doubt to reach out to one of His children who was so confused, frustrated…lost. It’s about a God who uses even the littlest moments as a display of the gospel and His glory. It’s about a God who invades the dark places to bring light to His children. I don’t know where the road goes from here, but I am incredibly grateful that King Jesus directs my path, and that He has placed such an amazing family around me to inspire, humble, and encourage me during such a dark and confusing time. I don’t know if my mom set this up because she knew I needed it, but I do know that my mom listens to God, and that this idea didn’t come randomly.

Thank you, Mom. I love you, and the rest of my crazy family too.

Soli Deo Gloria

And this is life:unmasked.

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