Twenty-Five years. That seems like an awfully lot of seconds if you as me. When I thought about writing about my life up to this point, I struggled with the selfishness it may portray of me. I am not a selfish guy, but at times, I fall into that rut. These past few months I have had lingering in the back of my mind turning this glorious age. Memories flash by as the days have come and gone since the first of this year; what I have done and who I have become. Life has presented such a lofty reality in front of me. I can either make it about me or about everything else.
I was born into the best family. I am serious. My parents, while not perfect, hit the nail on the head. My mom is beautiful and maybe it is because she cares too much for me and my family at times. She has taught me how to juggle my priorities, and she has always placed her family before everything else. She put us to the test for all the times she has gone to take care of the extended family. However, I feel I may have let her down when it comes to folding laundry. She has shown me how to approach my job with all my heart, and when things do not go exactly the way I have planned it, to suck it up and go with whichever the wave goes. She loves each person she comes in contact with and sometimes it is funny to watch her meet the most complex characters she has ever met, and still find a way to love them.
My father is amazing beyond really any words can describe. He has made such a wonderful world for me. He has worked harder than anyone I know to give me clothes, shelter, and food. He has sacrificed a lot in his life to give me what I have wanted. Through it all, the ups and the downs, he has made sure that I have never taken for granted the good times that we have had together. Unlike my mom, my sister and I, he hangs the dirt of work at the door when he comes home, and instead pours his frustrations into a different avenue. He takes the things he gets and turns them into something better. That is the character of a man, and I strive to be like that.
Both my parents have milestones this year, and I am excited to share it with mine. My mom is turning the youthful age of fifty, and I hope she does not charge me more on my monthly bill payments for saying that. Both of them are celebrating thirty years of marriage to each other and that is something worth celebrating far beyond our birthdays. Never have they ever fought in front of me or my sister and never have they shown weakness in front of us. Only compassion, love, and wisdom have ever poured from their lips. Mom has always strived to be like her parents and I think she more than dutifully excelled at that. A lot of my friends know that I put my family first most of the time, and it is because they are my heart, and home is where the heart is. I want for their every wish to come true as these years progress, and I know they will.
These past few months have been hard, reflecting over who I am and what I want to become. I tried and failed to make my life “perfect” for this special birthday. Since fall, I have pursued many avenues to see what new niches I can fall into and if they will carry me into these next twenty-five years. I have completed extensive fasting, completed intense workout regimes, read dozens of books on leadership, character, faith, and discipleship. While these things have been great and rewarding at times, they have not been fruitful. I have discovered why. It is because, lost in these attempts to define who I am I have forgotten what really defines me. Faith. God is and has been the only thing that has fully sustained me and my family these twenty-five years. No amount of effort on my end has brought me joy, and I have realized yet again that all fountains do truly flow from my God and Lord Jesus Christ.
Life is tough. Love is tough. Living is tough. Any attempt I have made to fix things or make me happy has only been in vain and running with the wind. It has gotten me nowhere. But when I have fully pursued Christ and left my ambitions, my voids, my loneliness, my loves, and my goals behind, he has always come back and given me more than I could ever ask for. From summers in Virginia to adventures in Africa, he has made my life better each and every day.
I love my God. I love my Savior. I love my mother, father and sister. I love all who I have crossed paths with and I love all whose paths I will cross in these next twenty-five years. I commit to my Savior a life of serving him and especially serving you. May my life not be about me. May this birthday not be about me. May it be about the abundant blessings I have received from someone who I have leveraged everything on with faith.
Here is to eternity. He is to forever. Here is to something that will never age and never fail.
I love you all.