“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4 (NIV)
I have always loved birthdays.
But there was one that was quite different than all the rest.
That birthday I felt especially lonely. Sure, I had dear family and friends who celebrated me with calls and cards and gifts…but I still felt alone and had for awhile. My husband was traveling a lot with his work and I missed him. I was job hunting and receiving endless “We’ll keep you in mind for the future” reject letters. The neighborhood women all had children and I didn’t, so I secluded myself from them. Oh and then there was God, who I was only communicating with on a case-by-case basis.
Of course, this is how I saw my life. To others looking in, it most likely had a completely different vibe. But, that’s what loneliness does. It gives the loner a slanted view of their circumstances.
When I turned on the radio that morning, I heard these awesome words: “If you know anyone having a birthday today, give us a call and we’ll wish them a Happy Birthday on the air! Later, we will choose one to receive a birthday cake and flowers from Kroger!”
You know what I did next…
The DJ cheerfully answered with the station’s call letters, then asked “Who do you want to wish a Happy Birthday to?” When I said “Tina”, he said, “Great. Let me write that down. And, what is your name?”
And I said…“Tina”.
Awkward silence followed, then he asked “So, today is YOUR birthday?” half with disbelief and half with sympathy. “Yes!” I replied gleefully and without a second thought.
A couple hours later, he announced “Tina” on the radio as the winner of the birthday cake and flowers!
I think I beelined it to that grocery store in record time.
When my husband got home, he announced that he heard on the radio that another Tina was having a birthday. I could hardly contain my excitement “It was me!” I screeched…and I’ll give him credit…he could have said many things…but instead he gently smiled, hugged me and said “Well, isn’t that cool. Happy Birthday!”
But the truth is that, deep down, calling into a radio station on my birthday wasn’t about a cake and flowers. I knew those would be coming later via Frank. What I wanted was so much more. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to be celebrated. I wanted to be loved.
Even though I already was.
Dear one, perhaps you are familiar with the lonely pieces of my story? Whether it’s a day or a season, the emptiness of loneliness is very real. But you don’t have to live there. Hope is as close as your beating heart.
“Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16 (NIV)
There was a time in my life when I wouldn’t have shared this story for fear of what you might think. Not anymore. If sharing my story can encourage you in yours, that’s a blessing! So, before you go, there are three words that I want you to remember always: You are loved. You are loved. YOU ARE LOVED.
Spread your joy,