Today was my 43rd birthday. Now, I know we ladies don’t normally share our age past 29, but I’ve grown to enjoy seeing how each new year will unfold. Early today I received a birthday text wishing me “the best year yet,” and it got me thinking about all the years past and how they have formed this 43 year old version of me.
Teenage me was searching for her identity while trying everyone else’s on for size. She was shy but sweet and tried to act tougher than she was.
20 something me was seeking validation in her relationships as a young mother, wife and college student. She was chasing her dreams while dreaming of chasing a little more sleep.
30 something me was exploring truth. She discovered Jesus and a cancer diagnosis within a year of each other. The former used the latter to open her eyes to truth in the form of faith, hope and love.
Now I’m in my 40’s and I feel like it’s a good place to be. 40 something me is pursuing hope every day. Because I’ve learned that hope is a promise from God. A promise of love, redemption and abundant life for all eternity. Hope gives us joy and showers us with peace. Hope bestows strength upon us even smack dab in the midst of our weakness.
Pursuing hope is to seek the face of God. For a long time I journeyed through my years without Jesus – without hope. But now, because of God’s great love, I can look at each day as an opportunity to pursue hope, find freedom and live loved.
My heart’s desire is that you can do the same. So, on this birthday I wanted to share best gift I’ve ever received with you – the good news of Jesus Christ.
When God created the Heavens and the Earth, the first man and woman walked in close fellowship with Him until sin entered the world through one simple act of deception, disobedience and devastation. God could have responded in anger and destruction but instead he responded with love, promising to send one who would crush sin and return man to fellowship with Him. That promise was realized in the person, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The sad news is we are born into a sinful world, making us all sinners. The good news is that Jesus has paid the price for our sins and offers forgiveness and salvation to all who call upon His name. We can come to Him just as we are and he will save us from our sin, change us from the inside out and give us eternal hope, unexplainable joy and peace that surpasses all understanding.
This is the greatest gift of all time and it’s what keeps me pursuing hope every single day. I don’t know if 43 will be filled with mountaintops or valleys. I don’t know if it will be the “best year yet.” But what I do know is that no matter what this year holds, I will be holding onto Jesus – pursuing hope, finding freedom and living loved.
If you want to know this kind of love through a personal relationship with Jesus here’s all it takes:
Admit - Admit to God that you are a sinner, ask for forgiveness for your sin and turn away from it and accept His free gift of forgiveness. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
Believe - Believe that Jesus is the son of God. Being born of a virgin, He lived a sinless life, died on the cross to save us from our sins and was raised from the dead to sit at the right hand of the Father, interceding on our behalf. "While we were sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
Confess - Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. "If you will confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
Hugs and prayers my sweet friends!