Today is my birthday. My birthdays are always really special to me. For the obvious reasons I love getting to celebrate with all of my family and friends, getting all dressed up, receiving gifts, and eating too much cake. Yes, I love my birthday for those reasons but personally it’s a much deeper celebration for me. I can very easily remember the days when I wished I hadn’t even been born, or thought about ending my life myself. When my depression started in 7th grade I was absolutely terrified of the unknown of the future. I was so afraid of living that dying seemed to me to be an option to end my constant fear and overwhelming sadness. Days dragged by and I would think to myself “I’m not going to make it to High School graduation”, “I’ll never get married”, “I’ll never have kids.” I was basically doubting that I would make it to big milestones in my life because I didn’t think I could deal with depression that long. But slowly over time the depression started to lose its strength. I started to realize with the encouraging words and presence of my family and friends that I really was alive for a reason. I started paying attention in church and listening to God’s promises because I was tired of the world and wanted something deeper and stronger to believe in. As I grew up and out of those dark places I began to to grow a relationship with Jesus. Jesus became my reason to live because I knew that He had created me for His glory. I felt a lot less pressure when I realized my life was not my own and that He had already written my story. So my fear of the future became less scary because I knew God was holding my future in His hands.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
So on my birthday I think about the dark days when I was terrified of being alive but now I’ve made it another year. I have graduated High Scool and College and have married the man of my dreams. Milestones I never thought I would make it to. All because Jesus chose me. My depression made me realize the amazing gift that life is and helped me to fully trust, believe and love the Man who created me. Jesus raised me from my own personal grave and gave me a reason to live. So on my birthdays I celebrate not giving up, I celebrate Jesus carrying me through life when I was too weak. I remind myself that there are so many milestones left to experience and goals I am still trying to achieve. I celebrate being alive.
“If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”