It has taken me a long time to like who God made me to be, but I’m publishing here and now that He’s an amazing God who forms each one of us in his likeness – including me. What an amazing truth!
I’m 47 today and I embrace this day. It’s a gift. The day started with me spending time in God’s Word and in his presence. I then kissed and hugged my husband of over 25 years! (I may have started the day doing this, but my husband was in the barn at 4am and was not in when I awoke at 7am.) It’s a day that I’ve hugged some of my kids (not all are around) and talked on the phone with people I love and who love me. And tonight, we will have a yummy dinner with whoever makes it home. (I love steak; it’s a rare treat!)
It’s a day of reflection (spending time alone was important today) and celebration (spending time with people I love, also important). And today, it’s about me. Or is it?
No, it’s not really all about me, at least not in the sense that I am the most important thing ever. I think God, in all his wonderful ways, is the most important – and he’s the most important thing about me. I am thankful today for the myriad of ways that he has been working in my life these past 47 years, and the ways he will continue to show up as I now step into my 48th year of living. I’m thankful for God’s unending grace, for the Spirit’s work and choice of spiritual gift, and for Jesus’ sacrifice that made it all possible.
I’m thankful for love. Love that abides, forgives, transforms, awakens, disciplines, endures, is ever present – and perhaps most importantly, NEVER fails. I’m thankful to be the recipient of such love and humbled that God would love others through me. One of my teachers, Bob W. describes loving others this way, “it’s about desiring God’s best for someone and being willing to be the hands and feet to deliver it.” I don’t know about you, but I want to be that kind of person.
I’m thankful for every single one of you, near and far, who’ve influenced my life. I’m thankful for the gift of friendship, deep and true. I celebrate the gift of the body of Christ and I am thankful for my brothers and sisters around the world and the great cloud of witnesses that surround us.
Today I’m another year older, and perhaps another year wiser. But the best part of today is the full assurance I have that God knows my name, that I am deeply loved, and that I can come boldly into God’s presence – what a wonderful way to enter my 48th year.
Have a beautiful day. (And thanks for all the birthday wishes!)
The Reverend Carmen Kampman is a woman on the road of leadership. Ordained with the PAOC, she is a steward of God’s call to women in ministry, and the founder of LEAD Women, a ministry equipping Christian women for leadership. She is also VP of Advancement at Horizon College & Seminary, and a graduate student in the Masters of Leadership program at Briercrest Seminary. Through study, discipline, and passionate encouragement, Carmen cultivates the deep wells of God’s grace and invites others to journey with her, to discover for themselves who they are and how God is calling them to where they want to be.