By this point you may be wondering - OK - so what does all this have to do with the title of your post -Birthdays ~ Why They Are So Significant to Me? So, let me back up a little bit...
Weighing in at seven pounds and two ounces my Jewish parents named me Sherri Renee Adelman. (A fun little factoid about that - little did my parents know the prophetic nature of the name they gave to me. You see, Renee means “reborn” in French. Sixteen years, three months, and nine days after I was born, I was in fact reborn when I came to understand Jesus had born the weight of my sin, was punished, put to death, and rose again so that if I placed my faith in Him I could have eternal life....that story is for another post though - perhaps for my spiritual birthday of August 1st I will write about that.)
For now, I want to talk about the fact of my physical birth. I can't remember how old I was when I found out my mom had a miscarriage before I was born, but I remember thinking about how sad that was and how I could have had another older brother or sister. I didn't really think much about it when I was growing up. Then, sometime when I was college I found out that my mom had an abortion after I was born. It hit me really hard then - I was born between a miscarriage and an abortion. I was starting to grow in my faith and learn more Scripture by then and I came across Psalm 139:13-16 - "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." I had long struggled with depression and wondering why God had put me here on earth and this really hit me hard. I realized that if my mom hadn't had the miscarriage I would have most likely been aborted - I never would have taken a breath on this earth let alone wondered what God's purpose for me living was. It was the first time I felt the assurance that:
- God indeed did have a plan for my life.
- God had a purpose for me.
- I was not a mistake.
- He had me here for a reason.
Now, just because I realized that doesn't mean I have never struggled or questioned since then, but every time I end up thinking back to the miracle of my birth. My birth is no more or less of a miracle than anyone's birth but ever since I found out I was born between a miscarriage and an abortion my birthday has been very significant to me ~ a reminder that my life is not a mistake. Every birth is indeed a miracle - I saw a video online about a baby's growth in the womb - you can watch it here:
I read the book "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo (It can be found on Amazon here.) In the book Colton is clinically dead for a time and meets his sister who was miscarried who he never knew anything about before then. When I read that portion of the book I had tears streaming down my face. I realized that I have two siblings in heaven waiting for me and that brings me such joy knowing they are there waiting for me!
I'm usually really excited the days before my birthday - this year I'm feeling a little more somber about it all. I am thankful for all God has done and is doing in my life and it is my hope and prayer that He can use me to be a light of hope to all those I come in contact with. The events of this past week have driven home once again that life is fragile. None of us knows how long we will live, God alone numbers our days. The books of James says in chapter 4:13-17: "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit' - yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogance All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin."
None of us is promised tomorrow - I don't want to live life with regrets so I am striving to live my life in a way that doesn't assume I will have another chance to speak to someone. I want my family and friends, my co-workers and anyone else I come in contact with to know that it is only because of Jesus that I have any hope in my life. I want you to know that if you have questions or doubts I am here - I would love to talk to you and I will not condemn or judge you... God is the only one Who can judge - I will listen and talk and love you. Anyone who knows me knows that I have been through a lot in my life, I have questioned, I have doubted, I certainly don't by any means believe I have somehow "arrived" at this point - I still struggle, I still doubt - but the one thing I am completely sure of is my faith in God... when all else has been hopeless in my life I completely trust in my God and Savior.
With thankfulness for another day to love God and love others,