And just like that, here we are again.
Today is the 11th Anniversary of my 25th Birthday. Do the math. Celebrate good times, come on! I tend to bounce around in the introspective zone often, and what better time to do it than on your birthday.
While the past year has certainly been hard, I have seen God use relationships, situations and struggle to weave a tapestry of hope, redemption and purpose throughout the last 365 days of my life that leaves me amazed. The invitation and challenge through all of it has been to find hope in what looks hopeless, to find purpose disguised as adversity and to find life in what appears to be dead. It has not always been easy, and it was more often a choice than a feeling, but I have done that.
Looking back over the past year of my life, I see a story that I couldn’t have written on my best day. But God has masterfully developed a storyline that has his fingerprints all over it. Does that mean it’s all roses and resolution? No. There are still strings hanging that I’m eager to see how he ties together. But what gives me hope and focus is the historical context of this moment and the perspective I can glean from the places my journey has taken me.
3 years ago today I had what appeared to be my dream job, but in reality I was depressed. God was teaching me how to stand up and be brave when lying down was easier. But I couldn’t see it yet.
2 years ago today I had just lost my only paying client in the business I had started and had only recently come to the realization that my career had become an idol in my life. God was teaching me not to trust in what I could see. But I couldn’t see it yet.
1 year ago today I felt like a failure and was trying to dig through the rubble of my life to find hope and purpose. God was teaching me who I really was and who I wasn’t. But I couldn’t see it yet.
Never once did my lack of understanding of what God was doing at any given time detract from the reality that he was, in fact, doing something significant.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
The thing I love about perspective is that it produces perception. The more I can look back and see what God has done, the more I can stand in the present moment and be able to perceive that he is, in fact, doing something right now.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
So today, on my birthday, I can stand on top of that perspective, looking back at how God rewired, redeemed and restored, and perceive that he is also doing something in me, through me and with me right now that I can’t see either… yet.