It’s that time of year. Every year it comes around the same and every year I fight this little inner silly feeling that just won’t seem to go away.
It is my birthday. Smack dab in the middle of one of the best months of the year and full of a ton of emotion that I try to brush off. It isn’t that I am facing the age of 33, I am looking forward to growing, finding my way and enjoying new parts of life. It isn’t worrying that I will be disappointed or that it is just another day in the life of Kelly. No, it is a special day and one I am grateful for! Let’s be real the chances of being born are so slim, it is a miracle that should be celebrated!
It is the mail.
The older you get the less mail that comes, and that is okay. My heart doesn’t find it’s value by tubs of fan mail or cards full of confetti. It is this little feeling I have had since I was a kid. One that I can remember in grade school, high school, my first years of marriage and even today. I don’t talk about all the things that hold me back, cause me anxiety, or serve as deep wounds in my heart often. It doesn’t often do me any good to focus on those things and so I work hard at giving my attention to other things. But this specific time of year, that is harder to do.
When I was a little girl my dad left. He left my mom (who is a rockstar) and my sister and I, and went away. It was a choice and one I have had to settle in my heart for a long time. I don’t hold bitterness over him, I don’t wish for things to be different now, I don’t hate him or begrudge him. But, every year this day serves as a reminder. A reminder of a little girl who waited for a birthday card, who longed to be loved by her dad, who deeply wanted to be valued by half of the person who gave me life. Some years a card would come, and I can remember that for a moment it felt like love. It felt like I had a purpose in his life, but those years we very few and far between. As I got older the mail was sparse, maybe a birthday phone call, and once or twice a text. I came to realize that there was a good chance my dad didn’t even know my birthday. A text on the 16th, and call on the 12th, but never on my actual birthday, and these feelings left me feeling empty. They left me with a longing that would likely never ever be filled.
As I passed the age of 30 my expectations dropped completely. My family grew from 2-4 children and my heart found value in BEING the parent, not wishing for the parent would value me. I can’t say that I wouldn’t change those things. I don’t believe that my dad’s capacity to love me helped me. Sure I am stronger and more capable and brokenness really doesn’t catch me off guard. But, I do think that so much of the heart ache, worthlessness, brokenness, and hurt experienced over 31 years could probably have been avoided. The days that I watched for the mail, watched for his car, waited for the phone call. Those days didn’t come, but now I have the chance to change that. No, I can’t change the past but I CAN and WILL change the future.
I pray that God will show my kids their worth just like my mom fought to instill in me. I pray that Mark can show them their value as women and daughters and that they will see their ability do anything they set their minds to. I thank God for providing my kids with a dad who loves them in ways my own father was never capable of. And I pray that with each passing birthday he reminds me that my worth is not found in cards, calls, or well wishes but it is found in each day that I live my life to the fullest. Giving love, living in grace, and leaving people better than I found them.
This day does serve as a reminder that what was once broken can be made whole and what was once forgotten can be recovered. I may have felt lost as a daughter, but I am found in being a mom, a daughter of the king, a wife, and as a woman who is searching for her worth in the places that it actually hold value. The years pass and I am thankful for the opportunity to expect less and be more. Birthdays are a hard one, but I am so thankful that I get to experience them, each one.
The broken feelings that come from this time of year allow me to find compassion toward others and to love more fully and for that I am thankful. Don’t let others inability to see your value define your worth. You really are worth more than rubies!