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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Celebrate You!


Yesterday was my birthday. And what an incredible day it was. I had been looking forward to this particular birthday, not so much because it marked any milestone age, but because this was another one of those few extra-ordinary years when my birthday would fall on a Good Friday. I mean, how awesome is that? Yesterday was for me, more than anything else, an incredible reminder that as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died and went to the Cross, He had me on His mind and in His heart. He knew I would be born thousands of years into the future, and He was mindful enough of me that He willingly bore the pain, the abuse, the mockery, the crucifixion…. for my sake! He chose to look past my every future shortcoming, the pain I would cause Him, my future disobedience, my future failings. He looked past all of those and looked up to eternity. He saw the ‘me’ that I could be, and loved me enough to give His life up for the assurance of my eternal salvation.

He chose me to be His own on that Good Friday so many years ago. On that day, He validated me! He declared that I was worth it! Halleluyah! That is the same validation that He gave to you, sis. By paying the price on the Cross of Calvary, He wrapped each of us that would confess Him as our Lord and Saviour in His eternal embrace. This is where we must get our confidence and our identity, and this is my message to you today sis. Celebrate you! The great I AM thinks the world of YOU! Know this! Bask in it! Let this be your full confidence and assurance! Halleluyah!

Yesterday I was bombarded with calls, text messages, emails, and visits, as is expected by majority of us when we mark our birthdays. My heart is filled with thanks, love and deep appreciation to every single person who honored me by reaching out in one form or the other. My staff had kicked the celebrations off the day before, recognizing my birthday fell on a public holiday. As they trooped into my office, sang a very hearty ‘Happy Birthday’ and prayed for me, not even they could have imagined how humbled I was by their outpouring of love. Then there was the incredible chocolate cake they had delivered to my home yesterday. Slurrrrpppp! My sista Enife had taken time to prepare and to send a huge breakfast over to my family and I; her way of ensuring I didn’t spend my birthday sweating it out in the kitchen. So much love, sis! So much love! And how do I say thank you to my dear friends and their hubby’s who joined us for dinner last night? You are each deeply loved and highly appreciated. God sure reminded me that He is love yesterday. He surely did!


As I opened my eyes this morning to the sight of the gorgeous balloon floating at my ceiling (thanks Igie), I quietly reflected on my entire day yesterday and I would love to share something pretty profound that came to my realization.

First is that it struck me once again, but perhaps in a deeper way, that there are millions of people in the world who so inundated with problems, that their birthdays – if they ever had the opportunity to know when their birthdays are, are of no significance to them in the scheme of things and in the struggle for survival. Then there are the millions of people who do know their birthdays but do not have the wherewithal to begin to celebrate them in any measurable way. I was also reminded about the fact that there are countless others who are, to all intents and purposes, so alone in the world that they do not receive as much as a single call, visit, or Happy Birthday greeting from anyone. Yes sis, there are many in the world who do not have a friend, sister, brother, or parents to lean on. That to me is one of the saddest things in the world – to be alone and truly lonely. Thank God that you and I have Jesus, for in Him and with Him we are never alone are we?

What hit me more than anything else however, is the fact that there are many who do have people around them, who do have the resources to make a splash of their birthdays; but who are somewhat disconnected from all the love and goodwill around them on that day ..…because they have truly not learnt to just love themselves - regardless. I realized that the fullness of my joy yesterday, the contentment in my heart this morning, is because I believe in me. I have come to the place of self-acceptance. I have come to the place of realization of my self-worth. And no, I am not being arrogant in any way at all. This is just a truth that struck me deeply this morning. My fullness of joy comes from the realization and acceptance of the fact that I am worthy of being celebrated. Not one of my friends reached out to me because they were forced to. No one forced the fingers that typed the texts and emails. No one forcefully kept awake anyone of those who waiting up till midnight so as to send in their birthday greetings at the turn of the day. No one forced the visits by those who drove down simply to see me for a few minutes and then continue with their busy days.

No sis! For as many as poured of their love, time and resources into making my day great yesterday, they each did so willingly and freely …because they believe that I – as imperfect and as fallible as I am, am worth it. And the only reason I am able to receive all this - fully confident that it is all from the heart, is because I believe I am worth it; and because I choose to celebrate myself. If you haven’t read my post ‘I kinda like me’, please go look it up in my blog archives. It’s a lesson in loving and appreciating yourself – warts, weight and all.

Hmmm! I can almost hear the wheels turning in your head – asking if this is this pride or arrogance. But here is the thing sis… I celebrate myself not because I am ‘all that’, but because God clearly believes that I am worth celebrating and yesterday He reaffirmed this. I spent too many years being unsure; insecure; always wondering; constantly seeking the underlying motives to everything. I spent too many years being focused on my shortcomings, on what I was not, and on what the enemy had convinced me that I couldn’t do, have or become. I spent too many years constantly replaying the voices from past experiences that reminded me of my every sin, voices that tried to convince me that God couldn’t possibly love someone like me. I spent too many years struggling with being different – in my choices, my thinking and perspectives. I spent too many years struggling with the ‘aura’ of me; trying so hard to fit into spaces and groups that I now know I clearly wasn’t designed to be in; feeling inferior in the midst of near perfect strangers; struggling with and against the essence of who I was, not realizing that those were the hallmarks of distinction that God has put in me. I could go on, but I think you might be able to recognize yourself in this space as well.  

I was listening to John Bevere preaching recently and he made a comment about how God never intended that we begin to buy up real estate and dwell in the place of our problems/challenges/ insecurities, etc. I think this very aptly describes what many of us do with ourselves. As life buffets us with one bad experience or the other; as people speak negativity into our hearts; as we compare ourselves with the externalities we see in others; we slowly buy up prime property in the lands of insignificance and inferiority complexes. But guess what sis? I sold my plots, penthouse and all, many years ago when I came to realize that God loves me just as I am and that’s exactly what you need to do too. Today, I see God’s love for me so clearly in the things He does for me; and more so as times like yesterday, I see His love in the people He put around me - people who love and believe in me! They know I am far from perfect, but they love the ‘me’ that I am and the ‘me’ that I am evolving to be. They are giving of themselves, pouring their time, love and resources into my life because my Father sees fit to use them as instruments of His live and validation in my life.

God’s investment in you and I is because He really and truly loves us, sis. He loves each of us His children so totally and so unconditionally. He celebrates us! And He is in us! Why then would we do any less than celebrate ourselves? Take your eyes off all that you are not this morning, sis. Take your eyes off all that you have failed to achieve. Take your eyes off all that you don’t have. Take your eyes off all that you don’t think you can achieve. Take your eyes off the people who are not/no longer in your life. Set your eyes on the Hill. Look up to Jesus who sees YOU as awesome; Who counted you as being worthy of the Cross. This is not a pride issue, sis. This is about being assured enough in your eternal salvation that you don’t need anyone else to validate you…God already took care of that.

When you come to this place, you are more readily able to receive the love that those around you share; you are so much more at peace; you are so much more able to walk purposefully, evolving into the greatness that is packed inside of you. Celebrate you daily, my sister. It doesn’t have to be your birthday. You don’t even need anyone around to speak words of celebration or affirmation to you. Affirm yourself! Celebrate yourself just where you are! Celebrate the YOU that God Himself found fit to love, to save, and to dwell in. Let your peace and self-confidence come from within. You are awesome just like that sis. Uniquely Woman’s definition of who are….an Awesome Work-in-Progress. Walk assuredly in this truth!

Be blessed sis….for you surely are!

3 comments:

  1. Happy birthday, once again. You're lovely in and out. You are not perfect but you are who the LORD our God wants you to be. And that's all you should be. Blessings.

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  2. A healthy appreciation of self that stems from a deep understanding of who we are in Christ is a must have for any Christian. For without it, the devil and people will make mince meant of us using our past and all other negative thoughts and emotions like the stuff you mentioned above. This is so on point for this season cos like I said in my blog on Good Friday too (seems we were on the same frequency), it was LOVE, not nails, that kept God on the Cross. It is being able to comprehend and fully bask in this amazing love that we are truly free. For thanks to God, no matter what anyone or anything says, as L'Oreal would say, we are truly worth it!

    Happy Birthday Audrey! Happy Birthday!!! God continue to breath over and into you as you continue being his arms and feet in this world of ours.

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  3. Beautiful! Such an encouraging piece to women everywhere. Know who you are, accept who you are and then you can make the changes you need/want to. It is only when we truly know who we are and that we are loved that change is a much kinder process.

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Thank you for taking the time to share you thoughts. You are loved and appreciated.

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.