Today is Christian’s birthday. He would have been 17 years old today.
For the past couple of weeks, I have tried to avoid thinking about this day. The pain of missing him is quite unbearable at times, and his birthday is one of the hardest.
In addition, one of my cats, Pretty, went missing 6 days ago. It’s not like her to disappear, as she usually stays within hearing distance and comes in when I call her. So, I started worrying (and praying) after the first night, for her safe return.
I must admit, though, that by the 3rd day, I was beginning to lose hope, and I could feel my faith weakening. But I fought to hold on, not wanting to give up.
So, just before bedtime last night, I took Frodo out and tossed the frisbee a few times, and I called for Pretty again. But a voice inside me said, “Why are you torturing yourself? You know she’s probably gone and not coming back”. And I felt my heart sink.
But I stood there and shook my head, and said, “No! I’m not giving up!” and I called her again. And I prayed, again.
You see, I’ve learned that even when I am at my weakest, in His faithfulness, God holds me up when I do not have the strength to stand.
This morning, about 15 minutes after I had let Frodo out, I heard the rain starting. So, I went to call Frodo in before he got all wet and muddy. As he came running to the door, there was Pretty, running along right behind him, meowing a happy “Hello”!
I almost couldn’t believe my eyes! I scooped her up and held her close, and I just started sobbing, and laughing, saying “Thank You Jesus”! All of the pent-up emotions I had been trying to hide just came pouring out like a flood.
It may sound silly to some, but for her to return today, of all days, felt like a birthday gift sent from heaven.
I just melted, continuing to sob and giving thanks. My heart was filled with love, joy, and renewed faith.
So, I’ve been crying all morning now, tears of joy and thankfulness, along with tears of remembrance.
I am truly thankful, even though there is pain in this day, for I remember the blessings. I remember that it was Christian, when he was just a small child, that taught me what real faith looks like.
But Jesus called them to Himself, saying [to the apostles], “Allow the children to come to Me, and do not forbid them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God [with faith and humility] like a child will not enter it at all.” Luke 18:16-17 AMP
I am thankful for his faith, and for the love we shared. And I am thankful for a mighty God who answers prayers and blesses us in more ways than we can even count.
I don’t think they celebrate birthdays in heaven, though we may wish it was so. But I will celebrate Christian’s birthday today, with remembering the joy he brought into my life, and the love he shared with everyone he knew, including a small cat named Pretty.