Today is my 25th birthday, and that is super weird.
But being super weird is kind of my thing.
I don’t know if I’ve ever done things in a straightforward manner. I don’t know if I even like straightforward because things have always seemed to be different for me. Now before I start sounding like an eccentric black sheep who wears rubber boots to bed and only eats orange things while sitting cross-legged in a bathtub, I will explain.
I am the baby of my family. I am the only girl. When I arrived, things weren’t exactly perfect. I caused a lot of drama right from the get go. There were doctors, hospitals, more doctors and major spinal surgery all before my first birthday. I don’t want to be braggy about it, but internets, I wasn’t supposed to be able to walk. I should, for all intensive purposes, be in a wheelchair with some pretty severe issues. But for some reason I’m not and the doctors can’t figure me out. Super weird, right?
I also had severe asthma attacks that almost killed me and ruined family vacation (Myrtle Beach, what up!). I have severe gluten intolerances that nearly starved me to death when I was in Kindergarten. I now follow a super weird diet. I was growth hormone deficient and had to take steroids for five years. Even my method for growing was super weird. What 10 year old kid has to be shot full of ‘roids every day in order to only be kind of short instead of extremely short? That was me, and it’s super weird.
I went through a period of depression that teetered on the edge of disaster. But it didn’t go there. I went through a bunch of stupid relationships that could have messed me up deeply. But they didn’t. I chose to go into a career that is mentally draining and impossible to find job security. Why? Because it’s super weird, I guess. I’m dating someone in Mississippi that I met through an internet friend’s blog comments who decided to take a chance and fly to Canada over New Years. THAT IS SUPER WEIRD.
I look at the last 25 years and they are exceptionally odd. I shouldn’t be where I am. I shouldn’t have what I have. I shouldn’t be able to do the things that I can. I should be off in some dark twisty corner, riddled with medical issues, emotionally damaged and feeling totally unlovable.
But I’m not. It’s super weird.
It’s super weird because I serve a God who specializes in the Super Weird.
He placed me in a family who would do anything for me, and who had the means to support me and take care of me. A family that chose to say “Why not me?” instead of “Why me?” He gave me a father who is the best role model and a mother who is a best friend. A really weird best friend. He gave me wonderfully protective beefy big brothers who would destroy anyone who tries to mess with their little Tooter.
He found me the best teachers and principal who would not only support me with my medical jazz, but turn out to be some of my biggest cheerleaders and friends. He found me doctors who could help and inspire me to say “Screw you, disability!” every day. He placed a friend in my life whose own story of heartbreak and sorrow stopped my downward spiral. He gave me the desire to continually fight darkness with my every ounce.
He placed me in just the right place (on the internet?) so that I could leave a comment on a blog a year ago tomorrow that would take me on a completely unexpectedly wonderful rollercoaster ride to Mississippi and back. He placed in that Mississippian a heart so huge that not only delights in my super weird stuff, but sees it as God’s perfect handiwork instead of God’s tiny mistake. He gave me friends that make me laugh until I cry. He gave me a church family that I love seeing every week. He placed in my life women that I look up to and strive to be like. He’s giving me 160 kids to love as my own this year. He’s given me all of you weirdos who stop by and read what I write.
He gave me the desire to tell stories. The desire to hear other stories. The desire to teach. The desire to connect with others. The desire to share life with people around me.
He’s given me 25 years of ridiculous blessings that I don’t deserve, even in the least.
Grace abounds, my friends.
THAT is super weird.