I have done a lot of things in light of turning forty this year. It started on January 29th when I got the stomach flu. Since everything was out of my system I figured it was a good time to start eating healthy, so I began a whole foods lifestyle. Since that time I have lost thirty pounds. On April 5th, I decided to take it a step further and begin my forties as a vegetarian. That is going well so far.
As many of you know, I grew up without an earthly father. He rejected me my whole life. I have always known that God in Heaven is my Father, but I have never truly been able to accept Him into my life as such. A few weeks ago I visited my friend's church and we sang "No Longer Slaves." There is a line in that song that goes, "I am surrounded by the arms of a Father." After that line, God came down to me. He was right in front of me and He said, "Paula, let Me be your Father." He didn't ask, and He didn't demand, yet His comment commanded a response. Another line in the song says, "I'm no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God." When I put the two lines together, things made so much sense to me. When I can accept that God is my Father and I am His child, that's the sweet place where I no longer have to fear. Being the analyst and processor that I am, I didn't answer God right away. In fact, it took a few weeks. I didn't want to frivilously give my "yes" without putting my heart into what I was saying yes to. So, the other night, with tears steaming down my face, I said yes to allowing God to be my Father. After forty years of feeling fatherless, I am starting this decade with a Father and without fear. I am excited to see what that combination has in store for me.
I have to admit that I in no way, shape, or form wanted to turn forty. In fact, that's the reason I shut down Facebook - so no one would know it was my birthday. I told my kids I wasn't celebrating this year. A friend wanted to have something delivered for me and I told him no. I wanted no acknowledgement of the day. Now, perhaps I selfish and controlling, maybe even a little crazy, but I decided to order myself a birthday cupcake cake and bring some to all those people who were involved in my day and ask them to celebrate with me. It started last night when I brought a cupcake to a friend I had coffee with, Then this morning I brought some into my church office. I knew there was Bible Study going on so I shared cupcakes with those friends and coworkers. And, they sang to me. This afternoon I worked at the paralegal office, so I also shared cupcakes with them. And, my boss to me there. I had a birthday supper with Kaden, then this evening I had a meeting so I took cupcakes to celebrate with them. When I got home, Kaden had a friend over and they sang and dropped a beat to Happy Birthday for me and had a cupcake. In total, I celebrated my birthday with 21 friends!!! That's so cool! On top of that, I got cards, money, a book, a beautiful letter, and my favourite gift of all... hugs!!!
As much as I did not want to turn forty, it happened. And, here I am. However, I did not just allow it to happen, I took it by horns partied all day! Yes, it was on my own terms, but I think that is totally okay. As a Fabulous, Fathered, Fearless Forty year old, I can choose how I want to celebrate. And, it was Fantastic! Thank you to all my friends who helped me celebrate and made this day one I will remember for a long time. Love you all!!
Watch out! Fearless Forty year old on the loose! I am excited to see what this year and decade will bring and what God is going to do in my life!