It was November 17, 1985. The blistering cold north wind whipped through the trees in a small northwest Kansas County. A redheaded Kansas rancher lovingly helped his petite yet round little wife to the truck. Their life changing moment was creeping closer with each passing second.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that was the day I was born. I would say that it changed my life, but to be more accurate, it BEGAN my life. Several hours after arriving at Phillips County Hospital and some pretty intense tugs of the forceps later, I made my entrance in the world. (Don’t believe me about the forceps part? I still have the bald spot on the right side of my head to prove it. Don’t worry. The doctor said it would grow back in a few weeks. 26 years later, I’m still waiting…)
Anyway… I don’t tell you the story of my birthday to dig up showers of birthday wishes and glory. (Although, if anyone is so inclined, I enjoy things that involve chocolate, books, God and shiny stuff. Kidding.) But I share this with you because 26 years later, I am very thankful for my time on this earth. And believe it or not, it’s not about me receiving birthday stuff… but this is about giving. (Hang tight—I’m getting there.)
I wasn’t really “supposed” to be here. My parents tried for two years to have a baby and had given up. Then, surprise! Wish granted. Shortly after they announced the excitement of their first baby, Mama was put on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy because it was such a high-risk pregnancy. Nature sure is complicated, huh?
But as it turns out, God had a plan—and His plan was to give my parents a 7 lbs, 14 oz little girl named Sharita Gwen Lacey. And he had plans for this little girl… most of which have really taken off (in somewhat of a crazy manner) this last year.
God is a giver. He gave me life. Hence, He is a giver of life. He has given me friends and family who loves me. He has given me a husband who constantly supports me and puts up with what deem “the emotional roller-coaster that is being a woman.” He has gifted me to write and minister to others. God continues to give and provide for us daily: financially, emotionally, spiritually. It BLOWS MY MIND. Seriously.
I think there is a reason that it is called “giving birth.” It’s a painful experience (so I’ve heard) and yet daddies and mommies throughout the world continue to create families to experience the joy of giving life to another. Awesome parents (like mine) give their heart to raise their little girl (or boy) to be a potentially successful and happy adult. Then, if it is in God’s plan, they eventually give that baby-now adult over to someone to love and cherish, just as Christ loved the church.
And just maybe that baby just might grow into a woman who, on her 26th birthday, is a writer, army wife, leader, lover of life and minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. I wonder if they knew THAT was going to be the result of their efforts as they cleaned up my messes and dealt with my childish (not to mention outrageous teenage) antics?
My walk with Christ has taught me to give until it hurts. I have also learned that you can’t out-give God. He has proven time and time again that each time I give ANYTHING, he “pays” it back to me ten-fold. I have experienced that on about four different occasions in the last week. Each time He so generously gives to me, it brings me to my knees.
Moms everywhere literally give until it hurts when it comes to bringing a child into this world. Dads give until it hurts when they watch their daughter walk down the aisle into the arms of her new husband. And God gave until it hurt, in the form of His son… on the cross.
Today, on my 26th birthday, I am filled with gratitude for the people who have given so much to me throughout my life. I am so grateful to worship a God who gave his son for ME. And for YOU. Talk about giving until it hurts. And we definitely can’t out-give THAT.
To give is to receive,
“We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks, for your Name is near; men tell of your wonderful deeds.” –Psalm 75:1