Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mending the Birthday Blues.

It’s coming. It’s cold, and windy and the weather forecast is predicting snow. It’s the season to be jolly, and I can hear that wretched day approaching like the obnoxious bells on Santa’s sleigh. I mean, it’s hard to escape it when all you hear at the sushi restaurant below your apartment is Bing Crosby’s ‘White Christmas’ over and over. That day is coming and I can’t avoid it….

That’s right folks, you guessed it; it’s almost my birthday.

Oh wait, you totally thought I was going to say the birth of our Lord, didn’t you? Sorry about that! His birthday is just fine by me…

But…mine. Different story. Let’s begin, shall we?

On April fool’s day in 1989 the following exchange occurred:

‘A Love Story’ in one act…

[A young and beautiful woman sits at a pizza joint in New York. Her dashingly handsome husband exclaims…]

HUSBAND: Let’s have a baby!

[She laughs.]

WIFE: Yeah, right! I’m not falling for that! Good one. [Eyeroll.]

HUSBAND: I’m serious.

WIFE: Yeah, sure you are.

HUSBAND: Okay. Let me see. How should I put this… I want to have a baby with you.

WIFE: …  … …

[Insert lots of awkward back and forth looks here.]

HUSBAND: … … …

WIFE: Fine, ask me again at midnight, when it’s not April fool’s anymore.

Hours later. Midnight. A little conversation and…

BAM. He punched her!

Just kidding.

More like: BAM! She was pregnant. Nine months later, my mother was in a hospital bed, holding a 6lb baby girl and thinking ‘whoa, I’m a mother..’

It’s beautiful, really. A story of love. A man and woman begin a new life together by creating a new life together.

All that beautiful poetic stuff said and out of the way, let’s get to the real point of this post:

I really dislike my birthday.

Now, before you get all weird on me…hear me out, okay?

One day, the Lord thought me up. His heart yearned for something and to fulfill the void, to fulfill what he felt was missing from this world…He created me. He loved me into creation. He wanted me. He chose me. Just as He chose all of us into being.

This being said, life itself was the greatest gift I could have ever been given, and every day I am reminded by His mercy and love that I am blessed beyond all reason.

So, why then, do I get so depressed whenever December 15th rolls around each year? It doesn’t make sense, when it comes down to it! I’m a child of the Most High, a daughter of the King of kings…engaged to the Bridegroom.

From what I can tell, I should have no reason to get bummed out whenever my birthday comes. BUT! It does! Every year, like clock-work. A month before, I start getting excited and wondering if anyone will remember or throw me a party or do something special for me. Three weeks before hand, I start talking about how excited I am. Two weeks before hand, and I’m reminding everyone, but also begin to get leery of people actually remembering. One week before, and I’m so thrilled, I feel like I’m on speed!

And then the day arrives. And it’s the same old same: December 15th:

I lie in bed and count the reasons I hate my birthday.

Weird, I know. Even after having built myself up in excitement for a month, I find myself crashing into depression. But, I’ve been thinking about it, and I believe I’ve finally figured it out.

The dirty little secret to this complicated human heart of mine is that…I do love my birthday. A lot.

My mother always made a huge deal out of celebrating life. Celebrating MY life. She wanted me to know that my existence was the greatest gift God had ever given my parents. She wanted me to know I was loved, and that I was worth being loved…and that with every year I lived, I was giving glory to my creator.
She made me love my self, and my existence. Every day was a rebirth, every day was a cause for celebration, and so I celebrated every day as a new birthday to grow closer to the Holy Spirit.

I spent each day taking care of the people that I loved. In fact, I spend every year basking in the joy of being cared for and reciprocating that affection. It’s fulfilling and beautiful.

…but when my birthday comes, and I’m sent four hundred and thirty facebook comments of ‘happy birthday’s’ from people that probably don’t even remember how they first met me and I’m given money and gifts and material things, but the pure, unadulterated love seems to fade into the background as the weight of the material grows higher in importance…I feel more empty than I’ve ever felt.

Birthday’s have become so base that they hold little to no meaning in this society. Life was once a cause for celebration, but in this culture of death…it feels more like another way to get lost in sin.

It’s your birthday? Well, in that case…let’s drink until we can’t remember who we are! It’s your birthday? Well, you ought to throw a big obnoxious party and get people to bring you presents! It’s your birthday? Shake the card before you open it, see if there’s any money inside!

I would rather hang out with my best friend, watch a movie and gossip about boys than go out and get wasted with a ton of acquaintances who probably would only be using me as a cause to drink, rather than a friend to celebrate. I would rather get a hand written letter, a handmade gift, a well thought out and personalized gift [no, I don’t mean with my initials on it], than get the newest and most expensive toy out there.

Granted, I appreciate what I’m given. I’m thankful for the beautiful gifts my friends have offered me out of love. I cherish them [I mean, let’s be honest... I’m still a girl, and I’ll always secretly love being pampered], but the idea of birthday has morphed into something else by the world. And it seems ugly.

The attention that comes with it being your ‘birthday’, the ‘affection’…feels false. And my spirit can sense it, and before I have five minutes to accept that this is just the way it is sometimes, I sink into somehow taking this lack of joy and love personally. It’s like, after all the beautiful things that happen daily…I can’t fathom accepting it is as reality.

But this year, after a lot of prayer and time spent with my Divine Love in adoration, I’ve decided to deny the pity party that the culture of death is planning on throwing me, and choose joy instead. I’m going to wake up in the morning this upcoming Thursday and smile because, regardless of whether or not anyone else is happy that I was born—I’m happy that I was born. And that’s what’s going to get me through the day.

Praise God.

Soooo...Happy [almost] birthday to me! As I look forward to another year of adventure and growth, I would like to thank you all for your beautiful reminders that life is worth being filled with joy, even when I struggle.


  1. amen.

    - jen rumbleroar.

  2. I can't imagine life without you, Katherine. You've inspired me throughout my years to give back, love, repent, be selfless..How many lives have you touched without realization? It's who you can't help's who you are..I love who you are..and God isn't finished with you young, so gifted, so endlessly graced..a flower unfolding..Happy birthday, Katherine..Happy, and blessed gave birth to me on the 15th..I woke up to life on the 15th..thank YOU..for changing my life..Mom

  3. Seems rather negative. Many people may see it as a chance to party, but do not discount the people who love and cherish you and just wish to celebrate the day where the Divine decided to bless us with you. Be happy there are people in your life who care enough to spend even the few seconds it takes to wish you a happy birthday on facebook. Many people go without the knowledge of what even a 'surface' friend can be, let alone what kind of amazing friends you are blessed with.

    Be careful not to be so wrapped up in not wanting material things or feeling like society has screwed birthdays over and being emo that you forget that there IS good in this world and not everyone is here to bring you down.

    People love, adore and cherish you. Do not take it for granted and make yourself look ungrateful to what you have been blessed with.