Monday, October 18, 2010
Well this past Sunday was my birthday! I just turned 17. This means that I am now one year away from adulthood. When we are younger, it seems like the only thing we want is to grow up. It seems to us that when we get older there are more privileges for us to take part in. However as the years go by, we sometimes wish we were still little children again, without a care in the world, playing, laughing, just generally enjoying the gift of life from God. Sometimes life has its up and downs, times when we wish we were still little kids, with no worries, but these ups and downs make us who we are and help us gain a more clear knowledge of God's presence and love in our lives.
I have a friend at school who told me that she doesn't celebrate her birthday. When I asked her why, she began to tell me the story of how when she and her friend were eight years old, they went to the store to get some candy. As they were crossing the street, a truck was coming down the road. My friend was about to be hit by the truck when her friend saved her life by pushing her out of the way only to be hit instead and died. Because she felt that her friend died because of her, my friend hasn't celebrated her birthday in over 8 years. She feels that she doesn't deserve to live.
Even though this happened so many years ago, it has totally changed her life and made it more difficult to spend time with her loved ones to celebrate her birthday Trying to comfort her, I told her how sorry I was that that had happened. I know what it is like to lose someone, but never like that. Still I told my friend that even though she doesn't celebrate her birthday anymore, she should still try to celebrate it because it is a celebration that she is alive. I told her that her friend saved her life and she would probably want her to continue to live her life.
Jesus died for our lives, but he doesn't want us to mourn his death, but celebrate his triumph over death and the new life he gave us.
My friend was comforted by my words and because she shared this difficult memory with me, we are now closer friends than ever before. I am grateful that she was willing to open up to me, and I am grateful that I was able to offer her some solace. Friendships that offer us opportunities to share our sorrows and joys are truly a gift from God.