Looking Forward, Looking Back



Birthdays can bring a lot of conflicting feelings. Joy mixed with sorrow. Discouragement mixed with gratitude. Anticipation mingled with quiet reflection.

Today, I could think about all of the goals I hoped to accomplish during the past year but didn’t. I could stress about the looming task of potty-training my son. I could let defeat steal my joy because I am behind on oh-so-many things.

But instead, as I ponder the past thirty-six years I spent on this earth, there is one word that is my refrain. Thankful. More than thankful. Overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed that the same God who set the galaxies in motion thought of me.

He made me on purpose, for a purpose.

He made me unique, with dreams and aspirations no one can fulfill but me. Each glint in my eye part of a greater masterpiece, a part connecting to the whole.

He saw it fit for me to have a chapter in a story grander than I could ever imagine. Not because I was deserving, but because his love is never-ending. He sent his most perfect gift, his flawless son, as an atoning sacrifice so I may live in eternal communion with Him and know peace and hope.

As I grow older with each passing year and the fine lines around my eyes become more visible, I am increasingly aware with each second of what is important in this life.

And painfully aware of what isn’t.

I want to grab hold of the friends and family who are so dear to me and love them with my whole heart. I want to live life, and not just go through the motions.

As I sit across from my husband at dinner, I realize again with awe and wonder that God chose this man for me. This man who cherishes me in spite of my quirks and flaws, who pushes me to be brave and become the very best version of myself.

I count gifts and see that the items on my list are rarely things, but memories. Rarely material, but able to fill my whole soul.

Psalm 150:6 says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

Today, I’m lifting my voice to the heavens. I’m praising the one who knew how many times I would falter. The one who saw all the years I would wander in bitterness and pride.

And yet He still chose to say without a shadow of a doubt, “She is mine.”


*Linking up with Meredith Bernard and Holley Gerth today. 

26 thoughts on “Looking Forward, Looking Back

  1. How beautiful, Abby! And that beauty shines forth from your heart. It IS truly amazing that Almighty God, the Maker of heaven and earth, cares about us, loves us, sacrificed His Son for us. And when I take time to see it…to remember…I am left with nothing but praise and thanksgiving. Thanks for this message…one I need to hear over and over. And Happy Birthday, sweet friend!


  2. “He saw it fit for me to have a chapter in a story grander than I could ever imagine.” Love this line, and love this realization. I am so in awe of the God who sees me, knows me, and loves me so far beyond my comprehension!


  3. This is beautiful in so many ways, Abby, just like you. I love the thought that we were thought about by the same God that set all of this in motion. You are such a bright spot in this dark world and I’m so glad God put you in my life. xoxo


    • I am so so grateful too, Meredith. You are certainly a bright spot for me as well, even at times when I feel like no one really understands. I know God does, and for that I am eternally thankful. Much love to you, sweet friend.


  4. Happy Birthday – sounds like you gave yourself the best present of all. One of the best parts of growing older and wiser – to be “increasingly aware with each second of what is important in this life.” Yay you!


  5. Happy Birthday. Your post just lifted me up out of my grumpy mood. Yes let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Yes, focus on the things in life that really do matter. Thanks for encouraging words!


  6. I just love the line about how God picked your husband especially for you. Such a beautiful thought. I want to remember that so that I can remember to be grateful when my husband’s quirks rub me the wrong way. He is SO patient with quirky me. This is a beautiful post!


  7. Happy birthday, Abby! May God continue to shepherd your journey and give you the strength you need :). It’s so powerful to know that we’re made for a purpose, isn’t it? There is no accident about life.


    • Thank you so much, Bev. It’s so easy for me to fall into grumbling and complaining, but when I count gifts God shows me how truly blessed I am. Much love to you, friend.


  8. I love this intentionality to love and to choose to focus on the unseen, eternal blessings. Thank you for this beautifully written reminder! So encouraging!


    • Oh yes, I find myself going through the motions often, but a friend recently inspired me to grab hold of life with both hands. Thank you so much for visiting today.


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