Birthday Blessings

Around here at the Collide office when one of our staff members has a birthday, we all take a few minutes of our staff meeting to shower the birthday girl with birthday blessings. We call out all the ways we love her and the characteristics we admire. We speak truth and praise God for who He made her to be, the giftings we see pouring out of her, and the ways we see Him working through her life. And then we pray for God’s continued blessings, and for Him to do big things through her.

Being on the receiving end of this has been equal parts heartwarming, and humbling but also incredibly awkward, especially for an introvert like me. Yet this experience has encouraged me like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It is so rare that anyone takes time to intentionally call out the good they see in another and encourage them in who God made them to be. And to be honest, I’ve been completely caught off guard. So often my internal dialog has been one of feeling like a failure, like I don’t measure up, like I’m not good enough or someone could do it better. I’ve never felt like I was gifted with any special talents or abilities. Yet these women who work with me on the daily (and who definitely see my flaws) still have no trouble seeing the amazing ways that God made me, just as I am, for His purposes.

And isn’t this what God wants for us too? He repeatedly tells us in Scripture just how special He thinks we are. David reminds us of that in Psalms 139:13-14, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

My first year on staff I found myself feeling both so grateful and loved, but also struggling to accept the truth that was spoken over me, as I inwardly denied the traits and gifts that others saw in me. It’s always so much easier to describe all the ways I’m flawed and fall short and how, more often than not, I feel like a total fraud. Imposter syndrome had me second-guessing myself and the lies of the enemy were constantly whispering I’m not good enough, not talented enough, so I should probably just give up.

But God reminds us in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Do you hear that? He made YOU (and me!) on purpose, for a purpose. And He needs us to step up and step out in faith to help carry out the plans He has created us for.

This means we don’t get the luxury of shrinking back and thinking someone else is better equipped for the job. There is no them; we are the them. Just like so many before us felt ill-equipped for the job, the Bible reminds us time and time again that God does His best work through broken people, who outwardly seem inadequate for the job. Moses had a speech problem, Gideon was weak and afraid, Jeremiah was young, Rahab was a prostitute, David was an adulterer, and Martha was a worrier. They didn’t think they had what it took either, yet God used them to do amazing things. And He can use you too!

So take heart and remind yourself of who God says you are. Spend some time reflecting on God’s word and the gifts He gave you: to lead, to encourage, to learn and share knowledge, to write, to care for others, to be a helper, to show hospitality, or to pray. Wherever God leads you, He will equip you for the task. He just needs you to show up and say yes!

Meditate on the following verses and be reminded of who God made you to be.

  • Psalm 139:1-4, 13-16
  • 2 Timothy 3: 16-17
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-12

Hide His word in your heart and the next time you find your inner dialog reciting all the ways you’re inadequate, or comparing yourself to someone else’s highlight reel, remind yourself of these truths. Write yourself a note and put these encouraging scriptures and affirmations on your bathroom mirror. Speak truth over yourself and be reminded that God made you, He gifted you, He cherishes you, and He wants to use you!

How has God spoken to you? What truth about yourself has He reminded you of? Has He put someone on your heart to reach out to encourage or shower with “Birthday blessings”? Take agency over your life today and be reminded that your birth was a blessing (and those around you too!). Acknowledge and praise Him for who He created you to be and ask the Lord to show you how you can bless and speak life over others today.

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