Happy new month! We are finally in the last quarter of 2014. Besides March, these last three months are my favorite of the year. The endless parties, food and candy give you a reason to push through the first nine months of the year. This is not all the fall season has to offer though. For Starters, the month of October holds a very special place in my heart. It’s my brother Muiru’s birth month, and today is his birthday!
Happy Birthday Muiru! I hope that you are having a wonderful day today. I thank God for having you as part of my life. In case you didn’t know, you are one of the people who have really had an influence on who I am. Whenever you are passionate about something you have a way of infecting others with the same passion. You are not afraid to show people who you are and by so doing you are able to influence people to want to be more like you. I thank God for allowing me to experience this great influence first hand. I hope that this new year in your life and every year after will be filled with joy and love. I love you to bits. Happy birthday!
Last week I promised to post more regularly. I shared how my mom’s passing impacted my life. One of the impacts I mentioned was that it had pushed me to grow up. Today, I’d like to share something else I wrote at the beginning of the year. I wrote this piece in March when I was celebrating my birth month. I had just started living by myself and this growing up thing was starting to get real. Here’s what I found out about growing up.
I Thought Like A Child
1 Corinthians 13.11 says “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the things of childhood behind me.”
On March 10, 2014, I turned 25 years old, my first major milestone in terms of age. The reason I say it’s the first is because for the first time, I have made a decision to actually grow up and put the things of childhood behind me. For the last six years, I have told people that I was turning 17 when they asked my age. You could say I had a Peter Pan mentality. Or maybe it was just lastborn syndrome. I just did not want to grow up.
This year, however, things seemed to change for me. A lot of it definitely had to do with the fact that my mom passed away last year. The rest of it was the fact that my brother, who I was living with ever since I came to America from Kenya, decided to move back to Kenya to manage the family business. This meant that I would now be living alone.
I believe that in all areas of our lives God has plans and purposes set for us. That is why I don’t really believe in coincidences (at least when it comes to major, life-changing incidences). That is why I did not take it as a coincidence that my brother left a week before my 25th birthday.
To celebrate this milestone, I wanted to do something big and different. Unfortunately, I am not the kind of person to throw a big party or host a big celebration. I wouldn’t know where to begin. I thought about going skydiving but decided against it when I saw the news about a young teenage girl whose parachute had failed to open right. She fell and had some really bad injuries. The news did report that she was making a miraculous recovery, thank God.
About a week before March 1st, a friend of mine, whose birthday is also in March, posted on Facebook that he would be celebrating his birthday all month long. That was a great idea. I decided that I would celebrate my birthday all month too. Now all I needed was the how of it.
After some prayer and seeking God, I decided that I would celebrate by sharing something on Facebook that God had revealed to me every day of the month. This was really good because it helped me to listen for God. I believe that this is how everyone should celebrate their birthday. By listening to God and obeying what He says.
Starting on March 1st, I began listening for God to tell me what I would share that day. I have not been able to post everyday but I have been able to hear from God every day. Unfortunately, I have not been faithful to obey every day. On day 19 of my celebration, I was facing some difficulty with managing school, work and my new home life. I found myself complaining to God and saying, “It was supposed to get easier.” As I prayed and thought about my complaining it dawned on me that this whole time, I had been celebrating being grown up, and here I was, 19 days in and I was behaving like a child. That’s when this scripture came to mind.
I thought it would be in Romans or Philippians, but to my surprise, it happened to be in the most popular passage among Paul’s letters (a passage that I had read not 2 days earlier). When I got over the fact that I didn’t remember as well as I thought, I realized how significant this verse really was.
1 Corinthians chapter 13 talks about how love is more important even than any gifts of the Spirit. Paul is talking to the Corinthian church in urging them to love one another and not value their spiritual gifts higher than love.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” 1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Here is what I learnt about growing up. It’s not about how big or life-changing the decisions you need to make are, it’s not about being independent, it’s not about dressing in a more “grown-up” way, and it’s not even about your age. These things are definitely part of it, and when you are grown up, you really shouldn’t be acting like a child. The thing is however, the one thing that is common in a grown up and a child is love. Love never fails.
There is, however, a difference in grown up love and loving like a child. When you’re a real grown up, you realize that love is about giving and not receiving, about laying down your life, your desires, and your comfort, for the sake of someone else. As I finish off celebrating my birth month, I am glad to say that I really have put the things of childhood behind me. I have grown up. I also realize that this is not the end, that growing up is a process, and I am looking forward to continue growing up in Christ’s love.
I’m really glad I wrote this when I did because I had actually forgotten this great life lesson. I hope it impacts you as much as it has impacted me right now. You may have noticed I’m also going with a more ‘grown-up’ theme (hope you like it). Please share and leave me your comments below. Happy new month!