Not Just Another Birthday

**DISCLAIMER: this may be my most personal post to date, so consider yourself warned.**

This is definitely my second favorite time of the year. Christmas is my most favorite time by far, but my love of the month of March, Spring Break, and Easter is a strong second. Not only does this season signify the end of another semester, but this year brings the end of my first year of grad school. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Can you tell I'm excited about this? To top it all off, March brings me Spring Break and my birthday. I can't say that I've always loved having my birthday over a holiday where I couldn't ever see any friends, but it definitely never subdued my love of birthday time. I have always loved birthdays. Everybody's birthday really. I like to make people feel special on their birthday. It's that one day a year that we get to celebrate our friends and families (or ourselves). My birthdays have never been spectacular by any means, but I've had some pretty good ones. Some at the top of the list are last year's zoo extravaganza with two of my best friends, my all day shopping trip with my dearest mother, my 16th spent partially on a cruise, and sleepovers as a kid. Well, this year is the big 2-3. Wow. It seems surreal.

Let's just say my life hasn't gone exactly the way I thought it would when I was younger. I had it all planned out. That (southern) princess story. I've always been ambitious and knew I would end up in grad school, but I'd be lying if I said I thought I would still be single. My plan was to possibly be married by now, but if not married, at least know who I was gonna marry. I mean goodness I definitely didn't foresee myself as a 23 year old who has never had a boyfriend or been kissed. Yep, I said it, and I only wish I was making this up for a good story. But I'm not. Is this getting a little too personal for a blog published on the Internet? Probably so. Is this what God wants me to share? Unfortunately, yes. I'm figuring I'm gonna get two trains of thoughts on this one, and don't feel bad either way you go (because I've gone down both roads as fully as possible). So number 1: there is something wrong with this girl. And if this is what you are thinking, then you are probably somewhat right. I'm gonna refrain from listing all of my flaws and just say that I've considered this many times. And number 2: how great that this girl is saving her heart and herself for the man she will marry. But before you go and put me on that pedestal and I fall off and break my arm, leg, or neck, let me clarify that this fate has not been totally by choice and given the opportunity, I can't say I would have turned down a relationship or kiss for that matter. (that sounds completely strange, but oh well) I also realize that to some people that this isn't personal, because relationships and kissing is like the center of our society. But let's be real, how many 23 year olds do you know in my position? That's what I thought. Not many. I realize now that there might be a few of you loyal readers who've been with me since the beginning, and you might be thinking one more thing. So number 3: God is sparing this girl from experiencing something that is not in His plan for her. I actually prefer this one out of all of the possible responses to my life, because I'd like to think that God (knowing that His will for my life is to stay single) hasn't allowed these things so as to protect me. You can't miss something you've never had or experienced. It definitely could lessen the pain of never having a relationship or getting married. Who knows? I am so thankful that God knows, and I don't have to worry about it if I will just let go.

I can tell you one thing, I'm not gonna sit around wasting my life moping about my circumstances, because in all honesty, it's the world that sees this as a problem, not God. And since it just so happens that I value God's opinion only, I'm gonna live my life to the fullest with no expectations for what tomorrow will bring. Unfortunately, I haven't always had this mentality. The first few years of college were not my best. I spent those birthdays throwing pity parties over my singleness and thinking my life would never be complete without a boyfriend or husband. Not anymore. Every birthday from here on out, I plan to enjoy every moment with friends and families. On top of that, I plan to mark one thing off my bucket list every year ... Whether that be skydiving, running a 5K, taking a hot air balloon ride, or just dancing in the rain.

Thank you, God, for another birthday.

"Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say: It is well with my soul."