Today is a special day around our house. It’s Merriem’s birthday (she’s 28, in case you’re wondering). The birthday banner is hung, the gifts are wrapped, the kids are making a run to Bojangles for birthday biscuits, and as I type, she’s still snoozing (because letting her sleep in is the best gift we could possibly give her).
Of all the treasures that God has given me, Merriem is the most precious.* She’s the girl I fell for when I first spotted her on the bleachers during our senior year of high school. And she’s the girl I’ve been falling for ever since. We’ve known each other over half our lives, we’ve experienced highs and lows and every point in between, and we’ve seen each other at our very best and very worst. She has been God’s most sanctifying aspect of my life, and I shudder to think what I would look like without her constant, continual shaping.
She’s a Mama Bear extraordinaire. She loves our kids fiercely, and they love her right back. It’s Merriem who teaches us all how to love each other, to serve each other, and to sacrifice for each other, because we see her doing all three every moment of her life.
And speaking of serving…I can’t think of another person that I’ve had the privilege of seeing their servant’s heart up close. Her heart breaks for those far from the cross and far from the safe shelter of people who love them. God has brought multiple people into her life over the years, and he has graciously led her to love them and serve them well. In recent months I’ve seen her open up heart and home and life for late night phone calls, early morning emergency room visits, midday diaper runs, and all manner of other things for one particular friend that God sovereignly sent her way. And needless to say, our home would never have known the joy of our daughter had God not opened her heart for adoption, and led her to lead the way for the rest of us.
So to Merriem I say: happy birthday, Babe. I pray that this year you will continue to grow in his grace and kindness. You’re already the most vivid picture of his grace in my life.
I love you!
*Yes, “outside of Jesus.” That oughta go without saying, but in case you’re questioning my sanctification, there it is.