Sunday I turned forty-one.
And in my Forty-first year, I want to become a ninja of love. I know. I know. Just keep reading.
Forty was a year I won’t soon forget. It was the kind where two big life moments managed to seep into most of my 365 days. One, happening, joyful. One that caused mourning. Both offering memories that are vivid and visceral; the colors so bright you can see the dancing hues and so dull you can feel the nothingness. Not all memories are like this, as you know, many become foggy and faded. But forty, for me, will never be that. Someday, I’ll share more.
I’m still gleaning and growing from those life moments. The lessons are sure to linger into forty-one (and beyond). But what I love most about birthday’s is that it feels like a tangible new beginning (even more than New Years because this seems like my very own “personal new year”). We go to bed one age and arise another. We tuck in the past year and wake to the new.
Rocco, my youngest, made my birthday card. I had a hard time making out what it said first, but when I squinted my hazel’s at the globby green marker I made it out to read:
“Mom You a Ninja of Love.”
He says the best things; I always write them down. But this time he wrote it down for me.
Ninja. Hmm? All boys think Ninjas are cool. I need to ask him exactly what he meant by me being a ninja. I’m quite accustomed to Ninjas. My dad played Bruce Lee movies in the VCR on the regular, when I was about Rocco’s age. Playing with my dad often looked liked Kung-Fu fights. My brother and I may have even found few Chinese Stars that we would throw at the basement wall–I can’t be certain, this memory is a little fuzzy. (No judgment. It was the 80’s. We also did not wear helmets when we rode bikes and we ran the neighborhood all day long without supervision. It was glorious).
Ninja’s, I do know, are warriors. They are stealth.
In the dictionary, they are defined as: a person who is expert or highly skilled in a specified field or activity.
I woke up the day after my birthday, Rocco’s words ringing in my ear and thought…
“That is exactly what I want to be this coming year–a Ninja of Love!” I want to become an expert, highly skilled at loving others.
In my brokenness my focus was on receiving love.
“Why is this one not meeting my needs?”
“Why has that one abandoned me?”
“Why don’t other’s encourage me more?”
In my healing, I’m coming into a position of knowing that I already am loved; It is who I am. Who I am is: BELOVED…loved by God. As I say in La La Lovely, “We are already what we long to be–Loved!”
(You’ll probably hear me talk about this often because this is what is changing everything for me).
This year, I want to put my focus on loving others. Loving others well.
You are not a bad person if you find yourself needy, in need of love, Sister. Likely, you are a simply a hurting person. Broken. Jagged. Craggy. Let me remind you that you are already what you long to be–LOVED. Let me also, gently, tell you that there is no person who is capable to love you the way that your heart requires for healing. It is God’s love moving in and out of the broken, jagged and craggy parts that can soften our rough edges, heal our hurts, put us back together again–this love is the balm to the ache. And please, don’t despise your break–it is the beginning of BREAK-THROUGH.
Receiving love is what we need when we are broken. God’s unconditional, unchanging, eternal love. Love from others is a bonus, but breakthrough comes from God’s love.
If you follow along on Instagram (if not, this is where I share the every day, come say hello!) then you would have read that I really didn’t mind saying I was forty. It kind of felt like an accomplishment or rather official. Forty-one, however, feels ever so slightly “dated.” But since I’m a word girl, a writer in fact, I’m choosing “refined” for an adjective. I like the word not just because some things positively do get better with age, but because we become more Christ-like when we allow Him to refine us. A surprising synonym for refine is “process.” And that is exactly what I’m committed and submitted to (more and more with each passing year), the process that the Holy Spirit is walking me through.
At this point in my process, with God’s help, I want to love others well. Even if those that I’m loving might not reciprocate in the way that I wish they would. Their process is not my business. And my process, I must remember, is a process–none of us will be perfect. Everyone’s process and refining look different—so let’s not compare or judge, but rather cheer each other on and carry on with our own process and love each other, more, as we go.
Wherever you are in your process, in your refining, I’m cheering you on, Sister. You are loved and you are highly skilled to love others–like a Ninja.
Loads of Love,
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