Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Very Merry Unbirthday to Me

My birthday is in the Fall, when the crisp leaves of our liquid amber trees are shades of orange and red and yellow. The air is crisp and fresh, the days are short, and my hand knit scarves find a permanent home around my grateful neck. Some of these autumn days are enticing and my backless Mary Jane's seem to have an extra little spring in their step. Other days seem a bit ominous, with foreboding clouds lurking in a gray, dimly lit sky.

I have a true affection for Fall days of all kinds. Except for my birthday. My birthday, for many years, most of my adulthood I would venture to say, has been plagued. An unexplainable dread descends upon me on that day. Year after year, I experience an overwhelming depression which gives birth to inexplicable tears and a disposition which is irritable and discontented. Searching my heart, I have tried to understand this phenomena... I am being selfish? Do I have specific expectations? Am I desiring recognition? I am literally embarrassed to be in the presence of people on this day; it would be far better if I crawled into a hole and emerged when it passed.

My loving husband has made his best efforts to make this day happy or at least tolerable for me. In recent years, he has covered the whole week in prayer, knowing that there must be some sort of spiritual warfare involved. A faithful warrior he has been, but victory has always eluded us.

A couple Friday evenings ago, we unexpectedly broke through this cloak of darkness. I leap-frogged, if you will, from a blog to a blog to a blog and found myself reading an account of a woman who has experienced similar unhappy birthday symptoms. As I was responding to her heartfelt words, I had an epiphany, a sudden emotional realization as to where my own personal dread was rooted.

On my birthday, about 17 years ago, I was a guest at a birthday party for my uncle. I didn't feel comfortable with people knowing it was my actual birthday, because I didn't want to take away from an evening that was lovingly prepared in honor of him. My brother and sister-in-law arrived late to the party... they had recently decided to sell their home and move to the mid-West, following a man who we suspected to be a false teacher and false prophet. Although I know I must have seen them after that night, and said goodbye to them as they ventured off to a new life, I don't have any recollection of those moments. My birthday was cemented in my mind as the night I lost my brother, and the night my family would no longer be whole. I suspect the enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy each year since.

Upon this realization, the floodgates were opened... I sobbed tears of sorrow and pain, tears of release and understanding, and tears of faith and hope for what God will accomplish in the future. Patrick prayed over me, thanking the Lord for His revelation, praying for my healing, and praying that Jesus would come and release my loved ones from any captivity they have become entangled in.

This year will usher in a new type of observance. I know the Lord will be faithful to provide the details, but I know that most importantly this year's birthday will include prayer and fasting and trusting that our Great God will accomplish great things!


nicole viola said...

Wow, Linda, thanks for sharing. I'm so glad that the Lord revealed this to you and hopefully now you can move forward and experience better birthdays! P.S. I LOVE liquid ambers! I grew up with one in my front yard. :)

CoachZ said...

Isn't the heart so mysterious? And God's timing well...His timing? 17 years with no access to this stronghold and then all of a sudden boom here it is.

So glad to do war with and for you my beauty. Love ya so much...

Denise said...

i love that your husband fights for you.
i have come to recognize the beauty of just that, even as i have had to ace circumstances in my life that pain me, the beauty is my husband fighting for me, and i am thankful.

God uncovers thing in His mysterious time. may He reveal His truth to you, and move you into freedom and celebration!

Jamie said...


You and Patrick's love for one another is awesome! A husband who prays over you when you are in despair....is exactly how God must have intended marraige to be. As the marraige vows go...in good times and in bad. Wow, I am amazed! Happy Merry Unbirthday to you.

I loved those signs on that blog, thanks.

Linda Z said...

Thanks so much for all your kind words, everyone! I hope that you'll pray for my brother and his family if you see a liquid amber tree and happen to think of him.

charox said...

Linda, that is truly an incredible story of realization. I love that you were still willing to explore WHY your birthdays were so inexplicably depressing after so many years, rather than just accepting it as status quo. You share the heart and soul of your inner journey so well in words.

Karen said...

Hi Linda,

I'm sorry I didn't see your comment on your previous entry sooner. For the most part, our boys get along. I would say they are the best of friends, but they also can turn on a dime and start arguing. We are trying to teach Aidan not to tease Hunter, and Hunter not to overreact. I am sure you can relate! Ours are 6 and 3 years old, how about yours?

We have also started a chart system, but have integrated allowance with it. Now, when the ice cream man comes rolling down the street, THEY have to decide if they want to spend their money or save it. In addition to household responsibilities, we give stars for good behavior (library, neighborhood, restaurant, etc.).

Still loving the Beauty and the Beast segments!


bryan.stupar said...

linda, you are a very gifted writer!
thanks for sharing your heart!

Linda Z said...

Thanks for the compliment, Bryan. That means a lot coming from the guy who reads all the classic dead dudes! :)

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