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  • Writer's pictureRhana Gittens

Happy 32nd Birthday!

For the past few years, I have woken up on my birthday, terrified.

I wake up, realize it's November 7th, and think "was I good enough this year?" The question haunts me and defines whether I will be celebrated or not. I don't calculate the answer by my accomplishments, publications, conferences, or awards. Instead, I tabulate my friendships. I start visualizing my close family and friends and wondering was I good enough to her this year? How did I make him feel? Did I show up for them? Next, I think of all of the things I could do in the future to make up for the missed phone calls, lack of visits, or my absence from a special occasion. But after just 7 minutes of lying in bed this morning thinking of all these things, I finally realized, how crazy, stupid, and prideful this "good enough" question really is.

Only God is good. Any good that is in me is from Him. My "good" is not defined by any solitary actions or events that I live out, but one solitary action and sacrifice that God did for me on the cross. Because, for this God is good and I am clean in His eyes.

There is one human I can tell you I was "good enough to" this year…. That is me. I've been really good to me and here is how:

  1. I stopped trying to be the savior of other people. It's not my job to fix every problem. "For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost." (Luke 19:10).

  2. I stopped giving from my deficits and started serving from areas of abundance.

  3. I started saying "no" to good things that were not where I was called to be.

  4. I started stewarding God's money. Budgeting and tithing faithfully.

  5. I practiced stewarding my time, resting more, and working more efficiently. And I'm still working on taking my weekly sabbath in full.

  6. I started behaving like a person who knew God loved me and believed He would do what He said.

  7. I started recognizing and being thankful for every good thing in the my life and the lives of people around me. Taking each moment of joy and love as a win for all of us.

In all these things I have had moments of regression (such as the first 7 minutes of this morning), but the greatest good for me this year, came from God, as He is renewing my mind and changing my perspective so that I can live a fuller, more abundant, and more purposeful life. As I learned by First Lady Michelle Obama, I am always Becoming.

So I've decided to shift my annual birthday question from "was I good this year?" to "was God good this year?" And most certainly my answer is and will always be a resounding "Yes." And there is so much to celebrate.

"God is good all the time and all the time God is good." The most perfectly perfect church folk quote.

And might I tell you guys, God has been a really Good Father.

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