this year, i celebrate my golden birthday.
if you're unfamiliar –– like my mom, who looked at me hesitantly before slowly saying "there's nothing golden about 28..." –– i turn 28 on the 28th. that's what makes it golden, or so i'm told.
i first realized this was a thing when i was in high school, and my friend was talking about her golden birthday. looking back, i'm realizing the "golden" birthday may be more of a thing for kids, as she described turning 4 on the 4th, but i've kept it in the back of my mind ever since that day. when i turned 28 on the 28th, however far away it felt, it would be golden.
and y'all, what are the chances that this year, in particular, FEELS golden? (100%, of course.)
after 25, a year of breaking
and 26, a year of rebuilding
and 27, a year of being steadfast
i feel like i am perfectly set up for a year of golden –– properly launched by a golden birthday.
recently, i found this old sharpie quote from pastor steven that i wrote out a long time ago and actually forgot about.
i had to do a bit of research to find which message it came from. it turns out, it's from last easter's "a tomb with a view." (definitely worth the listen, even a year and a half later.) i have since realized, though, that what's posted online is not the version in which he says this particular thing – perhaps because this particular thing wasn't his main point.
and yet, this is what i wrote down. this is what stuck with me. this is what i wrote out, as a reminder –– or a declaration or a promise –– in thick, black ink.
when i come out of the fire, i'm coming out gold.
this is essentially job 23:10, but pastor steven said it in reference to 1 peter 1:6-7. the message version puts it like this, "pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine." the message was about perspective, about not having a circumstantial praise but a resurrection praise, about genuine faith. "what fire is to gold, trials are to your faith," he says.
i don't remember writing this down, in particular. but i remember march of 2016. the lowest of the low. i wasn't yet out of the fire, but i knew that when i was, i would come out proved pure gold, with genuine faith.
when i found this quote, i laugh-cried at seeing it from the other side.
turning 28 on the 28th is technically what makes this a golden birthday, but i'm declaring that 28, as a whole, will be a golden year. partly because there are a handful of things i can think of at the top of my head that point back to this word, and it's no small thing to unpack, but mostly because i am out of the fire. i am pure gold. my faith is genuine. and it's just the beginning.