I have not felt incredibly well this season—physically, emotionally, spiritually. From a death I’m still not over, to my in-laws’ deportation, to unfulfilled longings for another child, to ministry burnout, to health issues that have zapped my energy and changed my body, it hasn’t been my favorite year so far.

I think the best Birthday gift to myself this year was therapy. I’m learning to name my wounds. I’m learning to reframe my thinking of spiritual life around friendship with Jesus and simply abiding in His love. I’m learning that God passionately pursued union with me at the cost of His own Son, and my mood swings, inner critic, and crappy days can’t change that. I’m learning that God apparently likes me, delights in me, and finds joy in me. (How?!)

Thank you to my husband Jon for being the hugest, most faithful and consistent reminder of God’s mercy and delight. And thank you to faithful friends and family who are helping me believe a bit more that I have value apart from anything I contribute.