Today I turn 33.
This is what I look like.
33 doesn't sound like a milestone birthday to the general population, but to me it's kind of a big deal.
When I was little I remember always feeling this connection with Jesus because his initials and my initials were the same ... JC (sidenote, my initials are still the same). I remember reading one of the Bible stories about my buddy Jesus dying on the cross, and was shocked and a truthfully scared to find out that he was just 32 when he died. Being a young kid, the concept of death and dying scared me tremendously, and even at that age I thought that Jesus was too young to die (that would mean I was already a quarter of the way through my lifespan). I would pray and pray that I would one day turn 33.
The unsettling thought of dying young has been with me my whole life. As I grew older, I still housed those same fears and concerns about death. To be completely honest, it wasn't until my Dad passed that I had started to open my thought process to accepting death and dying. When people started prophesying that the world would end in 2012, I began to put belief in my fears that I would not live to see my 33rd birthday.
Well... today I celebrate turning 33. Even with the wrinkles starting to show themselves. Even with the single gray hair that keeps trying to appear. Even with the same 10 pounds that stubbornly won't exit the ride. Even though I'm working. Even though I have no big plans for the evening. Even though today is just another day for most every one else in the world.
I have waited many years for this day. And I celebrate it in my heart, and in my mind. I am so grateful that I have been blessed with all the days of my life. I am grateful that I have been blessed with all the people in my life. I am grateful to be alive and breathing. And I intend to live the next 33 years with love and joy and peace.