Today is my 52nd Birthday.
Because 52 is such a cool number, and because there are 52 weeks in a year, I’m embarking on Project 52 — reflecting each week on one year of my life.
I’ve also been thinking very much about Healing today.
Ten years ago this summer was when I left Germany, utterly brokenhearted, and moved to Virginia.
Now I am settling in — and I feel Healed. And that’s a wonderful thing.
And I was thinking about I Samuel 7:12, where Samuel sets up a stone as a monument to God’s help. He names it “Ebenezer,” which means “Stone of Help,” and says, “Hitherto hath the Lord helped.”
Today I planned to go to Great Falls, which I did, and pick up a stone to remind me of God’s help. I have some other stones. This one (actually I picked up two) is going to represent Healing.
Here are the stones I chose along with some souvenir playing cards from places I loved. (I played some solitaire tonight using 52 cards at a time. It’s appropriate!)
But, rather more amazing — this morning I checked my doorstep (I’d forgotten to check last night), and there was a birthday package! It contained a gift from my generous friend Lauri Ann of beautiful opal earrings.
Opals are special to me because one of my favorite books as a kid was a book written by missionary Isobel Kuhn called Stones of Fire. In it, she compares a Lisu tribeswoman to a fire opal. She talks about how the colors of the opal come from pressure and brokenness.
I love that thought. As I’m thinking about Healing — I declare that my healed broken heart is part of what makes me beautiful.
So my Stones of Fire are also my Stones of Help. They speak to how far God has brought me — and that He has not only Healed me, He used those awful times to make me beautiful.
Three years ago when I went to Great Falls on my birthday, the many great blue herons I saw represented Great Blue Herons of Happiness.
This year, they were back!
So the walk in great falls was about Healing and Happiness both.
We got amazing views of many, many herons.
And here I am modeling my Stones of Fire that represent Healing, with a Great Blue Heron of Happiness behind me.
Hitherto hath the Lord helped!