“For surely I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NRSV
This is a passage that most are familiar with, and one that I’m sure you have seen many times. For me today, this passage has a great impact.
I turned 30 today. I know that in the whole grand scheme of things, 30 really isn’t that old. I still have many miles to go, but looking back, it has been quite a journey.
I was born January 15, 1986, 13 weeks premature. Like most premature babies I had underdeveloped lungs and was required to be put on a vent. Another common trauma faced by many preemies are brain bleeds. I was no exception, and suffered a significant bleed in the right hemisphere of the brain.
Through many ups and downs, and after what my parents described as a long 3 months to wait, I was finally able to go home.
Short of six weeks later after my homecoming, a common virus sent me back
into intensive care with a collapsed lung, where I declined quickly. My parents were told that they had a very sick child who was in imminent danger.
However, as you may have guessed, this was not the end of the story.
After several long weeks in hospital, I was finally able to go home. Wonderful things were to follow, but as life happens, not everything was perfect. As a direct result of complications at birth, I would later be diagnosed with a disability. I have had tremendous help with great doctors and therapists, and I have learned to circumvent and thrive beyond these obstacles.
And you know what? I made it this far. I have been here for 30 years. 30! It’s unbelievable to me on some days, especially today. And that is something to be celebrated. I certainly do not know what God’s master plan is for me, but I will be here to find out. I am so grateful for the gifts that I have been given, and for being able to live completely independently, despite such a beginning.
Thanks be to God.