Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no other command greater than these.
Birthdays are normally a day for personal celebration, but this year is different, isn’t it? Nothing is “business as usual” during #CoronaVirus #Covid19. I feel so bad for every child who has had to cancel a birthday party, because I know how disappointed I am not to be able to celebrate in some normal but wonderful way.
I have loved celebrating birthdays my entire life, but maybe especially since Cassie, my thoughtful college roomie, posted a trail of birthday banners along the path to my classes. That she would get up early, know my route, and magic marker a pile of birthday signs made me feel known, loved, and remembered in a special way.
Still, now — even in my 50s — I cherish every remembrance. Every card, gift, text, call…heck, every “like” on the socials. I genuinely appreciate family and friends (both real and imaginary) caring enough to take a moment to acknowledge my birthday.
This year, however, I see how God has been working to orchestrate a reason for me to celebrate someone else on my birthday; it occurred to me the best way for me to have a happy birthday during #Coronavirus/#Covid19/sheltering-in-place is to invite you to love on my stranger-turned-friend with me!
A few months ago, Brittany and I crossed paths on the internets when she commented to a friend’s social share about For All Who Wander. For “whatever” reason (which I know is God), she and I continued chatting, and I learned more about her. Slowly, we began trusting each other enough to get real. I sensed the Lord’s leading in our conversation, and I felt like God was simply asking me to love her and point her to Him.
Out of care and respect for Brittany, of course I’ll keep details of our conversations between us, but suffice it to say her life has had more than her share of personal trauma. Most notably in the past 18 months, this young woman has endured five brain surgeries. Five…brain…surgeries.
Brittany is single and doesn’t have family to help with her substantial medical costs. Her most recent surgery was March 14th and she returned to work on the 24th, while still recovering! She’s battling fear, in part because she needs to work in order to cover her bills. Even with insurance, she still owes over $10,000.
I want you to know Brittany has never asked me for anything but to pray for her…for her recurring nightmares, that she wouldn’t be fearful, and in the early stages, that the doctors could identify an infection and treat it properly so she could have the brain surgery she needed. She has answered my questions when I’ve pried, but never has she played a victim.
Brittany is brave. Even as she recovers, she is helping others, both in her job and otherwise (her day job happens to be working for 9-1-1 dispatch). Because of her large incision, doctors had to shave more of her hair than she anticipated. Brittany made the (hard) decision to shave her head and found a place that could take color-treated hair for wigs! She’s finding all kinds of ways to bless others. What a lovely example of making lemonade from life’s lemons!
It occurred to me that I don’t need a thing for my birthday this year, but I have a friend who could use a little help. So I asked Brittany for permission to create a GoFundMe for her medical expenses, so that together, a few of us could send her a financial gift, and in so doing, show her the love of Christ in keeping with James 2:14-26.
Please, please, pray for my friend Brittany, for the Lord to reveal Himself in a mighty way to her, that she would sense His love for her in a tangible way, and for her physical healing as well. Then, regardless of the size but with a heart of generosity, will you give to her GoFundMe page to help with her medical expenses?
Note: My platform is comparatively small, and these are difficult times to be asking for contributions; but, I remain hopeful that we will reach our goal for Brittany’s sake. In addition to making a donation, would you consider sharing this post with your friends? We all might not be able to give a lot in terms of dollars and cents, but we all can use our influence to help others. So…thank you for giving and sharing!
Together…isn’t that the absolute BEST way to celebrate a birthday?