Last weekend, my friend Angie celebrated her birthday. 40. She had a party and I along with 39 other women were invited to “The New Face of 40” birthday party. Angie and I became friends in that period of life after college. We were both single working girls together. We along with a few other gals kept each other company while our other friends were getting married. We drank coffee, watched TV and dreamed about our futures together after work every night. Most importantly, we sought the Lord together.
The most exciting and humbling thing about Angie’s party is that it was her birthday party and she gave it not for herself but in my honor. Because Angie lives in Missouri, I wasn’t able to attend but she asked each woman there to make a donation to my medical fund in lieu of gifts. Her idea alone blessed me; she ought to package that party in a box and sell it!
By the time I got to the last sentence of the invitation talking about me, I was weeping. Angie is just that kind. When I talked with her last week, she told me how God’s birthday present to her was given on the day of my diagnosis. Just like me, she has been rather blue about turning 40. Having a young child and feeling the pressures and burdens of growing older has been difficult for her.
Yet when she heard my diagnosis, she said God spoke to her. She said He whispered to her heart that she was to live each with gusto. She had the rest of her life to live in a great way, to grab her dreams and make them happen and to love with abandon. I’ve always seen Angie as someone who does all those things already so I can’t wait to see what forty will bring. I love watching her walking fully into the face of God’s calling on her life and I long for the day we can share laughter and tears over a nice, long cup of coffee.
She asked every woman to write a short note explaining how we met her and what our friendship means. Here is what I wrote.
You are so important to me because you are the friend of my heart. I knew I loved you the moment I saw your sweet heart and felt your sensitive spirit.
Thank you for being my friend during that difficult time when everyone was “getting married and moving on.” I was never alone with you. I am so thankful God had us share the hard and lonely times and I am so thankful he has given us full and fulfilling times. I pray every single day of your life draws you closer to him and to those you love. You have blessed me beyond measure with your “Face of 40” surrounded with sunflowers and leopard print bows. How I love you!
Surely, even now, you are shedding tear after tear as you intercede on my behalf. I just know that’s how you are and it’s one of the things I cherish most about you.
I love you because we have so many things in common. We both love sunflowers, prissy stuff and most of all Jesus. One of my favorite memories with you is how well we can worship our Lord together. Draw Me Close still reminds me of getting caught up in Jesus with closed eyes and raised hands right by your side.
Every single time I’ve ever prayed with you, God’s showed up big. He always sings a blessing over our friendship. I pray that as you celebrate today, you hear him singing a mighty blessing over you. I pray that your act of sacrifice as you welcome 40 will be a sweet act of worship to our most deserving God.
Angie, you are a beautiful, giving daughter, wife, mother and friend. Your 40 years on this earth have given much to many. Our fifteen plus years of friendship and sisterhood have enriched my life, expanded my heart and increased my ministry.
Thank you for giving me the gift of your life and your love.
“The LORD your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and he will refresh your life with his love." Zephaniah 3:17
May forty bring you refreshment and victory after victory in our Lord.
Happy Birthday to the sweet sister of my heart.
I love you,
PS I know it's still early but just couldn't wait to post once I got the pictures and you know I stink at waiting.