Let me set the scene. I am tucked away in the corner of the cutest coffee shop you ever did see. There is a large, iced white chocolate mocha sitting next to me. I have my favorite pink pen in hand, and I am writing away in my spiral notebook. On the table around me are no less than seven wadded up balls of paper, because I am too lazy to get up each time I have to start over and the trashcan is too far away for me to pretend to be Michael Jordan.
When Annie presented me with the opportunity to write something for the blog, I knew it was going to be about celebrating - I just didn’t know which direction it was going to go. I could talk about confidence and insecurities. For a long time, I worried that I would be too much for people or be seen as the obnoxious loud girl that came in like a wrecking ball (your homegirl here is loud!). I could talk about my passion for celebrating and give you ten reasons why you should also be obsessed with celebrating. Shoot, I could even teach you how to celebrate. However, none of these seemed right.
So what if we do this instead? Grab your favorite coffee - or tea as some of my friends believe is the better choice - and take a seat with me here in this coffee shop, because I would love to share how I became completely obsessed with celebrating.
I used to believe that celebrating translated to a party or an event. I thought if I was celebrating something then it needed to be planned and executed perfectly. When my firstborn turned one, it obviously needed to be celebrated; so, I did what every overwhelmed, busy mom would do. I had a carnival in my backyard on the exact day that the sun decided to move so close to the earth that you could hear the sweat sizzle, as it boiled on your skin. I’ve pulled almost all nighters with my sister trying to get details together for parties. I’ve spent countless hours trying to pull off an elaborate event so that people would feel truly celebrated. I forced myself to believe that all of the work and stress was worth it. I even had myself convinced I was enjoying every second of it.
That was until Jesus rocked my world and took me on a journey that changed the way I view celebrating forever.
It all started when, one day when I was reading my Bible, I came across Zephaniah 3:17. I read it once. Then, I read through it again, and then I had to read it a third time. Let’s read it together, because it makes me giddy every single time.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Anyone want to guess what another word for rejoice might be? Yep, “celebrate”. I didn’t make that up. It’s even in the thesaurus.
Let’s switch that word up and read it again.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will celebrate over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Listen, I have loved the Lord my entire life. I have never doubted his love and sacrifice for me or you. But to read that he celebrates me - that shook me. The King of the entire universe - the one that died on the cross so that every other human could live - the one that spoke the universe into existence. He doesn’t just love me, but he celebrates me.
This realization sent me down a rabbit hole of figuring out what this meant, because honestly I was a little confused. The Lord doesn’t throw elaborate parties for me (Although, I'm pretty pumped about the marriage supper of the Lamb, even though that party isn't about me). Also, if you want to celebrate someone, you need to throw an event, right? Well, let me tell ya, I've never been more excited about being wrong in my entire life!
John 10:10 in The Message tells us that God came so that we might have life more and better than we ever imagined.