I missed Chris Neeley more than ever today.
As you age, birthdays become less about the gifts and more about the people who surround you.
Chris and I recognize that every moment and memory is a treasure. We have been given an opportunity to see things with fresh eyes. I don’t think we will ever view birthdays, holidays or even the everyday in the same light. We have been given the gift of perspective. We can stand back and see how precious our time together is and not take it for granted. We can see when petty issues arise, call it just that and not get bogged down. We can drop to our knees, thank God for who He is and really mean it because we have subsisted on His sovereignty.
A year ago, I can’t say I understood what I know today.
Exactly one year ago, I was at Disney World with my family. Chris was insistent that I go to Disney World for the first time on my 38th birthday. He was “Clark Griswold” on a mission. He planned the family vacation of a lifetime and Lindsey Buckingham was singing “Holiday Road” as we pulled out of the driveway (not kidding). I was living what I thought was the ” American Dream.” It truly was a fantastic birthday in a magical kingdom.
I never imagined that my 39th birthday might not include Chris by my side.
We take so much for granted. We waste so much time analyzing motives, moods and miscommunications. It is all utterly and completely useless. What an awful misuse of the gifts we have been given!
When you travel down the pathless road I’m on… it’s not about where you are, but who you’re with that really matters. It all boils down to simple things. As Chris Neeley says, “The enemy cannot compete against a giving heart”…and I might also add…the enemy is completely defeated by love.
My birthday wish is that you are surrounded by love and the ones you love. It’s the greatest gift of all.