May is my birthday month. I look forward to my birthday because the alternative is not attractive to me. In other words, I would be dead.

There have been three times in the past when I tried to make myself dead, and many other times I was so sad I thought I wanted to die. Although it is normal to be depressed and have suicidal thoughts, it is not healthy or right to stay focused on depression, or to try to take your own life. The One True God created our life, and He is the one who knows when it will end. If we rush that day, we will miss out on whatever better plan God has for us. We need to tell someone we are in a bad place and get help.

God has allowed me to live through two cancer episodes as well. A terminal illness diagnosis is hard because you know it’s coming, and you feel a lot of pressure to get everything organized before you go. And the goodbyes are heart-wrenching. Still, it feels better to know you have said all you wanted to say to the important people in your life. Since I have survived, I appreciate life more than before.

So, since I’m not dead, I look forward to doing my part to make the world a better place. For me, that means talking to people about hard life experiences we have in common. I talk about what happened to me and how I believe God helped me through. Feelings are real and important, but they are not the reason we can handle life. To borrow a line from the TV show, The Chosen, God does not need us to feel anything to accomplish great things.

We need to believe in Christ, obey God’s teachings in the Bible, tell others about God, and go out and serve others with whatever gifts and abilities we have. Life is more fulfilling when our focus is more on others than on ourselves.

Others may choose to believe in Christ’s death and resurrection and draw strength and encouragement to hang in there. The promise of life eternal in heaven away from all the hardships of earth is wonderful and full of hope.

I pray I will be brave and bold with my next year. There are so many things wrong with our country and world it can be alarming and fearful. I want to continue to trust God who knows it all and is in control of it all. His plan will be accomplished and in the end those who trust in Christ will live with him forever.

I pray you will learn how you can have this faith and hope too. Find a Bible. Read the book of John. Then read Revelation 19 and 20 for the end of the story. I would be very happy to receive an email from you with questions or to share your hard stories. Or you can just tell me Happy Birthday! 😊

I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One (Christ) who makes me who I am. Philippians 4:12,13 NLT