What it means to be born
It was my birthday a few days ago. Admittedly, I’ve never been terribly fond of my birthday. My wife has affectionately labelled this my “birthday anxiety”, which I find mostly true. Growing up, I knew I was adopted at an early age, and while my parents always loved me and accepted me just as I was, I felt slightly disconnected. As I grew up and, as plenty of people do, I developed my own little neuroses. Mine became one of abandonment and worth. While I know it’s totally illogical, I felt that I was unwanted by my biological parents because they, “gave me up,” and I didn’t feel good enough to be someone’s “real kid”. Everyone I grew up with, their mom and dad were their mom and dad. Clearly my parents were just the same as theirs, but we had a hard time getting along for most of my adolescent and even adult life. Basically, I just wanted to belong, to have value.
I deeply believe that this was one of the big reasons I found GOD. At the point I really discovered who GOD was, I was in need of some serious healing. I was broken and careening down a path that if I saw to it’s end, I would not have survived (another story for another time). I also needed a family to replace the family I felt I didn’t have. But as I grew in knowing GOD and allowing myself to be loved by Him, I realized that my family was exactly where I needed to be.
So, as time has gone on, I’ve started celebrating my Baptism & Confirmation anniversaries just like I would my birthday (it’s October 16, 1983 & May 21, 2000, respectively if you were wondering). Many of our Protestant brothers and sisters have adopted the term “born again” (John 3), and I’ve found that these days really embody that to me. For much of my life, I felt I came into a world where I had no value. My Baptism and Confirmation was my birth into a family where we all have worth. This became my spiritual rebirth. I was born of flesh, but my relationship with Him, through my Baptism as a child and my Confirmation, my choice to be in relationship as an adult, gave me rebirth in the Spirit. I became more than just a son, I became an heir to the Kingdom. I received a new life, promised to me by Christ.
Well, all in all, I had a great earthly birthday. I got to spend a great night and had a great dinner with my family. My wife and I had a great time together, and she always makes my birthday better. We celebrated and I couldn’t be more happy! But to be honest, I can’t wait for October!