Here is a reflection from Fall 2012 when I went to a seminary day of prayer about Jennica’s first birthday after she passed away.
I remember when I was five years old and I chose Jesus as my Savior. My Dad told me when people choose Jesus that the angels and God have a party in Heaven because they are so happy to see people make a decision to love Jesus. It appears that this idea is actually in the Bible. In Jesus’ parable on the lost sheep and lost coin in Luke 15 this idea is stated twice by Jesus himself.
Verse 7: I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Verse 10: In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
My mind is blown away at the amount of joy God and his angels find over each individual person that comes to be a part of his family. I’ve heard Christians call the day they were saved their “spiritual birthday.” It really is a special day in the sight of God.
A really special day that is coming up for me is Jennica’s birthday. I remember last year the day before her birthday I got in my car accident. The day of her birthday she didn’t have any classes so I made her dinner. I bought concert tickets to see Steven Curtis Chapman in October. That was one of my favorite concerts we went to. I often listen to the CD’s we bought that night and think of times on our trips to Washington we’d sing those songs. I wonder what she would have wanted this year. Whatever it was, she would tell me the greatest gift I could give her was time spent together, because in the end that is what matters most, our investment of life into other people.
Jennica, I wish there were things I could do or words I could say to change our situation but I want you to know that I will always love and care about you and remember your birthday. I’m just really jealous you get to spend your birthday with Jesus. Although, I am very grateful you received his free gift of salvation because eternal life is real, joyful, and an unending gift and I know that one day I’ll be able to be with you and Jesus in Heaven. I love you! Happy birthday in Heaven!
I share this with you not looking for sympathy or pity, but just to share part of something that God gave me a reminder to share how far I’ve come in grieving this last year and drawing closer to God. I hope that if you are going through something difficult that this can be a reminder that God wants you to lament and draw near to him because he can handle every emotion of anger, loss, and even guilt that you have and work through a process to bring true peace, joy, and love into your heart and soul.