I’m going to tell on myself. My birthday is February 13, the day before Valentine’s, and so for my entire life, my birthday has been associated with love. I actually believe all birthdays should be celebrated with love no matter what day they fall on, but mine is especially accentuated because of the month and day it falls on.
So this week, I was traveling home on my birthday with my husband from some special meetings in Florida. When we woke up in the hotel to pack our suitcases, my sweet husband made a comment that my phone was going to blow up all day with birthday wishes from Facebook. I laughed it off and told him I don’t turn notifications on for that reason. But as the day went on, and we had lots of down time in cars and airports, I naturally opened my Facebook app expecting a few well wishes because Facebook is well known for splashing your birthday out there for everyone to know.
Early in the day, I received some very sweet posts from my best friend and siblings. My husband sang to me when I woke up and gave me a special card. My daughter called me before school. My mom messaged me and my dad sent me a voice song by text. I was feeling the love! But as the day went on, that was all. No one was saying happy birthday on Facebook. Not my church family. Not my ministry friends. No one.
Now, in hindsight, this is SILLY! But in all honesty, I was sad. And then I was mad at myself for feeling that way! It’s no big deal Daphne (as I rolled my eyes and put my phone down). I kept telling myself, “Three hundred and sixty-four other days of the year, I don’t need to be told I’m loved. Why does it matter so much on this day?”
But my button had already been pushed. The enemy found it and now my feelings were hurt.
As we made the last hour drive home, I told my husband about my disappointment. Of course, he had already noticed and suspected something was wrong. He then said that he didn’t remember getting a notification from Facebook about my birthday. As we looked it up in the settings, I discovered that my birthday was set to private!
I hadn’t been ignored or unloved after all. Literally, no one knew it was my birthday (can you see me rolling my eyes again?)!
I’m telling you this (putting my silly self out there) because this is real life. These are real feelings. And we face this kind of junk from the enemy all the time. But the truth is, we are loved every day of the year. “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. GOD IS LOVE and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16).
I know this. I kept telling myself this that day. But my mind was bombarded with enemy-fed thoughts like: “You love others, but who loves you?” “No one really cares about you.” “You’ve been kidding yourself.” This was the battle I was in and I KNOW BETTER. I know that I’m loved. I know that God is for me. I know that I have genuine, loving friends and family who love me for me. And most of all, I know GOD LOVES ME every day of the year.
When we got home, my family had prepared dinner for me and I told them about my silly day and Facebook discovery. My oldest son jumped on his app and told everyone it was my birthday and within minutes I had a hundred well wishes and we all had a good laugh about it — kind of. I’m still mad that the enemy found a weak spot in my heart. And I’m going to be fixing that hole with God’s Word with this simple reminder:
I am loved…
By the creator of heaven and earth.
By the lifter of my soul.
By LOVE Himself.
(And by many, many others.)
I share this to encourage you as well. Don’t let the devil tell you you’re not loved just because people or circumstances say so (or forget to say so). We are deeply loved by our Heavenly Father. And at the end of the day, it really is more than enough.
“We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 5:19).