Me @ 31: Cancel The Party

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Attention All Celebrators:

Due to unfortunate events and unforeseen circumstances, Kandis’s birthday has been canceled.

I wish I could keep this announcement above my head all day. I wish I could send it to all my friends and family that will think of me. I wish I could post it as a status to keep away all the Facebook posts, phone calls, and text messages.

Yesterday I posted a reflection piece about a tragedy and today I’m supposed to write about the excitement of my birthday?

For the first time in my entire life celebrating my birthday feels wrong.

I am known to be a big celebrator. I love throwing parties and being around people is my favorite thing in life. But today, for the first time ever, having a birthday seems off.

I made it home around 12:30am last night. My heart was heavy. The birthday messages had already begun to pour in, but I felt sadness instead of the normal excitement.

How can I celebrate at a time like this?

I laid in bed and bawled my eyes out. I tried to cry myself to sleep but with every tear came a bit more anxiety. Fear gripped me in a way I haven’t felt since trying to drive up that dang Utah Mountain. Thoughts raced uncontrollably through my mind.

How can I calm myself down? I feel like I’m about to have a panic attack.

“Jesus.”

I called His name.

“Jesus.”

Again.

All other words seem futile.

I hope He was able to translate words from my cry because in the moment, I couldn’t figure out a better way to express the pain I was experiencing. I couldn’t articulate the weight by which I was being crushed.

“I can’t have a birthday like this.”

Cancel the Party

I can’t celebrate like this. We need to cancel the party and pray.

I hit up my friends who’ve been planning a weekend celebration for me and told them to cancel it because we need to pray.

I don’t know how many people will come to a party turned prayer night, but I can’t eat cake and laugh like nothing is going on in the world.

The extra long to-do list of responsibilities I have to get done while “on E” is weighing on me.

The death of Alton Sterling compounded with the death of 122 other black men killed by police this year alone is weighing on me.

The struggle of watching my unannounced boyfriend (Well, now you know. He is quite amazing by the way) fight through the toughest season of his life is weighing on me.

The less than ideal family dynamic I’ve lived in “public secret” with for the past few years is weighing on me.

“Public secret” – a term I just made up that means it’s obvious, people around you see things and probably have questions, but no one says anything to you because, well, it’s secret. Even though it’s secret, from a public perspective, things are quite perceptible.

I’m not bringing these things up to clean out a dirty closet. I’m also not sharing this to expose or hurt anyone, especially my family and boyfriend. They mean everything but Jesus to me and we’re all for each other, support each other, and are still active and present in each others lives.

I’m bringing these things up to share why celebrating and partying seems like the last thing I want to do right now.

The only thing that seems right to do is pray.

I want to cancel my weekend party to pray and I’m hoping my friends who were originally planning to party with me, would be game to change our plans, shift our focus and pray with me.

Not The End

Despite all of the unfortunate things I just shared, I am hopeful and hope-filled.

God has sustained me the past few years in ways I didn’t know possible.

I am seeing some of the things I’ve prayed and believed for in faith for years finally start to manifest. Let me tell you, when He promises something, He makes good on it every single time and I’m extremely thankful for that (2 Corinthians 1:20).

I am learning more than ever how to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

I am learning that He catches and keeps every tear of ours in a bottle (Psalm 58:6).

I am seeing how God perfects the things that concern us (Psalm 138:8).

And most of all I am confident that He is actively moving in my life, in the lives of the broken, in the lives of the hurting, in the lives of the oppressed, in the lives of the mistreated. He is present in the midst of this mess and I am SO SO SO confident that we are going to witness miracle after miracle as we humble ourselves and pray (2 Chronicles 7:14).

The weight I’m feeling today will be traded for overwhelming, great joy in no time. And I’m expecting to celebrate BIG here in this life and later forever in eternity.

So in the meantime, I will keep praying and continue to give thanks in every circumstance (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

I will speak the truth and life of God’s word over every injustice, every pain, and every weight (Proverbs 18:21).

I have a ton to be grateful for this 31st birthday and I won’t ignore that because that is the evident and unmissable goodness of God.

For my birthday, I’d like for us to pray together. Let’s not pray prayers full of panic, fear, and requests, but let’s pray prayers of thanksgiving. Let’s thank God for His active presence in our lives and in the lives of those we know need Him extra close right now.

I’ll kick us off and you guys continue this Prayer of Thanksgiving in the comments (I’ll count it as the best birthday gift possible!)

Let’s Go

Father I am so grateful for your presence today. I’m thankful that we can come to you and know that You are here, close, and attentive; eager to sit with us, excited to hear, and faithful to respond. You know what me and so many others are carrying right now and I just want to say thank You. Thank You for always doing what You said You would do. Thank You for never leaving us alone. Thank You for coming through on time, every single time.

I’m thankful for my family, for how you have been faithful to sustain and keep us. I’m thankful for the amazing man you’ve given me who supports and encourages me like no other. I’m thankful for your Holy Spirit who will comfort those who are mourning. I’m thankful that you are already at work to set injustice and evil straight and that your plan is in motion to end all of this crap once and for all.

Most importantly, I’m thankful for the blood of your Son Jesus who makes a way for all of our requests to be known, heard, and answered. Thank You for another year of life. Thank You for every person reading this. Thank You for this day. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Your turn.


After you pray (hint, hint), feel free to check out my previous annual birthday posts:

Me @ 30

Me @ 29

Me @ 28

Me @ 27

Me @ 26

Me @ 25

Me @ 24

Me @ 23

Me @ 22

14 Comments
  • Bettina Dorsett
    July 18, 2016

    Dear Kandis,
    I am so sorry that your anticipated birthday celebration was instead burdened by grief. It can be such a struggle to accept the necessity to shift gears from celebratory high to undeniable pain filled low.

    When reading your request for prayer Psalm 9.1-2 came into my mind & warmed my heart. I pray it belatedly, however still in God’s timing, for you and for all Christians. For those who have been and continue to be deeply, personally impacted by ungodly behavior and unjustified divisive reactions of fellow man, and even possibly (sadly) fellow brothers and sisters in Christ I encourage you to pray:
    LORD I give you thanks with all of my heart. Even though I am in shock and my heart is broken – yet again – by the short comings of man I have faith in You because you are never changing and because You have never failed me. I will continue, with thanksgiving, to tell others of all of Your wonders. I am and will continue to be glad and exult in You, my LORD and my Savior. I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. Jesus, in Your mighty name I pray.

    O, just think! When we are resurrected we will have no more pain, emotional gyrations or fearful heartrending consequent-filled reactions! No more division! Praise God!

  • Aletha M.
    July 7, 2016

    Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being God! You are God over all our circumstances! Not one thing happens that doesn’t go through Your throne. You are sovereign. We thank and praise You for all that You’ve done and all that You will do! Thank You for Your life in us that enables us to soar far above all all earthly cares and concerns. And thank You for our sister, Kandis, who is always sensitive to your voice and encourages us all with her living for You. Thank You for all that You’ve accomplished in her and all that You have yet to bring to fruition. We know You will show Yourself strong!

  • Joycelyn
    July 7, 2016

    Dear Lord,

    Thank you for being God! Thank you Lord for just being faithful to Your children. Thank You for being consistent, reliable, loving, merciful, kind, just, true, thank you for everything You are. You’re a good father. And Lord I thank you for being strength to those who are weak, a lifter of hung down heads, thank you for being savior. Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for salvation, thank you for redemption, thank you for making us new in you. Thank you Lord for teaching us how to pray and even sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Thank you for allowing Him to intercede for us when we don’t know the words to say. Thank you for peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for joy. Thank you for Your Word. Thank you for all who labor in the gospel. Thank you for all you have done and will do. Thank you God for being a keeper, a protector, a shield. Thank you Lord!
    In Jesus’ name I pray Amen.

  • Beth
    July 7, 2016

    Dear God,

    You can hear the words we don’t know how to utter. Thank You for your constant presence and faithfulness. Open our eyes to see You in darkness and strengthen out hearts to keep seeking You when we don’t know what else to do.

  • Danielle Moss
    July 7, 2016

    Lord I come to you humbly to join Kandis in thanksgiving. Thank you Lord that you are still good and you always will be. Thank you Lord that you are in control and that there is nothing too big for you. Thank you for relationship with you and thank you that you heal our broken hearts. Thank you for your grace and mercy and for loving us in spite of ourselves. We love you Lord and we know you have a plan. Thank you for Kandis and her heart for you. Thank you that you will be glorified in her life and thank you for her impact and her reach to others. I pray that you will help us to hear your voice and that you will help us to draw nearer to you no matter what. In Jesus’ mighty name, amen. 💜

  • Shawn
    July 7, 2016

    Good write.

    God we give you Glory.

    God you are Father.

    We honor Your Word,
    give You our praise,
    and accept the path you set before us.

    Thank you God.

    Thank you Father.

  • Chandra Matthews
    July 7, 2016

    Thank you for this Kandis! I just started a 40 day prayer challenge so I know it’s evident that Prayer is on the heart & mind of God. I needed to read this post! It just reminds me that God’s word will prevail, He’s never ever left me alone & I can continue to stand on His promises. This has been the best but yet hardest season of my life to walk through. The things that God keeps telling me is that all is well & that though my flesh and heart may fail me, God is the strength of my heart & my portion forever!

    My prayer is for the bondage of generational curses to be broken & people set free, truly free, healed & delivered. By His stripes we ARE healed. The battle has been won & victory is ours! I’m so thankful that our God is both a lion and a lamb. He’s been fighting this battle for us and will continue to. Thank you God for being an ever present help & hope. Let your will be done! We love!!

  • Ruth
    July 7, 2016

    Father,

    I thank you that amidst all the tragedy I’ve experienced and watched you continue to keep my heart soft.

  • Diann Murry
    July 7, 2016

    Dear God, I praise you even through hurt, sorrow, and pain. I ask that you be the breath that we so desperately need. Lord, please bind the hand of the enemy that your people may be revived in hope for humanity’s sake. I kneel and stand in a position of prayer for those who feel lost or without strength. Thank you God for knowing all things and loving us in spite of ourselves.

  • Marva Sargent
    July 7, 2016

    God help us.

  • Carroll Sutherland
    July 7, 2016

    Heavily Father first I THANK YOU FOR YOUR SON JESUS!!! I Thank you for being a God of so many chances and I thank you in advance for all your are going to do to strengthen this your world of all the ugliness going on right now all the lives being taken and the evil ones taking them I thank you for my family and ask you to keep your loving arms around my son nephews and all who are affected by what is happening I thank God for just being you!!!!! And I thank you for this spirit filled young lady who has a heart to post this I love her and her awesome spirit!!!THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU IN JESUS NAME AMEN!!!

  • Monique Jennings
    July 7, 2016

    God, I’m so thankful that you hear us. I’m thankful that you know every single joy and every single sorrow. I’m thankful that you sympathize with us and that your plans are perfect. Our worlds need peace, a peace that only you can gives. God I believe that You will bring restoration, that you will redeem what has been lost. In the midst of tragedy, as hard as it is to see right now. I’m still believing You do all these well so I am trusting You and looking towards You for peace, understanding and wisdom. I thank you for Kandis’ heart and this call to prayer. May You work through the lives of your people to bring about change, in Jesus name. Amen.

    • Adrienne H
      July 7, 2016

      Lord your love and faithfulness towards us is the fuel that keeps us going when the works seems to beat us down. I am grateful for people like Kandis who is not afraid to step out and sacrifice for good of us all. We are hear broken, soul sick at the trials of this world. We need your peace and healing hand as we continue our walk. Protect our minds as we deal with the pain and try to wrap or heads around these devastating actions. Thank you for never forsaking us.

      • Kimberly Keaton
        July 7, 2016

        God, thank you for the mindset to pray. Thank you for another opportunity to see you in action as we call on your name in prayer.

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