But for some people, turning 21 takes on a whole new meaning and sadly enough they are usually the ones like you, who've had a brush with death. Having been right by your side as you walked through the valley of the shadow of death, I know that to you turning 21 is an answer to prayer. I don't know why it takes something so dramatic to get our attention nor do I think that it has to be this way. I think that if we are taught from a very young age to revere life we can avoid the pit fall of taking it for granted. When we approach life with reverence and understand the phases we go through at different ages, celebrations take on a whole new meaning. No longer do we feel it necessary to get a new car when we turn sixteen or mark our twenty first birthday by exercising our legal right to drink and celebrate our independence. Rather, we choose to treat these stages as rites of passages and celebrate them as such.
So, today we mark this very special occasion by making several wishes for you:
|Never Give Up On Your Dreams|
We wish for you to enter this next phase of your life with the goal of living very intentionally. Always remember what I taught you, "It doesn't matter that you didn't intend to do something!" That only means that you didn't have any intentions. What matters is that you did it! To intend to do something means you do things with purpose, deliberately. If you are very deliberate to do these two things everyday, you'll find a peace in life that nothing else can give you: wake up every morning thanking God for the day, committing to Him that you'll appreciate the day as though it were your very last and intend to lay your head upon your pillow every night having no regrets.
We wish for you to enter this phase of life with objectives and goals for your future. You have already reaped the benefits of setting goals which is why you find yourself owning your first home at the age 21. On the other hand, you've also had to forgo some plans as a result of dealing with cancer. I hope the lesson you took away from this was: "When one door closes, another one will open." Nothing is written in stone and nothing is certain but that doesn't mean we shouldn't plan for tomorrow. Plan to live and plan to live long by setting short term and long term goals. Since there's not much we're in control of anyway, don't be devastated or waste a lot of time grieving if things don't turn out as planned. Remember, there's a higher order in the big scheme of things. So, make the necessary adjustments, and keep it moving, not even pausing to look back.
We wish for you to enter this phase of life with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to thrive. The past 21 years have been packed full of lessons about life skills and academics. Learning everything from how to walk to how to drive, and now you're learning about marriage. Most young adults enter this phase of life pursuing a higher education in order to make a living and after that goal is realized they stop pursuing knowledge. Ah, but there's still so much to learn! There's a high cost to pay for coasting through life, learning your lessons from your mistakes, or resting on your laurels. I love the fact that you're expanding your knowledge of cooking by learning about nutrition and gardening. I love how you're learning how to care for your natural hair by researching. Like me, you too enjoy researching so learning comes easy for you. We want you to take your love for researching into every aspect of your life. Expand your knowledge and always STRIVE to do and be better. Stay informed and don't just count on others to inform you. Take responsibility for your spiritual life and don't get caught in the trap that in order to be a Christian you have to conform. Remember, being an adult means accepting full responsibility for your choices. Remain humble and don't ever think you've got all the answer.
Last but not least, dream Chelsea. Dream big and don't ever give up on your dreams! Being told that I would never have anymore children I could have just given up. Except, I knew that wasn't the end of the story. I refused to accept no as an answer! I found a fertility specialist, persevered through all the painful testing and had the necessary surgeries. It was difficult but never did I give up on my dream of having more children. Had I given up, you and your sisters would not be here. You are literally a dream come true!
We wish you a very happy birthday and we wish you well!