The Best Birthday Gift in Recent Memory!

It’s your birthday!  When we were young, that was one of the best phrases to hear as a child.  It’s interesting to me the complexity of emotions experienced around birthday time.  Last week I was blessed to celebrate my Golden birthday… the BIG 5-0.  I still cannot comprehend how God has blessed me to be here for half a century especially after suffering a stroke just six years ago!  I am humbled by His discipline,thankful for God’s grace, and blessed by His lovingkindness.

One of the best things about birthdays is the gifts!  There is something so special to receive a gift intended especially for you.  We are filled with anticipation as we tear away the paper or open the envelope to see how someone has blessed us on our special day!  We are filled with heartfelt emotions as we read the words that loved ones share with us in colorful birthday cards.  However, I admit that the in the weeks leading up to my birthday my emotions ran the gambit from appreciation, gratitude, pain, anxiety at times, and joyful anticipation.Best Birthday Gift Ever-Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37 4

I have become quite familiar with pain especially since the stroke. Unfortunately, in the week leading up to the birthday party I was dealing with intense pain from an old knee injury.  In high school, I dislocated my right knee making a diving catch playing football.  My knee landed in an area where the grass had been ripped away creating a divot of hard ground.  Instead of opting for surgery which would have forced me to miss the upcoming basketball season, I was on bed rest for almost 2 months.  Now almost 35 years later as a result of the injury, I am forced to deal with flare ups of osteoarthritis from time to time.

I was disappointed to spend most of my birthday treating my knee with both heat and cold packs as I wanted to be well for my party four days later. There would be friends, former co-workers and relatives in attendance. Some of whom I had not seen in a few years.  Everyone but one had RSVP’d for the party. Even though I was anxious at times, I refused to let panic control my thoughts.  I needed to PRAY!

I never realized the importance of prayer for every believer until going through the stroke ordeal. I’ve experienced God working in my life through prayer  in extraordinary ways. In fact, prayer has impacted my life in so many ways, I am writing a book about it!  The title is: “Unleash the POWER of PRAYER in Your Life”.  In doing research for the book, I have been reminded of the necessity of praying God’s will be done just as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane before going to the cross.If we ask ANYTHING according to His will ,He hears us

So I began to pour my heart out to God.  I thanked Him for his love and the blessing in allowing me to see 50 years.  I shared with Him how I wanted to take time during the roast and toast portion of the party to give my testimony using seven of my favorite life verses.  Verses that have guided me along this journey He has taken me on.  I knew there may be people that did not know Christ as their Savior and I wanted my life story to be an example of how God truly does transform lives.

I also shared with God my disappointment that I have been unable to attend church since officially joining in July.  I had missed the fellowship with other saints and hearing His word being taught as we worship Him.  I prayed this way every day all day.  It was the day before the party and I needed to get a haircut.  I could feel my leg was not quite right so I took some over the counter medicine which I do not really like to take because it can be harmful to my kidneys per my doctor.  On the way to the barber shop, my caregiver and I stopped at the drugstore to pick up some more pain medication as I had just taken the last two.

On the way back from the barber shop we grabbed some lunch and she dropped me off at home. I sat down to eat and prayed to God thanking Him for the food and praying for my knee. Later that day after doing some reading, I went to get up but my knee felt different.  I bounced my foot on the floor to check and to my surprise there was no pain!   I decided to try and stand without leaning on something and I stood right up!  Standing there in that moment, I lifted my eyes up to Heaven and I thanked my Savior for healing me!God's Awesome Power is Perfected in weakness

I asked God to give me the words to say at the party so that He is glorified.  I thanked Him for the affirmation to share His word and for increasing my HOPE in HIM.  The best thing is; this all took place before I even opened the pain medicine that I had purchased!  God wanted me to know He heard my prayers and He is the Great Healer.  I was overwhelmed with joy and began to feel peace that everything would be okay for the party. (If you are a subscriber, you will get more party details, and see birthday pictures later this month and possibly my latest mock book cover too)

As I celebrate turning 50 this month. I celebrate the fact it has been six years since the stroke and I am excited to fulfill God’s purpose via the plans He has for me.  In September it will be 4 years since I recommitted my life to Christ and made it my desire to live for Him.  As I mentioned earlier; birthdays are accompanied by a wide range of emotions but I’m thankful that My Lord and Savior blessed me with the ability to walk through those doors for my birthday party!

How has God revealed Himself to you?  Please bless us with words of encouragement as you share in the comments.  Thank you for visiting today and God bless you and yours!

Related posts

56 comments on “The Best Birthday Gift in Recent Memory!

It sounds like you had a wonderful birthday Horace! Praise God for the healing that he has done. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. It brings joy to my heart to hear what God has done for other people. Keep up the good work and God Bless! Also, I hope to see you in October for the BE conference!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Amanda for your well wishes. I’m glad to read you were encouraged by what I shared. I need to do a post on my favorite life verses. I am not sure I will make it to BE this year. I’m praying God’s wisdom. Thanks again for the visit my friend. Have a wonderful weekend and may God continue to bless you and yours!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Dianne! I really wanted to share this story of God’s intervention and blessing that took place the week of my birthday. My hope is to encourage and inspire those who read. Even when we are hurting, God hears our prayers. He wants us to seek Him and desire His will for our lives. Thank you for the “welcome” and the birthday wishes. I hope you have a wonderful week and may God richly bless you and yours!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Bethany for your well wishes and prayers too. They are much appreciated. I am beyond grateful for God’s grace and healing. He continues to bless every day. To see Him work in my life is indescribable at times but I wanted to share this story of His love. Thanks again for visiting today. I hope you have a wonderful week and may God richly bless you and yours!

W J

Praise God for His healing mercies. His steadfast love and mercies never cease, they are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness!!! The LORD is good to those who wait for Him! Thank God for you! Hugs !!!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you for never giving up and continuing in prayer for me over the years mother. I am blessed and humbled that God answered your prayer for me to seek Him wholeheartedly. I pray that He is glorified in everything I do! Praying for you always. Have a blessed week. Love you mom!

Happy birthday, Horace! What a beautiful testimony! I wish I could have heard you share your life story with the 7 verses. (And you have some beautiful graphics! Pinning them!)

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Betsy! I am thinking I will make a blog post from the 7 verses! It has been on my mind to do so. Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. Praying for safety for you and family as you continue to serve God overseas. Blessings, friend.

What a gift, Horace! Prayer does amazing things and all we have to do is just pray with faith. Your story is such a blessing to me, Horace. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Hey Lori! Great to hear from you! I hope your move is going well Yes, it was quite an amazing gift of answered prayer my friend. I am learning that nothing is too big or small to call out to our Savior in prayer. My knee is still a little creaky as I wait on my ride to church but it is not nearly as bad. I thank God for His healing hand and strength. I hope you and yours have a blessed Sunday. Continuing in prayer for you all as you get settled.

        Horace Williams Jr Post author

        Thank you for your prayers Lori! I’m glad to be an encouragement. My knee has has my leg a little weak but God is allowing it to heal slowly so I can get around a little better. I will continue in prayer for you and your family as you all go through the process of moving. Blessings to you and yours friend.

Happy Birthday Horace. Praising God with you. WOW! He just blesses us so much more than we deserve. I’ve seen miracles – so many of them the older I get. We’ve learned about the miracle of birth thru miscarriages and watching family with infertility and we’ve watched the miracle of God healing our grandson who was born with a horrible disease. Yes, he still has it, but no he does not have the complications that other people all over the world have.

Have a great week, and praying your knee keeps feeling better.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Debbie for your well wishes! Yes, God blesses us beyond belief at times! Such a incredible Savior! I thank Him for His blessings and pray that those in need will receive blessings too. I hope you have a fantastic Sunday. Blessings to you and yours!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Liz for visiting and your comment. I am so thankful for the blessings that God continues to bestow on me each day. What an AMAZING Savior we serve! I hope you have a wonderful weekend and blessings to you and yours

Happy birthday, Horace! Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. Inspiring to see God grant you perseverance in prayer and the desire of your heart! I’m reminded of James 1:12: “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” I know God has even greater gifts in store for you! Blessings on your writing and life!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Debbie for your kinds words and insightful comment! What an inspiring verse in James; thank you for this reminder. I know you have experienced going through the fiercest of trials recently. Always a blessing to hear from you. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and may God richly bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Crystal for the birthday wishes and visiting today. I am doing my best not to aggravate my knee and God continues to bless. Yes, His blessings are such an inspiration and reminder of His love. I thank Him for them daily. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week and may God richly bless you and yours!

Happy Birthday, Horace! I loved seeing the photos from your special day! I’m praising God with you for the healing of your knee. As always, your story is inspirational and from the heart. I wish you all the best and pray God’s favor on your book, too! Thank you so much for partnering with me in sharing hope at #MomentsofHope! I am so thankful for you!
Blessings and smiles,
Lori

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Lori! It was a blessed time. I had one cousin tell me, “This is the best birthday party ever” and his brother gave me an unexpected hug thanking me for inviting him! I was blessed that God allowed me to be upright and walking at the party. The opportunity to share my story of faith was exhilarating and humbling as my mother was wiping away tears in the back;) Thank you again for the opportunity to share…you are such a blessing to me. Have a wonderful week and blessings to you and yours!

Happy Birthday, Horace! What a wonderful testimony of God’s love for you! Your writing is always so encouraging and uplifting. God certainly has a purpose and plan for your life. I love that He healed your knee just before your birthday. Showers of blessing to you, dear brother!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Christine for visiting and your kind words!. I was so excited that I was able to walk to my party. The knee is still balky and I need to continue to treat it as much as possible but I thank God for His healing hand that allowed me to share His word at my party. Have a wonderful weekend and blessings to you and yours as well!

Happy birthday, Horace! I’m so glad God gave you a healed knee for your birthday! I’m glad, too, that you were able to share your testimony at your party. I pray that fruit will come from it.

Happy 50th! Keep on telling your story of how God has worked and is working in your life! He deserves all the glory!
Thanks for sharing a part of your story here with us. God is so good, and His power and wisdom are so beyond us. Praising the Lord that He came through for you in such a special way on your birthday! 🙂

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Amen! Thank you Ruth for visiting and your comment. Our Savior works in mysterious and glorious ways! I am thankful for the opportunity to share my testimony. I pray it opens doors to follow up in the future with friends and family. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings to you and yours!

Happy Birthday, Horace! What a wonderful testimony to God’s glory. You are His delight (a mutuality of gifting!) (and just wait til you’re really old like me – 50 is nothing!)

Wonderful gift for your birthday! Great story about the power of prayer. Blessings to you and may you seek God and know Him better when you celebrate your next one!

Happy 5-0, Horace! There’s so much to love about your words above. The testimony of prayer’s power, finding good in life’s hard, and sharing love with others in need of it. And take care of that knee. Ouch! Concerning football, we’re powering up for oldest’s senior season and youngest’s middle school attempt. Can’t wait to root on those boys! (And if you don’t mind, I’d love prayer for Joel, the oldest. He hopes to play in college. May God’s good and perfect will be done.) Thanks!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Kristi! I have an ice wrap on my knee right now then 20 minutes of heat. It was an inspiring experience to have the opportunity to share my story of faith. I was pleased to look out and see everyone listening so attentively. My mother was in the back wiping away tears 🙂 I will be praying for you and both your sons regarding football especially. There is a lot to be learned from team sports. Commitment. discipline,responsibility, and teamwork. After the injury, I began to focus on more on basketball. I love watching a good college football game. Praying your oldest gets the opportunity! Blessings to you and your family, friend!

Happy birthday, Horace! So many good things you share here. I think we often have misconceptions about how we can approach God, and I love how you show that we can approach Him as a friend, being completely honest. That is where true relationship begins. May He bless you with many more amazing years.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Abby! As I prayed for healing, I believed in my heart that God wanted me to share my story of transformation and faith to my loved ones at my birthday party. I was so cut off from everyone after the stroke because mostly I was in ICU or was heavily sedated. I wanted them to see how God continues to work in my life and give them hope. Thanks again for visiting. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and may God richly bless you and yours!

I’m glad you had a good 50th birthday, Horace. And what a gift you received! God is so good, always the giver of the best gifts. I deal with pain in various forms, too, and when we get a lessening of it, praise God. 🙂

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Lisa. I agree, anytime God lessens our pain, it is truly a blessing! Thank you again for visiting and your comment. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Blessings to you and yours!

Happy birthday, Horace. God has revealed himself to me through my weakness. I’m learning to appreciate my physical body (aches, pains and all) because it teaches me that I am finite. I am limited. I am in desperate need of something more than I can do for myself. This body was created to worship God, and God, in his wisdom, is teaching me that where I am weak…He is strong.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Amen and thank you Sarah! I am reminded every day of my need for God. I am humbled and thankful that He desires an intimate relationship with me. In my limitations, He will provide me with the strength to accomplish His will. Thank you for visiting here today. Always blessed to read your insights, friend. Have a fantastic weekend and may God bless you and yours!

Happy Birthday, Horace! This is a day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! What a great piece on your faith and His provision. I think He has a party every time He sees His children trust in Him. Thank you for sharing this.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Pam. It was just so unbelievable when I realized I would be able to walk that day. To see the entire party listen intently as I intertwined some of my life bible verses with my life journey was a true blessing. Everyone’s story is unique and God asks us to share His word. Be encouraged as God writes your life story and share with us His blessings. Have a wonderful week dear friend and God bless!

Your testimony of the Father’s love expressed towards you in healing your knee brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. What a good God we serve! Congratulations on a wonderful birthday and on the news of your book! I look forward to reading it and gleaning from a brother who has learned how to pray at the foot of the cross. Blessings!

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Hello Wendy! So blessed to hear from you! I am thankful that Jesus pursued me as I tried to run away for so many years. Now there is a smile on my face when we talk about Heaven. I look forward to seeing and worshiping Him in one day! You are right what a good God we serve. He is FAITHFUL even when we do not deserve His love and for that I am grateful. I am excited about the book. I was speaking with my best friend about it on the way to the party.I want to share what God continues to show me about the Power of Prayer. Thanks again for visiting. You are always welcome here! Have a wonderful weekend and may God richly bless you and yours!

Horace, your life is a testament to the faithfulness of our great God! Thank you for reminding us He is still on His throne and performing miracles!
Looking forward to hearing more about your book. : )

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Crystal for your visit and kind words. You are such an encouragement. Thanks for the opportunity to share at Intentional Tuesday…love the community you have created there. I am asking God for wisdom and direction as I continue working to finish the book.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    Thank you Sherry for visiting and your comment. It is always exciting to see God work in your life. I just had to share some words of hope. Thanks again for visiting. Have a fantastic week and may God bless you and yours!

I wanted to see the gift you got. ….no doubt God had blessed you beyond what money can buy.
Happy birthday to you once again, friend.
Hope to see the mock cover for your book.
Loads of blessings to you Horace.

    Horace Williams Jr Post author

    So great to hear from you Ifeoma! Yes the gift of healing and the opportunity to share Christ to so many loved ones was truly a blessing! I was thankful for the opportunity and even more thankful I did not burst into tears with joy as everyone listened so intently. I thank God for choosing me to serve Him! Praying all is well with you. Blessings to you and yours!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *