Birthday’s are usually a weird time for me. While most people celebrate making it another year. I tend to focus on the goals I didn’t accomplish and the areas I desire growth. However, for the first time in 9 years I was excited about my birthday and wanted to celebrate. I’d been in a funk for months and was thankful that I was finally feeling like Rachelle again. I’d smiled through the lies, stood tall through the rumors and remained faithful through the false attacks. I was finally living the best version of my life and that was a cause for celebration. However, not just any type of celebration. I wanted to do something different, something memorable. But what?
As I was scrolling through social media I came across a bridal party photo and like so many other times it was gut punch. Not only was I unsure if I’d ever get to experience the joys of being a bride, a wife; I wasn’t sure if I’d get the memories of having all my closest friends in the same photo. I know it may sound silly to some, but none of my friends really know each other so we all hang out separately. More than a “wedding” I really just wanted my girls, my core, my sisters, in the same room, creating memories and having a great time.
I knew it would be a hard feat because not only do they work full time jobs, but they also have personal businesses. On top of the fact that, 5 of the 6 are wife’s, 4 are mothers (3 of whom have kids under 5) and 1 lives in a different state. Oh and lets not forget there was a major relationship conference going on at church the same weekend. So I knew the chances of everyone being able to make it was slim to none. However, it was my one birthday wish so it worth a try. The tentative “count me in’s” were all I needed to forget about all the previously planned birthday plans that fell through and focus on year 34.
As it got closer to my birthday, I decided that since my birthday was on a Friday and the photoshoot was scheduled for Saturday, I should also plan a dinner. No big deal, right? Wrong! I ended up becoming so annoyed planning the dinner because people kept suggesting that I move it to Sunday so that it didn’t conflict with the relationship conference. I’m sure they didn’t mean any harm but being repeatedly told to celebrate my birthday after my birthday because my birthday wasn’t convenient was disappointing. I’d made up my mind, I wasn’t moving it to Sunday, and the people who could come would and those that couldn’t wouldn’t.
The drama didn’t stop there. The restaurant that originally stated they could accommodate the party was now stating that we would all have to sit at different tables. Can you say “OVER IT” It literally took everything in me not to just say forget it and cancel it. But I’m so glad I didn’t. I’d almost forgotten how it felt to really celebrate my birthday. Don’t get me wrong, my family and I did something every year and I have amazing friends that would make it a point to take me to lunch or dinner to celebrate. But I hadn’t been surrounded by that many friends celebrating my birthday since my 25th and it was everything I didn’t know I yearned for. When I say God knew what I needed when I chose the guest list. He KNEW! After dinner, 7 of us stayed outside laughing and talking and God literally showed up. The way He used his prophetess to not only speak over my life, but to confirm some things he’d already told me (that I hadn’t shared with anyone) rendered me speechless. I left with my crown readjusted and my faith renewed.
Saturday morning arrived and it was officially photoshoot time. I was just as excited as when I initially sent the invite. My friend that lives in FL couldn’t make it due to family obligations and my other friend that lives here couldn’t make it because she’s a newly wed so there was no way she and her husband could miss their first relationship conference as husband and wife. Although I completely understood, my top 6 had dropped down to my top 4 and I was slightly disappointed. I held my breath all morning, praying no one else had to drop.
It was finally showtime and my girls didn’t disappoint. They were talking, laughing and joking like they’d all known each other as long as I’d known them. It was everything I had imagined it would be and as we prepared for the final shots, I looked at them and lost it. So many people have this idea of who I am, but those women actually know me. The good and the bad. The poised and powerful version and the pitiful and petty version. They loved me at my worse and challenged me to become my best. The world knows what I decide to share, but those women (all 6 of them) know it all and they accept me. So having them in one room was literally the best birthday gift ever!
While some people were busy trying to get me to alter my plans to accommodate them, two of my friends took it upon themselves to plan a brunch for my church friends that went to the relationship conference. It was the perfect bow on top of a jam packed weekend. Well minus them embarrassing me by singing Happy Birthday lol. All jokes aside, the fact that they couldn’t be there but still chose to celebrate me was everything I could have asked for. I’m often the last on my own list and sometimes feel like I’m even further down everyone else’s list so the fact that they chose to celebrate me despite having other commitments meant the world to me.
Year 34 started nothing like I’d planned, but literally the best way possible. I’m truly thankful and excited to see what this year brings. If this is any indication of what God has in store, I’m READY!!