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Surprise Party

candleI love surprises. As much as I always insist that I don’t like surprises for my birthday, I totally love them. The most fun surprise of all is the surprise birthday party. However, the couple of days right before the surprise birthday party can be kind of a bummer.

When it comes to my birthday, I like to celebrate more of a “birthweek.” I like to kick it into high gear party mode and linger in party mode for at least a week. I like birthday lunches, birthday cake, birthday presents, and birthday parties. I figure that you only turn once, so you might as well milk it for all it’s worth.

However, when there’s a surprise party plan, the actual birthday day can be kind of a drag. Usually the party throwers will at least feign a party. The faux party before the surprise party will usually go through the motions and have all of the essentials of a real party (guests, presents, cake, etc.) but will fall short on every level (like only half of your friends show up, they all act a little lethargic and tired, they bring lame presents, and they forget to put candles on your cake, which is probably your least favorite kind). Also, they have apparently turned into the densest people on earth because they didn’t pick up any of the enormous hints you’ve been dropping about the thing you’ve been wanting most for your birthday (i.e., “Boy, that’s a cute shirt – if anyone needed to buy a gift for me any time soon, they should know that I’ve already tried it on and wear a medium.” Or “I love bowling so much. You know what would be a fun birthday party activity? Bowling!” Or simply “I would like to go to that new restaurant for my birthday.”)

You start to wonder why you chose these people as friends. I mean, what’s the point of having friends if they can’t at least throw you a good birthday party?! (Of course being able to throw a good birthday party isn’t the only criterion for choosing good friends, but it certainly helps.) You might even start to get a little pouty when you realize that this is the only birthday party you’re going to get for the next 364 days.

A couple of days pass and you’re just getting more and more irked at your friends. You’re probably considering suggesting that you celebrate your half-birthday so your friends have a chance to redeem themselves.  What about all of the awesome parties you’ve thrown for your friends? Maybe they don’t like you as much as you like them. Maybe they need your expertise to plan a good party.

By the time you make it to the destination for the surprise party, you might actually be considering not showing up because you’re so upset with your friends. You walk in and are completely overwhelmed with a giant “SURPRISE!” and hugs from the friends you’d been ready to abandon only moments ago.

After you realize what’s going on, you see that they had picked up on the hints you’d been dropping, everyone is there, and there are even candles in your cake. As you compare notes about the days leading up to the surprise, you start to feel a little guilty. All this time, your friends had been scheming and planning to throw you a giant surprise. The lame-o party had been in your best interest. You realize that you have, in fact, chosen thoughtful, intelligent, excellent party-throwers for friends.

In a lot of ways, the process of the surprise party is like prayer. You pray for something that you really want or need. You pray earnestly and wholeheartedly, with the belief that God will come to your rescue. Nothing happens. Or maybe something happens, but it’s certainly not what you had in mind as an answer to your serious prayer. You start to doubt that God cares for you or even listens to you at all. Until one day, you’re caught completely off guard by God answering your prayer beyond your wildest hopes. You realize that even though you’ve had a totally crummy attitude, He still answered you beyond what you could hope or imagine.

So, if you’re in the in-between time, remember that God is a good father. He always has your best interest in mind. He’ll be faithful. The answer to your prayer might not look exactly the way you want it to look or come at the time you’d like it to come, but it will be a good answer.


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  • Surprise Party

    I love surprises. As much as I always insist that I don’t like surprises for my birthday, I totally love them. The most fun surprise of all is the surprise birthday party. However, the couple of days right before the surprise birthday party can be kind of a bummer.