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3 Miraculous Birthday Gifts from Above

Birthday presents don’t always arrive wrapped with a bow—especially when they come unexpectedly.

Illustrations by James Steinberg

Glenna McKelvie from Montgomery, Texas

I was at my mother’s house, sorting I through her things. It was my birthday, but I was too sad to celebrate. Plus, there was so much to do. Mom had passed just two days earlier.

I felt the loss deeply, even though Mom and I had had a complicated relationship. I was the youngest of nine. She’d told me she thought she was done having children when she got pregnant with me, and she’d hoped for a boy. Sometimes I wondered if I’d been a disappointment.

Just keep cleaning, I told myself. I was going through the drawers of Mom’s nightstand when I found a white envelope with my name on it. I opened it. A birthday card! It was decorated with yellow tulips, my favorite flower. “To My Daughter on Her Birthday,” it read. The hair on the back of my neck stood up.

The printed message inside was simple. “Have a wonderful day and a great year!” And below it, in Mom’s slanted cursive, the card was signed, “Love you always, Mom.” On my birthday, I’d been given the exact message I needed to hear.

Kaylin Kaupish Editor

I sat in my living room, scrolling on I my phone. My twenty-ninth birthday was in three days. I’d wanted to mark the final birthday of my twenties with an unforgettable celebration. I’d planned a party with all of my closest friends. My family was even going to travel from Virginia to join the festivities. But then Covid-19 hit and we had to cancel.

I would be spending my twenty-ninth birthday at home. Alone. I was trying to make the most of it. I was going to cook a nice dinner, watch my favorite movie—Ding! A message notification popped up on my screen. It was my coworker, Megan. We used to sit next to each other in the office. I loved the days when she brought her five-year-old son, David, into work. I opened the message. “I don’t know why, but David asked me to send you this,” she wrote.

The words were accompanied by a video. I clicked on it. David was sitting on their couch. “What did you want to tell Kaylin?” Megan asked. David beamed. “Happy birthday!” he said. How in the world did he know?

I texted Megan back immediately. She had no idea my birthday was in three days or how David could have guessed. I wasn’t sure either, but now, thanks to his sweet and unexpected message, this birthday would be one I’d never forget.

Roberta Messner from Huntington, West Virginia

Standing outside the airport in Los Angeles, I waited for the driver who would transport me to a conference. I was feeling a bit down. My birthday had been a few days before, on September 24, and it had gone by without much celebration.

My car pulled up to the curb. I settled into the backseat and introduced myself to Phil, the driver. We hit it off right away. “Say!” Phil said. “Have you ever just ‘lost’ your birthday?” He explained that his had recently passed without much notice.

I asked him when his birthday was.

“The twenty-fourth,” he said.

“Wait, that’s my birthday too!”

Phil was over the moon. “All these years I’ve had passengers with birthdays on September 23 or 25, but never have I driven someone with my birthday!”

Right then, I remembered I had a gift card in my wallet. “If you have time, we can swing by Starbucks for a celebratory treat,” I said. Phil was touched. I bought us coffees, and we sat down together and chatted away. When he dropped me off at the conference center, we exchanged numbers. Now we text each other every year on our shared birthday. God had given me the something small I’d been yearning for—plus a new friend.

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Mysterious Ways Magazine

Each issue is filled with true stories of extraordinary moments and everyday miracles that reveal a spiritual force at work in our lives. You’ll read inspiring stories of miraculous healings unexplained by modern medicine, stories of strange and startling circumstances that led to love, and signs that God reaches out to us in unexpected ways, and even, mysterious events from around the world that point to the reality of a higher power at work in our lives.

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