After Christmas, I stuck glittery, plastic snowflakes to the window that overlooks the front yard. This might sound silly, but they symbolized my prayer to God, which was a request for snow this winter. We haven’t had snow since 2018, and I’ve been craving a chance to lay in the snow in my backyard and stare at the sky like I did when I was a kid.
I took those snowflakes down on Monday because I was frustrated and grumpy about life. This January and February, we’ve had an unusual number of days in the upper 60s and lower 70s, so I made up my mind that snow was an impossibility, took down the happy, innocent snowflakes, and tossed them in the Goodwill donation bag.
It was a day or two later when I learned that it might snow on Thursday. Most likely, we’ll get between 3 and 6 inches. I thought of the snowflakes I’d taken down just a moment too soon because I’d lost faith. I let the hard parts of life obstruct my vision and make me forget that God is good, that the impossible is possible, and that there are such things as hope and joy that make life good. I felt sad and ashamed of myself because I remembered the days when my faith in little and big things was so strong and my belief in what I could not see did not waver… I remembered the year I prayed for birthday snow.
I Prayed for Snow on My Birthday
About five months before I turned twenty, I started to pray for birthday snow. I started to pray for it right after my second year of college started in August, even though it was still hot outside and students walked around campus in flip flops and shorts.
“It doesn’t have to be a lot of snow,” I’d call out to God in my mind. “Just a little will be fine. But please, please may I have snow on my birthday?”
I knew that God is not the type to get annoyed with our prayers, but sometimes, I wondered if I was asking too much because there was no way He could miss my countless messages.
The more I asked for birthday snow, the more confident I became that it would happen. One breezy fall afternoon, I told my friend Stephanie, “It’s going to snow on my birthday. I’ve asked God, and I know it’s going to happen. I’m so excited!”
Stephanie chuckled. “It’s not going to snow. It doesn’t snow here.”
Stephanie was right. Williamsburg, Virginia didn’t get much snow, but this was a special case. I had put in a request for snow on a specific day of the year, and God would not ignore me.
“True,” I said, and smiled at her. “But it’s going to snow.”
A few months passed, finals brought the semester to a close and I went home for winter break. When I returned to school in January, I kept an eye on the seven-day weather forecast. There was a cloud that would bring some sort of precipitation on my birthday, January 19. Sometimes that cloud brought rain, and other times, that cloud brought snow. The weatherman’s prediction was too inconsistent for me, so I turned to God and explained the situation. “Please, God. Keep the rain away and make it cold so that it will snow.”
January 19 was a cloudy, grey and cold day that started with a light drizzle. I stared out my dorm window and prayed the rain away. I was so close to getting snow as a birthday gift from God. My cousin, who lived in the dorm across the street from me, hung out with me that morning. I wondered with her about where the snow was and stared at the clouds, waiting for a sign from God. All the elements were in place. If only the right stuff would fall from the sky.
Sometime that afternoon while my cousin and I drove around Williamsburg, it began to snow. I remember sitting in the front passenger seat of her beige Toyota Camry when the first flakes began to fall. I bounced around in my seat with a huge smile on my face.
“It’s snowing! I can’t believe it’s snowing. They’re huge flakes! This is so great!” I said. I talked on and on, my face glued to the window, watching my birthday snow float to the ground.
As I walked around campus that afternoon, I felt like I was trapped in a snow globe and that God’s love was wrapped around me. Every step I took felt like a gift from the Lord, and I felt so special. I spent a lot of time outside that day, soaking it all in.
The snow tapered off that night, and I remember that when my friends and I walked to my friend’s dorm, I was the last one inside. Only a few flakes were falling, and I threw my head back, opened my arms and tried to catch them in my mouth to savor the last bit of birthday snow. I looked at the sky as stars began to show themselves as the clouds drifted away, and I felt thankful to my bones.
“Thank you, God,” I said. “Thank you for my snow.”
I put my arms down, and looked at my friend Sam who was holding the door open, waiting for me to head inside. I smiled at him, feeling very at peace and happy.