This past week I was reminded of the weeks and days leading up to my 30th birthday last fall. I strangely began to feel a significant and very unexpected sadness in the days prior to it. I wasn’t anxious about the big 3-0, getting older didn’t bother me. But saying good-bye to my roaring 20’s did. The decade that began on my 20th birthday with the marriage proposal from the love of my life and the excitement and wonder of beginning our life together, creating our home, having three children…I mean it was like the end of an era! How do you top that? What could be more thrilling, more magical, more fantastic than that period in my life?
My husband viewed 30 as a “launch pad”. Our children were born, they were growing and now we can “take off”. I had a hard time however letting go of the amazing start to it all. Getting married, having babies…I mean those are the things I had looked forward to my entire life and now that part of my life is over? This was not a reaction I thought I would have…I am after all for the most part a “glass half full” kind of girl! I thought by the time I reached my third decade I would feel accomplished, you know me, the task-master…married with 3 children by 29…that’s pretty impressive, right? I wasn’t so sure.
On my 30th Birthday I heard this song on the radio on my way home and I really felt the Lord speaking to me. As much as I cherished the incredible events of my “youth”…look how fast the time went! It’s as if it just flew by! I can’t hold time in my hands. As much as I love being with my children in their early years, it will be over before I know it and I need to cherish every second…embrace each and every one and not let it slip through my fingers looking back saying “I wish I would have…” What blessings I have been given graciously from my heavenly Father and I was worried about…what exactly?
After the inevitable of course in early October time didn’t stop and before I knew it, it was Christmas and I was going to be speaking the next day at church and telling my story. What I didn’t realize was after doing that one act of obedience and opening up and becoming “real”, God made me come alive…he wiped the slate clean in essence. I don’t have to cover all that stuff up anymore. I had a secret, yes, but all the work I was doing to pretend I didn’t was exhausting. To just be myself, it is so freeing!
Since then each and every day God has moved me closer to Him to the point where I am finally saying “What now, Lord?” You see before the big 3-0 I was trying to make plans for myself. I was trying to control my destiny. What I didn’t understand was while I knew I belonged to the Lord I was taking His blessings for granted. I was using the events that He had placed in my life and trying to hold onto them as if something better was never going to come along. I didn’t understand that my life is His and fighting against His plans for me was a loosing battle. My life as it says in James 4:14 is afterall only “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” in the grand scheme of eternity. I only get one shot here on earth and I am going to have to answer to Him for every second of it because He doesn’t loose track of time the way I do.
Once again why does it take me so long to understand these things? I don’t regret my feelings and anxiety about life after turning 30. It actually taught me to embrace every single day because every hour, every minute, every second is a gift…and what am I doing with it? Am I taking the time I am graciously given and abiding in the Lord…or am I wasting it foolishly thinking I can somehow make it better, longer and more fulfilling?
My view of aging now is much different from what it was even 6 months ago. God never ceases to amaze me with His plans for me. Is there life after 29? God has told me countless times in countless ways…”You haven’t seen anything yet!”