Tonight feels monumental. Not just because I’m closing in on the eleventh hour before another birthday, but because I’m saying goodbye to an entire decade. When I wake up in the morning, I will be thirty. Thirty. I’ve been rolling that number around in my head for the past week or so, unsure of what to do with it or think of it. Every year, I tell myself that a birthday is really just 24 hours different from the day before it, but there’s something to the marking of another calendar gone by, and I can’t deny it. A lot can happen from June 2nd of one year to the same date in the next.
The past 366 days have run the gamut. Some have gone on without much instance, but certainly not all. My thirtieth year (age 29) has been a roller coaster of grand proportions–incredible highs and heartbreaking lows and everything in between. I can’t say this about every age (and for this, I’m thankful), but 29 has had its impact. I have watched my baby grow from 11 lbs. to 23 since my last birthday. This time one year ago, he was cooing and starting to smile, but still just a peanut of a babe who needed his mama at every turn. I was dizzy with exhaustion, sometimes overwhelmed, and making a career out of nursing. Today, I am chasing a daring toddler all over town. Occasionally I’m still exhausted, and different things overwhelm, but I am sure as Henry’s mama. I know him inside and out. We have learned each other to a beautiful degree, and I am comfortable in my own skin in this arena of my life. I celebrate, with joy, that I’ll enter my thirties as a blossoming mom–the very best thing that happened to me at 29!
With as much delight as I embrace the good that this past year has had to offer (the above, my sister getting married, anticipating becoming an aunt, our 5th anniversary, celebrating ONE!), I mourn deep losses and still seek to process the hard things that have come–unexpected and utterly challenging to my spirit as I’ve crept ever nearer to the turn of this page. In a way, I am thankful to be drawing closed the chapter that contains them, but in some regard, it’s still hard to see it go. When you lose someone who loves you immeasurably–and who you loved the same, days and months and years passing can be hard; you know you’ll never get them back, and time feels like a reminder that they are gone. I’ve never had a birthday without a card or call from Gramma, and I never wanted this day to come, but it’s here. I know that she is near in many ways, and still, it will never be the same…
Then, there are other things that have both wrecked me and made me more resilient, and 29 seems to be a fairly robust vessel for these. I know that God is working in my life to strengthen me for times to come, yet in the moments, this is never perfectly clear to see. As I rapidly approach a significant and new day tomorrow, I am cognizant that I am the sum of my experiences and whatever God will do with them. If this is a blessing (and I know somehow it is), then 29 has been full and productive. A milestone among milestones. A jumping off point for the decade ahead.
I have been straining a little over the past several days to remember myself an entire ten years ago. I know I could pull out old photos or re-read old journals to get a better picture, but the truth is, I’m ok with the fact that 20, 21, 22…are a slight bit hazier than I expected them to be. I have done a lot of growing in my twenties–or rather, God has done an awful lot of growing me, and the person I was ten years ago is not the same. For this I am most thankful. Closing this segment of my life to enter another feels appropriate, and suddenly (if only in the past 24 hours), even welcome. I have been blessed beyond measure and spared beyond reason.
A friend reminded me today that tomorrow, I will become the age that Jesus was when He started His ministry. Surely, that is something to consider–and to consider well. What will God want to do with me at this age that He has not called me to before now? Somehow, the thought that Christ was most impacting in his life on earth at my age? This could be intimidating, but instead it feels encouraging. God knows what we need, when we need it, and I know He will provide!
Tonight, I’m going to wrap up one heck of a year on the couch with a good (I hope) movie, Jason, and a sleeping babe upstairs. Low key, reflective, and kind of the way my last day of 29 feels like it should be. Tomorrow, as every day, is a new beginning. A glimmering sense of hope and anticipation for what is to come. Goodbye twenty-something, and hello Thirty!
for all that You have given, and all that You have taken away. blessed.