I think all of my coworkers hate me today. I have spent a large portion of my day verbally (and with emphasis) communicating to everyone nearby (or far away) that my birthday is almost upon us. I’m thrilled to be turning 30 tomorrow.
It feels like it’s been a long time coming.
When I was 20 years old I was woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call from my best friend in all the world.
With no warning, her mother had fallen down at work with a brain aneurysm and never woke up. We spent the next week weeping together and sharing memories of her mom. My friend told me that when she had been having a particular bumpy day in her first months as a 20-year-old, her mom had comforted her by saying that the 20’s are a roller coaster; once you hit the 30’s, life just feels…steadier.
That struck such a chord with me. I’ve always longed to be steady.
My friend and I have spent so many hours since that terrible week talking the unpredictability of our lives; the pain and the heartache. Our conversations always return to that memory of her mom and the hope that the 30’s will bring steadiness.
I don’t know how to explain why tomorrow feels so special to me. This birthday has my heart so full and hopeful.
Nothing magical is going to happen tomorrow. It’s just another day. It isn’t going to make me any steadier. It doesn’t have any power to condemn or save. It has no capacity to change anything about my life.
But God has kept me all these years. He has put life and breath in me at every turn. He has saved me from my evil heart time and time again and saves me again today and will save me again in the morning.
And this past year He has done more than I ever dreamed. He has restored dreams and answered prayers. He has made life grow from death. He took my dad. And He gave me Himself.
And it’s crazy, I know, but I’m just so happy.
I just can’t stop thinking of how He picked the perfect time and place for me. He wrote all my days before one of them came to be. He carved my heart with care and precision. He placed me in the care of a mother and father and two sisters and wrote their every mistake and every success to show me His great love for these past 29 years.
I’m a wreck of a human being. I am nowhere close to being the perfect creature I will one day be. But one thing I am feeling good about: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I want to forget all the insecurity and panic and sin and failure of the past decade. I want to forget all the false identities that I looked toward to save me from fear and insignificance. I want to trust Jesus to cover all of that and let that faith free me up to look forward, straining toward the prize of the upward call of Christ in my life.
I am looking forward to tomorrow. I am looking forward to a decade that I pray will be defined by steadfastness.
30 years. 30 years that have been spent on building a kingdom of my own. 30 years that have been filled with entitlement and arrogance and apathy and unbelief.
30 years that have been filled with the faithfulness of a loving Father who has protected me from every act of unbelief. 30 years that have been redeemed by a Savior and Counselor who has never forsaken me, never fled when face to face with my failure.
I am so thankful for a happy birthday.