As I write this, I’m sitting near my sleepy dog with Hillsong worship music on, a weathered Bible on my lap, a movie on mute in the background, and a restless soul. The last few months have been a whirlwind, but I know they’ve been so worth it. I’m incredibly thankful and blessed to have experienced them.
I just turned 30 last week, and it’s been a bit surreal for me. I’m realizing the brevity of this life, and I’m determined to not waste it. Many emotions ran through my head as I celebrated a milestone of life: some good, some insecure, some exciting, and some unexpected. It brought me to tears to see friends and family for my surprise party, especially after the year we have had. I know one thing’s for sure: I’m so much better when I’m around the people who I care about and love deeply.
I’ve learned over the past twelve months to accept where I’m at and take it as it comes. Some things have been harder to accept than others, but I know that’s where the most growth happens. I’ve been extremely uncomfortable in some situations I’ve faced, but I believe God has been teaching me to be even more patient and to lead with love.
The more I think about myself, the less I become like Jesus. The more I think about others and love deeply, the more grounded I feel. I’ve become accustomed to having quite a bit of alone time now, and it hasn’t been the most natural process for me. Sure, I do like to recharge after a lot of stimulation, but this was a different feeling. It was a sense of stillness that I had to face with courage, even when I didn’t feel like being strong. In fact, many times, I felt quite the opposite.
After being a self-proclaimed people-person for many years, all of a sudden I felt alone. I know what you’re thinking: we are never truly isolated and God is with us. I think that, too, especially when I’m simultaneously tapping into my sense of logic and my heart. But to feel His presence is something else entirely. I’ll admit there were times that I wasn’t sure why I felt so empty. I felt ashamed, nervous, anxious, and a bit lost if I’m being honest. It was a visceral experience.
Everyone seemed to be moving on with their lives in an effortless fashion, yet here I sat in my apartment with nothing but music and a haunted heart. I was determined to break the cycle, so I turned to the gym and to keeping as busy as I possibly could. But soon enough, even that ran its course, and I was again forced to face what I was really feeling. It was a notion that I was somehow behind in this life just because I didn’t have certain things. I think that thought does naturally come when you hit a certain age and you may not feel like you’re where you need to be.
I’ve had to dig my heels in and really get in touch with my thoughts and emotions: the good, the bad, and the disorienting. But I’m so incredibly thankful that I do have such an insurmountable support system. To say I’m beyond blessed is a complete understatement.
Tell people how you feel about them. Don’t let another day go by without someone knowing just how much you love them. I know I don’t want to squander a day of this life hesitating or wondering what if anymore. I just want to live a life filled with love, support, courage, fullness, and strength.
Remember what you prayed for and cherish it in the moment. Even if you aren’t where you want to be, there’s a reason you’re in the position you are in now. In your heart of hearts, you know God puts you right where you need to be in order to prosper you. Don’t get distracted by the things that don’t matter. Be about the things that give you wisdom and hope.
I’m incredibly blessed that God said, “Not yet,” to the things I thought I wanted. I can’t imagine where I’d be if I tried to take control instead of Him. It’s never ended up very well for me, so I’m instead trusting that He has the drivers seat.
Prayer is the best form of love, so I’m continuing to pray for those seeds in my heart to come to fruition. I truly believe in that God’s time they will. I’m inspired by those around me, and I’ll always aspire to be a positive light in their lives. I’ll continue to pray for my friends and family who struggle with things that they don’t talk about. If it means I can help, then I will do it. They are the people who keep me going. After all, good relationships take reciprocity, hard work, and above all, love.
Thank you, God, for turning my hurts into strengths and my shortcomings into areas of opportunity. I’m so grateful that I was able to experience another decade of life with the family and friends who encourage me and make it so beautiful. Cheers to 30. Let’s take this on together.