Today marks the beginning of a new era for me. I embark on a new decade of life on this my 30th birthday. While aging is not always my favorite thing as I look into the mirror or feel my joints starting to stiffly send signals of wear, I am truly happy to have arrived at this milestone.
The past decade has been an incredible one – full of making friends, losing friends, traveling, earning a college degree, teaching hundreds of kids of various ages all kinds of things, learning even more from the same kids, reconnecting with old friends, falling in love, feeling the heartache of loss, becoming a wife, finding the incredible joy of being a mother, and obviously even more opportunities and disappointments than I have time to recollect in one blog post.
I could blush in embarrassment at the number of mistakes I’ve made in my lifetime, or even in the last 10 years of my life, but I’m choosing not to.
What I love about life is that it’s a journey that absolutely never stops. This side of heaven, I will never arrive at a destination that is to forever define me. Accepting this reality was not easy for me, but once I did, I’ve discovered such a freedom in knowing that God is continuing a good work in me, and will not be satisfied with my sitting around doing the same thing for a lifetime.
My sister and I were reminiscing the other day at some of the silly tendencies we had as little girls, and in that precious time of laughing and apologies, God gave me a clear reminder that we do not have to be defined by who we were as children. The apostle Paul said it well in 1 Corinthians 13:11-12:
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
While I am grateful for my heritage, humbled by my past actions spurred by insecurities, joyful for the accomplishments, and in awe of the love I’ve been given by so many people over the course of my life, I am responsible for upholding my reputation while trekking through my current season of life.
God has placed a desire on my heart to commit to memory a verse that is familiar to me, and I’m sure will be to many of you as well. Isaiah 43:19 puts forth a challenge that I’m feeling called (and more than a little intimidated) to live out in my life right now.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
It’s time to keep looking forward, pressing on to accomplish my current calling. While looking back gives me perspective and wisdom, I can no longer dwell there. It is time to accomplish my new work.