I had a birthday this week. 35. It felt rather milestone-ish since it was the half-way mark between 30 and 40. I celebrated big with awards days at my children’s school and little league baseball…just as I should. ‘Tis the season of life and I’m trying to glean all I can while I’m in the throws of it. It’s a constant challenge to get perspective in the middle of it but along with the moments if insanity I do have occasional moments of clarity!
I’m no philosopher but I know enough to know that I think too much. I don’t struggle much with getting older but I do tend to do a great deal of re-evaluation each year when my birthday rolls around. This year I cracked myself up as I pulled out my journal from Jr./Sr. year of high school. While it was quite hilarious, it was just really interesting to read the rhythm of my 16 year old heart. I was taking chemistry, trying to understand dating relationships, attempting to make my way through friendships that were in transition, pondering the next steps of college, and all in all trying to seek the Lord in all these things. Sometimes experiencing great successes and sometimes completely frustrated with my failures. To be honest, not totally different from now! While wisdom and maturity has allowed me to have greater perspective as an adult, I am still trying to maneuver my way through relationships and trying to understand God’s love and grace towards me. I have grown up a lot, but I’m still that same girl with those same concerns. And I’m gonna go so far as to speculate that in twenty years when I turn 55, life will still be about managing responsibilities, working through relationships, pondering the next steps of life, and trying to honor my God in the daily things of life.
While some in this world are called to change the world on a massive scale, most of us are called to change the world by being faithful and committed in our own little corner of it. God has done huge things in my life that I am amazed by but they never started out as huge. They started out by tiny steps of obedience in which I either obeyed Him or disobeyed Him. All of those choices that were made in my 16 year old mind, in the scheme of things really did build upon each other, and build upon each other, and build upon each other to become the foundation I operate upon now. I had a youth leader in high school pound this important truth into me, “Every difficult, challenging choice you make in the name of Jesus for his glory, He will honor. ALWAYS. ” And where I sit now, I can testify that nothing could be more true or reliable. He may have honored it that very day or it may have been years before I saw the beauty of how He honored it, even to this very day. But no matter, God honors our faithfulness to Him. Period. And on the flip-side of that, it just gets better. Jesus is our redeemer. Which means His death compensated for all our bad choices. Even when our choices don’t honor Him, only He can make beautiful things out of the messes of our bad choices. While we have consequences that we must often live with, we don’t have to live defeated. Because we aren’t. I’m thankful for that today. I don’t deserve that. Thinking of my 35 years of life, my God has honored the good things I’ve chosen and somehow restored the bad. And well, I call that the good life, my friends. At 35, 55, God willing 75 years old…I am always that same imperfect girl who wants to hear “well done, sister” from the mouth of my Jesus at the end of this life.