Turning 30 – The Trials, Truths and Hopeful Joys

icecreamToday, I am 30. I know a woman has been taught never to reveal her age (maybe that is a southern concept – or a universal one, I don’t know). But today – I embrace this number with open arms.

This number does define me.

That’s probably not what you expected to hear. In fact, it joyously tells me that I have lived life thus far– succeeded in many things; yet fallen down and learned the hard way in others.

I have worn pride like a badge at times only to realize this bitter emblem does not incite accolades; but, it enlists true upset. I have learned the power in embracing humility and pure wonderment – for this life is not our own. It’s truly centered on loving God and others. A simple concept to fully adopt and one that I still struggle to grasp as the world keeps feverishly spinning.

In a superficial sense, you learn high heels are not that cute if they are hurting your feet and thicker heels or wedges might be a better option – or flats for that matter.

You understand that you don’t have to dress perfectly every single day of the week and that no-makeup weekends are kind of a life saver.

You realize your worth is not found in your appearance, it’s buried in your heart.

You appreciate the value of a well cooked healthy meal and its ability to free you from packing on the pounds. It becomes clear that exercise is not just for the vain – but actually needed for a healthy lifestyle.

Handwritten thank you notes touch your heart more than before because you understand that person’s time and attention was poured into penning that ink scribed letter to you.

Clubs with loud music and the chaotic dating scene is trivial. The desire for a movie or documentary, glass of champagne and dinner at home with a loved one is the best notion imagined.

This milestone date has taught me about myself. It’s opened my eyes to listen and read the words inscribed on my soul and not in the instruction manuals of busy, top-tier climb-the-ladder lives.

It has made me realize my limitations and what is best is sometimes not what I selfishly desire. It has made me cling to God. The older I get the more I look to Him because I realize how fleeting life truly is and just how much I need the help of the one that designed me!

As the years pass, you see your sweet girlfriends give birth to new life. They become mamas to teeny hands and feet. Bodies once lined with cross-strap designer purses, their flesh temples now hold a baby firmly in place and dear to their hearts.

You see people you love and admire age. Their feet shuffle instead of sprint and those luscious strands of hair turn shades of gray and white. Your attend your grandmother’s funeral and think of banana splits out by the marigold lined pool – when life appeared to be so carefree. But, it wasn’t you see, in age you learn life goes on.

This is the cycle, and it is more beneficial to embrace it then stand motionless in fear of pain and uncertainty – because you are going to feel it. It’s unavoidable. You are given years on this soil to love, listen and breathe in the light of your maker.

Life isn’t about the things you mark off the bucket list; but, it’s about the difference you’ve made.

This is the truth that has hit me as this new decade hones in and that number befalls me. Looking back at twenty-something me, I wish I could have told her these truths, and tried to tell this star-searching girl not to rush the process; but, to live and breathe in the beauty of Christ – because he does make all things beautiful in his time.

I am proud to say I am thirty today. I am excited about the years to come.

Though, there have been heartaches, setbacks and disappointments, there have also been delights, tears of joy and fulfillment. It is my prayer that as each year passes, God’s wisdom will wash over my life in waves that make me stand in awe of his splendor and learn more truths of his goodness – because it’s endless.

Cheers to those thirty-years-old today! Keep living, loving and giving.

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