Yesterday was my birthday. Every year, when my birthday comes around it feels like the official end of summer. A fixed point on the calendar telling me, “You’re another year older now, time to put your shorts away and start real life!” This birthday in particular felt like an ending point. Not only is the summer drawing to a close, but so are my 20s.
The strange thing about age milestones is that you reach them and then you go on living your life like normal. I don’t feel any more mature or wise or old than I did on Monday. I don’t suddenly feel 30. I’m not about to buy a rocking chair or start eating bridge mix or switch to transition lenses. I do feel ready to grow up and I’m excited for what this next year of life might hold. September will be very different from past years, with a new job and brand new routines to get into. So many people in my life are going through big, exciting changes. Life goes on. And on and on.
People have asked me what my favourite part of my birthday was. It’s hard to nail it down to one thing. I loved hearing my brother’s voice all the way from Brazil singing Happy Birthday in that funny way my Mom used to sing to us when we were kids. I loved getting a beauty-queen sized bouquet of my favourite flowers (gerbera daisies) from Ariana. I loved the home-made nutella ice cream that Bethany made me. I loved waking up to a whole bunch of birthday text messages sent before 8am. I loved the framed photo that Tiff gave me, which I then made everyone sign like a yearbook (I loved that they all humoured me and did it because it was my birthday). I loved having a nice dinner with some of the people I love the most. I loved hearing from my family and Douze. And I loved that I got to tell them all how much I love them!
I have a lot to be grateful for. God has been good to me in my 29 years. There’s a line in that old hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness that goes, “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow/blessings all mine with ten thousand beside” and it is so true. Not only has he given me strength and hope and the greatest gift in the history of ever, but I am blown away by all the other blessings and grace he gives me on a minute by minute basis. Mainly I am thankful that He has given me so many amazing people—friends and family and friends who are like family—that I get to walk through life with.
I don’t know what my 30s will bring. There will probably be a lot of good memories, some hard lessons, tears, laughs, joy, suffering and a whole ton of changes…just like in my 20s. My prayer is that I can walk through them in faith and obedience, a little more outdoorsy and grounded in who I am in Christ. And I hope I come out on the other side knowing and loving God more than I do now.
On the morning of my 30th birthday, I sat at my table and read through Psalm 139. When I flipped over the photo that Tiff had given me, she’d tacked the same psalm onto the back.
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
-Psalm 139 (The Message)