Yep. It happened. I was trying to figure out a way to avoid it but then I figured eventually it just had to happen. This past month I turned 30.
Though that may not seem like a big deal, for some reason, to me…. it was. I have very few clear memories of my younger years but one of them was when I was 15 years old. I was recovering from some health issues and felt a renewed sense of urgency to become a better version of myself. I remember writing a letter to myself that I could not open until I turned 19. In the letter I wrote about what kind of person I thought myself to be and what I wanted to become by the age of 19. I had character and practical goals enclosed in the letter.
I also clearly remembering opening that letter at age 19 and feeling elated to know that I had reached most of my goals. Looking back I think it’s interesting because many of my practical goals were homemaking oriented and I remembering the urgency and desire I felt to learn these things by the age of 19. I see now that the Lord was preparing me, I left home at 19 (not my original plan) and married at 20 (ditto).
I remember as I wrote that letter to myself that I looked forward to see myself at 30 years of age. Now that I’ve hit that milestone I do not feel the same as I thought I would. Honestly, I thought I would have been more “accomplished” in terms of education and “traveled” in terms of visiting and sight-seeing. I thought I would know more, that I would feel more secure in my decision making. Now that I’m here I see that no amount of education or traveling would have prepared me for the life I’ve lived. My life has taken a different course with VERY different timing than I imagined at the tender age of 15.
As I was reflecting on this at first I began to feel discouraged. Then I looked around and knew that no matter what I thought was best at the time, it just wasn’t. The Lord led me a different way and that was best. I feel confident in the path I’ve taken. In that knowledge, I am happy. But still, should I have done more? Am I not working hard enough?
Then a very intense thought hit me…..Jesus Christ began his ministry when he was (about) 30. That means all of that time leading up to his 30th year was really just preparation for his mission. He had only begun to live!
While I would in no way compare myself to Jesus Christ, it did give me comfort in knowing that I can still strive, and do, and become….this is only a beginning.
So, for my 31st birthday I’ve already prepared my gift for myself. It’s going to be a letter!