I turned 30 yesterday, and I'll be the first to say - I've been a total grouch about it.
I don't quite know why, and in fact, I'm pretty frustrated with myself for the attitude I had over the last several months. You're probably thinking, "You had the best year EVER! You got married! So much to celebrate and be grateful for!" And yes, all those things are true, and yes, I've told them all to myself.
Regardless, though, I was a grouch. Instead of being able to celebrate all that God has blessed me with, both over the last year and over the last 30 years, all I seemed to be able to think about was the things I don't have. I was freaking out over this seemingly scary new number, feeling old, but mostly feeling behind.
I got married at age 29 1/2, which is certainly not that old but is certainly a bit older than most of my friends or most Southerners. And as I celebrated a new marriage, I became immediately obsessed with what's next. When are we going to buy a house? Where are we going to live? When can we get a dog? When are we going to have a baby? And what about the next baby, and the one after that? What's next for my career? What's next for our family? What's next, what's next, what's next?
That is a cursed question, I tell you. And it is NOT from God.
I'm not talking about planning or dreaming about what's next. I'm talking about worrying, obsessing, fretting. I'm talking about totally missing what's happening now because you can. not. stop. thinking about what's next. And for me, as my 30's became what's next, I just shut down, freaked out, or fell somewhere in between, depending on the day.
But as I inched closer and closer to 30, God welcomed me into my next decade with a tender heart. I was adamant I wanted no birthday celebration, but my loving husband knew better and threw me a surprise birthday dinner. I'm not telling you this so you think I'm popular or that my husband is better than yours, but just to share that it was an almost overwhelming blessing to be surrounded by friends and family from all of my circles of life - childhood, high school, college, New York, Atlanta and everything in between. God gently used that celebration to remind me that I not only have an adorable husband who loves me enough to plan an incredible, perfect night, but I also have a community around me that I've been surrounded by for three decades, who loves me and encourages me; who rejoices with me and cries with me; who points me to Jesus, runs my race with me, and makes me better, stronger, kinder. That is something to fall on my hands and knees and thank God for every day of my life.
So yesterday, as the clock struck midnight and I became officially 30, I felt an overwhelming peace. Yes, I'm still uncertain. I don't know what will happen over the next year, let alone the next 5 minutes. But God is reminding me, ever so kindly, that while I don't know what's next, he knows what's next. All I have to do is cultivate the garden of the day he's given me, be faithful, and pray for his grace, and he'll manage the harvests and the storms ahead. He's always been faithful, he will continue to be faithful, and his mercies will forever continue to be new every morning.
That's what's next. :)
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