Thirty.

I wrote this last week and intended to post it promptly. Then I was faced with a few things that caused me to be anxious and worry and I felt hypocritical. But I’m posting it now all with the understanding that I am still being sanctified and there is much progress to be had.

Thursday was my thirtieth birthday. I’m not having any sense of crisis or feeling old. In fact, I’m feeling amazed and thankful.

Ten years ago, when I turned 20 I was in the middle of a very dark time. I was very depressed and did not have a lot of hope for my future. I was away at college and did not have any really good friendships at the time. My family was far away and I don’t think any of us really understood what I was going through. By the grace of God, the darkness eventually lifted (I don’t have an answer for why or how) but I lived most of my early twenties in fear of it returning. For me depression felt like someone sitting on your chest all the time. I didn’t function well that way and I didn’t want to have to do life like that. In the past ten years, I’ve dealt with anxiety and worry but never the darkness of depression the same way I had in 2002/2003 and, for that, I am very grateful. I also know that God has used a lot of things in the past ten years to help me deal with my tendency to be anxious.

In a lot of ways, these birthdays that end in zeros can be scary. They are markers of what is coming to an end and what may be to come. I’ve been studying Genesis since September and Abraham’s example of faith has made it much easier to approach this birthday. Hope and thankfulness are much better lenses to view life through than anxiety and worry.

I could go on and on about all the amazing things God has done in my life in the last several years. In that time, I started dating D, got married and became a mom over and over and over again. I’ve changed jobs several times and seen the Lord provide for our family in ways I could not imagine. We have had loss and blessings and overwhelming peace from the only One who can provide it. I am thankful  for what I have learned in the past ten years and for what is to come.

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