36

In 45 minutes, I will be 36 years old. Well, truthfully, I think I have a few more hours past midnight, but who's counting, right? I realized today that I'm closer to 50 than to 20. Sheesh. It all seems a little weird, but I think everybody feels that way, don't they? Don't we all just freeze at about 30 in our brains? I think I've reached the age where sometimes when I'm surprised when I look in the mirror. I know, bigger surprises await me.

I really don't like milestones. Birthdays. Graduations. The last time we'll ever buy diapers for our kids. (Okay, I might like that one, not that it's here quite yet.) They're all just a little too sentimental to me. Being the Debby Downer I am, I always feel a heaviness with the passage of time. I know I have something much better awaiting me when this life is done, but this life is comfortable and familiar and full of people I love.

Yet, I can't help but be thankful for kids who are developing and growing, for another year with the people who are dear to my heart, for a marriage that gets better with time, and for all that God has done for me for 36 years now.

Life is such a mixed bag. Bitter and sweet all smashed up together. The hard makes the easy more appreciated. The sour makes the sweet all the tastier. Change has to happen for growth to find its way in. A seed has to die for the fruit to grow.

Isn't it interesting that God made a world and a life that's so messy and so wonderful all at the same time? Wouldn't something simpler have been better? But would we cling to Him so tightly in that clean, easy, sinless world?

I met a lady today who reached quite a milestone just yesterday. She turned 90 years old, and let me tell you, she didn't look a day over 80. :) And, you know, she didn't seem one bit sad about being 90. In fact, she seemed to have enjoyed her birthday bash quite a lot and bragged on the granddaughter who'd thrown it for her. She was brimming over with stories of when God had spoken to her over the course of her 90 years, and thinking back on it now, every single one of them involved heartache.

Being five years old with a hungry tummy which a kind lady filled with chitlins. Being heartbroken when a marriage that had spanned three decades and the birth of eight children ended in divorce while simultaneously facing the death of her brother...and God showed up with a comforting word and song as she stepped into the shower. Being left fatherless after her daddy's electrocution when she was nine years old, and neighbors pitching in to finish his harvesting work and provide for her family.

And I thought, as I looked into her clear eyes, full of excitement at the chance to share of God's faithfulness to her, "I sure hope I'm a lot like this at 90."

Because she saw her story not as being about her, but about her Father in heaven who has been with her every step of the way. So, as I remember that my story isn't mine at all, but His, I'm a little more excited to watch it unfold, one day at a time. And then, as one day turns into many, I will have a beautiful story to tell of a God who is faithful to an ordinary girl like me.

That's something to look forward to.

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

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