I celebrated my birthday a few days ago, and it was a pretty big one. 40.
I was asked all of the classics from my kids, “Do you feel older, Mom?” and don’t forget the smart remarks, “Mom, you’re old now!”, which of course are to be expected from children who inherit your own sense of humor.
I was also asked, now that I’m officially “mid-life” and reflecting on my past and planning for the future, if I’m happy with where I am. What a fantastic question! That did cause me to think about it. This time of year, days before a New Year dawns, tends to be a reflective time anyway. My husband and I usually take a day in between Christmas and New Year’s and hash out our calendars – plan vacations, time off, intentional time alone, etc., and also reflect on the previous year, make personal and family goals and talk through what we can do better.
So, I think back to when we were newly married, and how I remember imagining our lives together. Where would we live? How many kids would we have? What would life be like, and what would our priorities be? Kent hadn’t even started Medical School when we got married, so it was hard to dream too far ahead, because we really had no idea! I remember imagining 3 or 4 children, owning a business – maybe interior design or a coffeeshop! -, traveling a little and just being involved with what our kids are doing. I also remember deciding that since we had no idea what Medical School Kent would be attending (in or out of state), or really what our future would look like in the next 2 years, I was ok with just giving our future to God. He’s in control anyways, and I thought I’d avoid disappointment in just giving each day to Him and stepping one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. I know that sounds a little cliche – but we had honest to goodness times where difficult decisions needed to be made quickly that we couldn’t have planned for early on – when we almost had nothing to our name! So, I feel like God was preparing us for that from the get-go.
It reminds me of the verse Psalm 119:15, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path”. God guides through His Word, and there is so much wisdom to be found there. It literally leads you one step at a time sometimes – even if you can’t see the path ahead of you, kind of like driving in thick fog. The Bible also offers hope and assurance which acts as a light at times for the path we are traveling. We’ve had MANY times when all we could see was our feet, and life so far has been quite a wild ride! But as I look back, even when I think of hard times, hurtful times, times I’d like to forget all together – I can see how God provided peace, wisdom, guidance, comfort and discernment. So, I can’t wish those away. I am thankful for the lessons learned and the way they’ve brought me closer to Him.
On the other hand, there have been many unexpected adventures that I could not have even imagined! Having 4 boys (!!), adopting a beautiful baby girl, moving back to my hometown, owning an online fitness business that has helped me be bold in my faith, make new friends and help and encourage others … what the what?! No way would I have come up with any of these! I am still bewildered at them! But here we are. Sometimes a hot mess. Sometimes somewhat together. All of the time dependent on Jesus – and looking back, I see how He’s proven to be the best orchestrator of my life, peaks and valleys. Instead of feeling regretful or that life has passed me by, I take this all in and I look forward to what He has next, whether or not I can see the path in front of me.