I turned 30 this year. I love Alan Jackson’s song “Remember When”. It is my life song. Click on that link and listen to it, it really plays out my life! It makes me want to cry every time I hear it. (Warning: the first verse is a little “PG-13”)
In the song he says, “Remember when 30 seemed so old? Now looking back, it was just a stepping stone… to where we are and where we’ve been… said we’d do it all again…”
I do remember 30 seeming so old and now here I am. I am not old. I still feel like the awkward, quiet girl I was 15 years ago! I am surprised every time I look in the mirror. Where did that extra 20-pounds come from? Are those my tired eyes?
The last 15 years of my life have been hard. If I had known at 15 what I was going to go through, I don’t think I would have believed that I could live through all that I have. Sickness, suffering, death, sickness, suffering, death, sickness, suffering… seriously, it has been a broken record of grief the last 15 years!
On top of that, marriage was so much harder than my 17-year-old self expected, but I am SO thankful that God is seeing us through the ups and downs. I am SO thankful for the work God has done in our lives and in our marriage. He is SO good!
Our kids, every single one of them, have been the answers to so many prayers! Loving them (and losing them), those have been the most important moments in my life. They have been the glue that held us together. They have been our miracles!
I do have regrets in my life. I wish I would’ve been a better daughter to my mom before the cancer took over her life. Recently, at the grocery store, I saw a teenage girl and her mom. The girl was SO rude and demanding of her poor mom, and I wanted SO badly to gently tell her that she should show her mom just how much she loves her, RIGHT NOW in these moments. Because she may not get another chance. Or, she may get the chance to change her tune, minister to, serve, and thank her mom, when her mom is bedridden and mentally broken from brain cancer. But, it won’t be enough to repay her mom for ALL that she sacrificed and did for her in the first 17-years of her life. Yes, I am speaking from experience.
I have had my heart broken and put back together by my Good Lord so many times. When my mom died. When my husband and I realized we didn’t know how to love each other the way God instructs and we had to start over again. When my daughter’s body was born broken and she received a devastating diagnosis with a lifetime of suffering. When my son received a fatal diagnosis and died in my arms. When I became so ill that I couldn’t care for my family and received a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease; I’ve not regained my full strength since. When my youngest son was born with the same debilitating fate as his oldest sister. My heart is continually restored, but forever changed.
I have lived a lifetime in my 30 years. It makes me wonder what I can expect from the next 30 years! I hope it plays out the way the song does. I pray that my husband and I get to grow old together and look back on our life with joyful tears. I hope we can always see the blessings and joys in the tiny moments. I hope we will always rest in the comfort of our Lord and know He has us in the palm of His hands.
I hope that I don’t have to experience any more death, grief, sickness, or sorrow… but I want God’s will for my life, for my husband’s life, and for my children’s lives. The pain and suffering of this life really means nothing compared to eternity. The state of our souls matters most. I just pray that my life will be used for the glory of God, despite all of my failures and mistakes!
When you turn 30, you look back at your life. You remember when and you wonder what is to come. But, in the end, you just take each day as it comes, depending on Jesus Christ for strength in the moment, and praise God for His mercy!