Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How I Feel About Turning 30

Have you ever had a moment when you finally understood that life was going to change, whether you were ready for it or not? I first had this moment when I realized the 90s weren't going to last past 1999. Somewhere in my kid brain I thought it would be the 90s forever. Then when I realized my senior year would fall in the 2000s, my mind was blown in a slightly disappointed way. I wanted to be a "class of 90-something" not the class of 2004.

I feel like life is made up of many of these little moments where we have to adjust our perspective. High school won't last forever and neither will college. These huge life milestones sometimes feel insurmountable, but before you know it, they're over. That's how I felt about my twenties until this past year. They were a season I spent a decade in, they were my life, I guess some part of me didn't expect them to end.

Yet here I am, 29 and on the home stretch to 30. Soon this season I've been existing in for so long will just be a memory, like high school and college. And as scary as it is to move on, I feel like I'm finally ready. I guess that's what this past year was for. It led me gently into a transition I couldn't get away from. I thought I'd be fearing my 30s and all that they represent, but it turns out I'm excited.

When I look at my 20s, I see messiness. I see a lot of striving to become something. I see many mistakes. I see disorder and my attempts to control my life (which failed miserably). I see the missteps I've taken, the frivolous things I've pursued. I see the people I should never have run after, and the ones who changed my life. I see some triumphs sprinkled with failure and doubt. I see loss, tears, and temptations. Much of my 20s were troubling times.

And while there were definite highs, successes, and joys, I am happy to leave the tumult of my 20s behind. They were a season of painful growth, like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon. As I look to 30 and see a fresh start in a new life season, I see opportunities to grow from the person I was to the person I hope to be.

I want my 30s to be a season marked by a constant movement toward holiness. I want to step farther away from myself and into a life devoted to godliness and Christ-likeness. I want to see less of me and more of Him. I don't want to see the reckless selfishness of my 20s. I don't want to constantly relive the past in an attempt to "stay young." I want to move forward boldly into whatever God may hold. And I know He holds much that I have yet to discover.

I have a lot of hopes and dreams for my 30s. I'm letting them all go for the dream of pursuing God harder than I ever have before. Rather than looking to my goals and being sidetracked by selfish hopes, I'm looking to what God has for me. I know that will take constant refocusing, because if I didn't learn anything else from my 20s, I learned it's easy to become derailed by your own desires. I don't want my 30s to become marked by the same mistake.

Whatever life phase you find yourself in, I want you to know, it's not too late. You're never too old, too young, too lost, or too far-gone to pursue a life with Christ. All it takes is a small step--choosing Him over everything else--to transform your life. And the best part is, you won't be alone. He will always be with you, and so will those who have also committed their lives to Him. Let's go on this crazy journey together and see where He will take us.

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