I turned 40 yesterday. I’m excited for what this new chapter will bring to my life. So much of my life has been in Jesus while trying to wrangle in my own ways, my own solutions, my own ambition. This turn of the page brings with it a renewed sense of self—a woman seeking Christ with every fiber of her being. Here are five things I’ve learned over the past 39 years that I pray will help you in this journey called life.
1. There is always redemption in your story. I’ve managed to help screw up two marriages and because of this, I became a single mom. But God was bigger than those obstacles and poured immeasurable grace over our situation. He showed me love and mercy when I didn’t deserve it. Because of that, I was finally able to remove the blinders from my eyes and see what God had in store for me.
2. God is bigger than any relationship. I jumped from relationship to relationship attempting to fill the gap of loneliness with love. But all I needed was to trust in my Savior to lead me to what was right and best. When I stopped chasing “I do” and trusted I AM, I found my hope again.
3. Laugh. Life is fleeting. If you have children, you’ll only have them close by your side for what feels like a brief moment in time. Cherish that giggle. Don’t sweat the small stuff. We treated small stove fires and trips to the ER for URI’s and anxiety attacks as adventures. My children and I have memories of joy and laughter even in some of the darkest times in our lives.
4. One day, you’re going to wake up and your baby will be grown and have a baby of their own. They’ll finally understand what you meant when you said ‘I love you and nothing you do will ever change that.’ They’ll know what it means to love something with every fiber of their being. Let them go. I didn’t know what I was doing when I had my sweet girl at just 2 weeks into being 20. She’ll make mistakes just like I did. But she’ll learn and grow just like I did, too.
5. Cultivate your friendships. Some are there for only a season and some are for a lifetime. Each teaches you something. I was afraid to get close to women until it was almost too late because I was afraid of being hurt or betrayed. As time went on, the Holy Spirit showed me what I was doing and helped me to stop that habit. Emily doesn’t know this, but it almost cost me a friendship with her when we first met. Only Jesus could’ve known what I needed in a friend and stopped me from keeping her at arm’s length.
6. And because it’s my blog, I’m throwing in a sixth. Love yourself and those around you—we are made in God’s image. You are beautiful to Him because you are you. It doesn’t matter if you fat or thin, tall or short, what color your skin is, how sun damaged you are, whether you have the ability to use your legs or if you have six fingers on one hand. And it doesn’t matter if the people around you are the same way. Can you imagine if we loved even our enemies as Jesus loved us?? Transformational love….love that can literally change the world. Be that for others AND for yourselves.
I’ve never been so ready to start a new phase. I’m confident in who I am, where I’m at, and who God made me to be. I’m ready to face the next 40 years head on. It’s going to be a beautiful thing!
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. –Psalm 139:14
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. –Psalm 19:7