Being 30 is just like being 29. Or 23. Or 13. Of course, there’s actual gray hairs, prescriptions, pimples, and questions you never thought you’d ask WebMD. I mean, your doctor. Other than that, it’s the same.
Because being 30 still requires that I look to God for answers. Like I did so readily back in college and high school. Almost comical how everything back then felt like the biggest crisis, fork in the road, and major life problem rolled into one. But God saw me through. So. Why do I doubt the He won’t see me through the terrible 30’s? (Who says 2 year olds get the only terrible year?). And who says they’ll be terrible? That’d be the doubter in me.
The not negative version of me who remembers the euphoric high after a week at Bible camp or a youth conference (there really was more to those weeks than cute boys) knows that God hasn’t stopped, won’t stop, can’t stop loving me or being here for me just because I have to scroll further down the online drop down menu to find my birth year.
That me knows that this time of questions and fears and unknowns was made by Him who controls my beginning, middle, and end. Even if the middle part sucks. A lot. Like the halfway point in a book where you want to yell at the protagonist for being dumb, foolish, or emotionally unstable, borderline psychotic, that’s where I’m at in my story. Smack dab in the middle.
But then I read something that reminds me of the younger version of me – toward the beginning of my story. Back when I was young and doubt wasn’t my crutch. When fear didn’t have a monopoly on my thoughts. That younger version of me trusted and declared Romans 8:28 with clarity and belief that what it said was true.
And that little version of me, standing in front of a Sunday School or Wednesday night leader, knows that verse is true. Then and now. And she’s telling the old me – little me – to listen to it and return to that child-like faith with reckless abandon.
When I stop listening to fear and doubt and envy and bitterness, I hear, not the tiny little girl voice (I actually think my voice then would grate on my nerves today), but His voice saying the words of Hosea 2:15 –
I will give her back her vineyards. I will make the valley of Achor a door of hope for her. Then she will love me, as she did when she was young. She will love me just as she did when she came up out of Israel.
He’s at the door, holding it open for me to walk across its threshold that once represented pain and hurt and return to my youth. Not the braces or ginormous glasses, but the girl who knew that no matter how bad the day, the week, the month or even the year (you know you’re singing the song), He would never leave me. And that His plan for me would be far greater than my own storybook beginning, sucky middle, or end.
I suppose being 30 isn’t that different from being 23 or 13. At least now I realize that being 30 still means I have much to learn about who He says I am.