On Tuesday I will be 31. I remember pretending to be 31 as a kid. I would pretend to drive my kids to and from school in the closet that served as my car. I would pretend to make dinner, change diapers (not at the same time), throw tea parties, and talk on my pretend phone constantly.
I should also mention that my perfectly silent husband, normally my baby Bert doll (I know it's a little creepy), and my motionless children did everything I told them to do. I'm realizing right now that that probably set me up for some major failure!
I know I did not pretend to look in the mirror and wonder, when did my body start to work against me?! (as my friend so graciously told me this week accelerates beginning at age 31).
I did not pretend to feel hurt by social media (especially since Instagram did not exist).
I did not pretend to have to make the kind of decisions that I have to make now on a daily basis about how to spend time and money and energy.
I did not pretend to become more introverted as I became older because my lovely, expressive children drained me of the ability to speak coherently after 5:30pm (remember the motionless baby dolls).
And I DID NOT pretend to have a brutally difficult conversation with my husband DURING my birthday dinner AT the restaurant, with tears and snot included. We tipped very well in an effort to apologize to our flustered waitress last night.
Without boring you with the both personal and uninteresting details, the conversation included me realizing how very immature I still am and how often I am still hoping to control our family for my happiness and comfort. How's that for a "welcome to another year"?!
Growing up is hard. Seeing myself more accurately can be discouraging. Life does not look exactly how I thought it would. I truly don't know the future.
But I want to carry into this year 3 things that -God lovingly whispered to me last year in response to my most common and poignant struggles....
*In relation to fear... nothing, nothing, nothing will separate me/you from the love of Christ. (Romans 8). And that love is not my selfish, half-hearted attempt to do good to my family...it is the love that says I bought you on the cross, I brought you to myself, I started a good work in you, I will fight for you, I will protect you, I will defend you, I will complete the work. REST in my love and approval.
* In relation to control...the ONE who is able to do more than we ASK or IMAGINE is in control (Ephesians 3). NOT ME! Praise be!! Seriously, if I really was in control, the world would be wrecked, my home would be wrecked and I would wreck myself. He never has a wrong motive, works all things for the good of those who love him and sees the whole picture. If that doesn't make you want to lay down and take a nap I don't know what will! Oh and he even says, he gives to his Beloved sleep (Psalm 127).
* In relation to seeing my weakness...oh this has been anything but fun this year...but if we do not let God show us how messed up we truly are, how will we ever live dependently? We won't. I just know that the minute I think I can do ANYTHING in my own strength, I lose sight of his presence. And honestly, I'd rather be weak. Because I make a mess of things in about .2 seconds. Walk in the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5)
He is our anchor and hope. An unchanging and completely trustworthy advocate as we walk through the life He has written for us.