My birthday was just a few days ago. It was a milestone one. The big 4-0. It’s the one that has been looming over me since I turned 39 last year, and I’ve been hesitant to see the number hit a whole new decade. Prior to this year, I didn’t often think of my age. I spend so much time around kids and teens that there are moments where I feel younger than the number assigned to my age. On the other hand, there are times when my metabolism and energy levels remind me that I’m not as young as I used to be. This year, I’ve been well aware of my age, even though I’ve tried to ignore it. I mean, 40 seems old. I can’t be old, right? Really, I don’t want to be tagged as old. I may not be at the fitness and weight goals that I’ve set out to meet, but I don’t feel old. However, I’m sure my own children along with those that I serve will remind me that being 40 is definitely not considered young and hip.
So, time to face the reality. I’m 40. While parts of me still cringe at that statement, being 40 comes with many years of seeing God at work and many adventures, lessons, and blessings. It means I’ve been on this earth long enough to see sorrow transformed into joy and dreams become reality. I’ve started to see how all the pieces of my life can be woven together into His beautiful story. I’ve seen the brokenness of this fallen world and witnessed God at work to bring hope to the dark places. I’ve known life without a husband and kids, and I’ve known the challenges and fulfillment of those deep, precious relationships. I’ve grown up and spent the first part of my life in the same town and in the same house. I’ve also lived in many states and seen friends become true family. I’ve done hard, difficult things, and I’ve had seasons of rest. I’ve experienced dry seasons and seasons overflowing with God’s presence. I’ve felt distant from God and seen His enduring faithfulness. I know His steadfast love.
And while I’m hitting a new number and another decade, I know there’s still so much more ahead. Being in my 40’s will bring another set of joys and challenges, and the Lord is still completing His work in me. He will continue to be my rock and my fortress as I continue to see how my small part in His great story plays out.