I remember turning 30 like it was yesterday and it didn't even phase me. My friends and I spent the evening at a British pub eating bangers and mash and the like and devouring chocolate cake with purple icing. I also know it was an early night because B and I were flying out first thing the next day for the U.K.
It was the best birthday present! I left the UK in 1993 when I was 20 and had longed to return ever since. My best friend, Jo had visited me twice so I was ecstatic to be going to see her. We spent two weeks tripping around Lincoln and London visiting friends, family and doing the whole tourist thing. It was amazing. I didn't want to come home. Despite the weather I love the UK and pray for the day we can move there to live.
I never could have been prepared for what I would face getting off that plane only 5 short weeks later.
Mom had been sick since Jan 2000 and even though she never caught a break with the cancer she was a fighter. In early January 2003 she was hospitalized with complications from shingles and more tests revealed the cancer was spreading. They wanted to send her to the infectious disease control docs. She wasn't sure what to do and convinced them to discharge her with a promise she would come back Monday morning for readmission and more testing. I went over Monday morning and she said she wasn't going to go. She decided she was done with all of it. She was tired and wanted to live out the rest of her life without being poked and prodded. I will never forget sitting across from her, she looked straight at me and started bawling. I don't want to die, she said. What do you say to that? I was broken enough at the thought. Yet, just 5 too short months later on June 26th 2003 at 10:45am we sat around her bed and watched as she breathed her last and went on to meet Jesus. It was as precious as it was devastating. We all took turns privately with her to say good bye and when it was my turn I held her hand to my face for a long time willing myself to never forget how it felt. I was astounded at how quickly the color drained from her body and she turned cold. As I made my way home that afternoon, I was numb. How on earth would I live my life without my mother? BUT GOD...
He is bigger than death and I found my feet.
Just two short years later God said GO and we went, to Florida. I never thought in a million years we would move away from Oklahoma but on June 26th 2005 we made the two day trip that would change our lives forever.
We were there less than a year when I knew this was only a stepping stone to where we were really supposed to go but a lot of growth had to happen first and it did. Being stripped of everything and everyone familiar will force you into the arms of God like nothing else and it did. I immersed myself in Him because He was all I had to hold onto. He was all I knew. Brian was away in Texas training for the first 10 weeks we lived there so I was winging it everyday. But, we found a church, I got a job at Starbucks, we settled into a routine and life was good. Until...
Our good friends, the Daigle's told us about a job opening in their church in NC and life kind of unraveled a little. Even though we were settled, had bought a house etc. I felt restless. And more importantly, I felt there was so much we were missing. And I don't mean materially. Adoption had begun tugging at my heart again but we had been so busy trying to keep up with the Jones'es, I didn't think there was any way we would ever be able to afford it. That is until our good friend Betsy sent us this video
After watching this we knew our answer. We started the program the following week at a local church and once again our life took a new turn.
I am not going to bore you with all the details of our move but just a few short weeks after finishing Financial Peace, again the weekend of June 26th, we moved to NC.
There have been a lot of ups and downs since moving here but I believe this is where God has us for the long haul. We have friends here that feel like family and I couldn't imagine taking even one step of this adoption without them.
I think I have experienced every emotion known to man just with all the milestones with my boys that I didn't expect. They all turned double digits, teenagers and then I had my oldest graduate, turn 18 and get his licence all in the same 2 months. That was rough. And not too long ago he also flew the coop. There is no preparing a mother's heart for that, I've said it before and I'll say it again. The woman who writes a self-help book about navigating those uncharted waters successfully will make a fortune. But then again, that is why a book like that will never come to be. Those kind of emotions can't be written about because they are so personal to the individual and we will all handle it differently. My kids are precious to me and they have taught me just as much as I hope I have taught them. The biggest lesson I ever could have learned was how to humble myself to them and apologize when I get it wrong so they never think I think I've got it all together and am perfect. There is a lot of wisdom in that and I'm so thankful to God I learned it.
I think the 10 year period between my 30's and 40's were some of the best years of my life thus far. Maybe that is part of why I am so sad/worried/scared etc to turn 40. I know I've had the best experiences and growth with my kids, my hubby, and most of all my relationship with God. I've grown and changed in ways I never thought I could. Maybe thats it! Allow me to be vulnerable for a moment. Maybe, I feel like how could it get any better, or what else could there be? Or my life is half over. Or less. God forbid. I won't lie, watching my mom die so young put the fear of God in me, and not in a good way. Maybe that is why I am so obsessed with age. Sometimes you just have to talk it out. I warned you there would be rambling.
So, there it is. My 30's are officially over in less than an hour and a half or if you wanna get really technical tomorrow at about 1pm since that is when I was born.
And the truth is, I have a choice. To whine and complain about what I can't change or to embrace it, to own it. To have confidence in Jesus that the next 10 years will be even more amazing than these last 10. To know that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. To wear my 40's with pride, not thinking life is half over but that things are just starting to get good and there is so much more to come. And of course no one knows for we aren't promised tomorrow but I am promised that my God loves me and has called me according to His purpose. I pray these next 10 years will be filled with more of his glory. I pray that I will do everything as unto Him and I pray that I will keep my heart and my hand fully opened before Him so no matter what He asks me to do I can do unafraid because He is the ROCK on which I stand! Join me?
HAPPY 40TH TO ME!
Since it is my birthday, I am expecting a comment. Thanks! :0)