On Being Thirty and Seattle Trips.

I recently turned 30.  How did I get here so fast?

I somehow thought that I would have more things “figured out” in my life by this point.  Who I would marry, where I would be living, what career I would be in.  Currently, I have answers to none of these questions.  But I think I’m beginning to learn that it’s OK not to have it all figured out.  In fact, maybe it’s an illusion that we’ll ever have life “figured out”.  That’s where God steps in.  That’s where we either run to faith and trust or doubt and uncertainty.

Part of me was dreading the inevitable decade change.  There were these uncomfortable feelings of inadequacy, that I had somehow failed the 30’s entrance exam by not meeting the requirements of established career, wife and kids, and home.  In the world of social media, there is often a great temptation to compare our lives with others.  But in reality, who of us really have life figured out?  The people I know have just as many struggles despite the happy pictures on Facebook.  

Then I think about the faithfulness of God, and everything that He has led me through.  I’ve been incredibly blessed in my life, with more than I could ever deserve.  I didn’t think I would even be able to finish my MA last year, but it happened.  While I haven’t seen the fruits of that achievement appear yet, I know that I’m better off now (and wiser) than I was.

Maybe in a world that is so dependent upon instant gratification, and snap judgments, we begin to apply that thought to our own lives.  I’ve fought against a growing sense of impatience as of late, wanting to get on to the next thing.  But I’ve had to regularly remind myself that God is more concerned with the long term and who we are becoming.  I’m thankful that God is using this time to shape me and remove my impurities.  That He is patient with me even as I’m impatient with Him.  

That’s why I’m praying that my 30’s would be less about me and more about what I can do with my gifts to serve others.  I’m taking a short trip soon to a city I’ve wanted to visit for a while, Seattle, partly to think and pray about where God is leading me next.  I often find that getting into the foreign and unfamiliar is a great way for me to break out of old patterns of thought and hear from the Lord.  While I’ll certainly be enjoying myself (Seattle looks great!), I want this trip to be more than just a vacation from ordinary life.

In the words of Brene Brown (and Teddy Roosevelt), I want my 30’s to be defined by “daring greatly”.  God has given me an incredible gift of freedom and mobility at this stage in my life, and I’m genuinely excited to see where He leads me in the next decade.

Oh, and hey!  I’m writing again.  Sorry if this is a little rambling, but I just had to get my thoughts out in some fashion.  I plan to write more, and I promise it will be a little more focused.  I hope you’ll continue reading!