Today is my 38th birthday. I’ve had a lot of time recently to reflect on all that could have happened in the last almost 4 decades as well as all that has happened. When faced with the chance to move anywhere in the country a few months ago, I realized that I have limited my dreams.
Living the lifestyle we do, it’s probably a great thing that I’m not set on a specific type of house to live in. It’s a great thing that my job comes with me, and it’s a good thing that my wardrobe is varied enough to conform to most places with just a few additions. 🙂
My hobbies are limited, my life goals have stayed pretty basic, and overall, I think the word I’d use is reasonable.
Over the last few years, I’ve begun to wonder. Why have I chosen such reasonable things? The truth is some of my choices have been settled on after being told my dreams were too big. Seasons of my life have placed me in a relationship, or maybe better explained as acquaintanceship, with a few people who had strong opinions about my dreams.
At first, I was told that I was too young to lead a ministry. Then, I was told I didn’t have the proper education. I was boxed in as a support staff member, a coach’s wife, and eventually a mom. There was no compromise within key people’s eyes. Unfortunately, those people were gatekeepers to what could have been.
When a move in location opened up the opportunity to explore those dreams I discovered that I was correct in my ability to be successful, and at the same time too far along in life to be able to do so under the structure offered.
All of this reflection could be frustrating and disheartening, but it isn’t. And that in itself is amazing. As I look back at the previous years I can see God’s hand in the timeline as well as the journey.
I’m so thankful for all the experiences I’ve had. I’m thankful for the people I’ve encountered and the way I’ve been challenged to stretch and grow in my faith as well as my initial line of thinking developed from a life of comfort growing up. At 38 I am a very different person than I was even a decade ago.
My foundation remains the same and I’m thankful for my family who provided it. At the most basic level, my passions and convictions remain the same as well. At 38 I don’t have everything figured out. In fact, in some ways, I have less solidified than ever before. But, I also have less concern than ever before.
38 brings with it the freedom to say no. Freedom to live a comfortable life. It brings the ability to say goodbye to wounds and hello to new opportunities. 38 almost feels like a new skin has been developed, and it’s not only is it thicker, it feels more like mine.
I can’t wait to see all that 39 holds. I have a feeling it’s going to be amazing.
**This post has been edited to reflect the fact that I’m 39 and not 38. Oops! It’s just a number anyway! 🙂