30. 3-0. Misty 3.0. The Dirty 30. It’s here. I remember when 30 used to be the age that I measured all my hopes and dreams against. “I want (fill in the blank) by the time I’m 30!” “I want a house, and a career, and a baby…by the time I’m 30!” <—Notice there’s no husband in that dream right there??? Hmmm…
I wonder what it is about 30? Why do we measure everything by 30? What if we don’t have everything we think we want by the time we’re 30? Are we a failure? Did we miss the mark? Not measure up? I don’t think so.
Proverbs 16:9 states, “In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
In my case, I think the Lord has been establishing my steps for a lot longer than I’ve been paying attention. For me, there weren’t ever supposed to be any steps…toward my astronaut dreams, or toward anything else…according to the medical community. I wasn’t supposed to walk, and I wasn’t supposed to be here long enough to try, but Jeremiah 29:11 argues, “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Looks like God had some steps in mind.
My parents were told from the beginning that I would not live. My father recently blogged about the day of my birth (ironically, the day of his birth too, a few years earlier), and stated that the doctors rambled out statistics about me as if I were a stale loaf of bread. They apologized for not, “catching the problem” on ultrasound so something could be done. At first, my dad stated, he thought that they must have meant that there was something that could have been done to fix this. Unfortunately, that wasn’t what they meant. What they were apologizing for, was allowing me to be born. I was the problem they didn’t catch. I wouldn’t have had to exist if they had “caught” me in time. My parents could have “terminated” and this “problem” didn’t have to happen. Um…ouch, a little.
Psalm 139:13-16 “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.”
I DO praise Him, because I AM fearfully and wonderfully made. My frame may have been hidden from the doctors, trying to solve the “problems,” but my frame was not hidden from Him! I have to wonder if that in itself was divinely orchestrated. His works ARE wonderful. I know that full well!
My dad says, he politely asked the doctor trying to “solve the problem,” to leave us alone and to not come back. Or maybe he didn’t say it politely. I don’t know. I was in my incubator, apparently putting together my own protest to the “facts” being thrown around about me. The way my dad tells it, the doctor was rambling on about my lesion and the level, and saying that I’d be immobile from the waist down, if I survived at all, when I straightened out both legs and kicked them straight into the air! Hey, that’s me! Kickin’ butt and taking names!
About that survival thing; the thing they said I wouldn’t do…30. I’m 30. Most women cringe, I think. It means we’re supposed to have our stuff together. It means “old” is coming. Wrinkles maybe.
Me? It means I made it. 30 years longer than they said. I think I win. I’m still going too, and I have a lot of friends with a lot of the same issues, who have made it into their 50’s, 60’s and beyond; a few, WAY beyond. I guess those “problem solvers” haven’t been able to “solve” all of us.
So, does 30 look like I thought it would? NO! That house? A cozy little apartment. That career? I blog about SB. For free. That baby? Not here yet. That husband I didn’t put in my Barbie Dreamlife fantasy? He’ll be home about 6:30.
30 is not what I pictured. I didn’t fail though. I think 30 looks just right to the God who planned all my days for me. Psalm 139:16 “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
30 is not what I thought. Isaiah 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Well, thank God for that!
So, what does 30 look like? I’m married to a fantastic man who accepts all of me…even the “problem” part. I am surrounded by friends and family who do the same. I don’t have my stuff together. I don’t even know what stuff I’m supposed to be putting together. But I know Who to ask. And I know Who holds ME together. And, as long as I have that, 30 is good! As is 40, and 80, and 112…I don’t know how many days God planned for me as He formed me 30 years ago. I feel good. I think there are a lot more. But I do know that He will order the steps; that He has plans to prosper me and not harm me; that in Him, I have hope and a future; that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and not a “problem;” that my frame was not hidden from Him, as it was from the doctors; that all the days of my life are planned already, and He knows how many there are. Others can only guess, and 30 years is a pretty big miss; that His thoughts are not my thoughts, and His ways are not my ways, and for that I am grateful. I’d rather follow His thoughts than my own anyway.
So, there it is. I don’t really know what’s next, so I’m just going to keep going until God tells me to come home. Right now though, I should probably go get pretty. I think there’s a Cheesecake Factory date in my immediate future. I hear they have a “30th Anniversary Cheesecake.” Coincidence? I think not.