Oh, my. I turned 30 this past Sunday, you guys. Officially old.
Actually, it’s fine. I haven’t had any kind of crisis about turning 30. I don’t feel any different than I did a few days ago. It’s just a number, right? I started enjoying staying in, and watching TV dramas, and going to bed early back when I was 25, so I’ve been old for quite awhile now anyway.
I was trying to remember what I thought my life would look like by now back when I was 20. I would’ve still been in college, and I’m sure I thought that by age 30 I would have published a book, gotten married and had two children. I planned to live in a beautiful house on Summit Avenue in St. Paul, Minn., close to my family.
My life at 30 looks so much different than I thought it would. I never planned to move to Colorado or to quit a job to work on a master’s in biblical studies. I didn’t know I’d run a webzine or write Sunday school curriculum. With those two kids I thought I’d have by now, I doubt I’d have been able to spend this past summer traveling to Israel, Guatemala, Belize and Canada. Life looks different than I thought it would, but not in a bad way. Just different.
As I reflect on my life right now, I could think about a lot of things that aren’t the way I thought they’d be. Who knew that at age 30 I’d be in grad school, struggling to pay my way through? But I’ve had so many adventures in the past decade — so many experiences and challenges that have been amazing. I thought I’d live in Minnesota forever, but I’ve discovered that I’m not afraid to move — that it can be a fun adventure. I’ve worked different jobs and experienced wonderful community. I’ve learned more things in so many different ways than I would ever have expected. And as a believer, I trust that God has ordained these things, that He can use my life experiences to teach me more about who He is so that I can better glorify Him.
In Jewish tradition, everyone has a birthday Psalm. It is your age plus one. So, during my 29th year, my passage was Psalm 30. I read it last week — in the last few days of my 20s — and these verses stuck out to me as I thought about what was happening in my life and the things God had begun to do this last year:
To you, Lord, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy: “What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.”
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
We serve a faithful God, you guys. He has plans for us, and we can trust His process wherever we’re at in life. I’m grateful for where God has brought me, and I’m excited to see what He does in this next year.
Are any of you in a different place than you thought you’d be by this age? What has God taught you through the process?
Copyright 2012 Denise Morris Snyder. All Rights Reserved.