Today is my 30th birthday. I had every intention of writing all about how thankful I am that my twenties are over and that I get a new decade to hopefully have amazing and wonderful years (like I’ve mentioned in previous posts I’m a natural pessimist). Yes, my twenties were rough. College was not what I thought it would be. I was a straight A student in high school and barely made C’s and B’s in college. Then I went to cosmetology school, which was the worst decision I ever made. Several traumatic events happened in my family over the last 10 years or so, including the divorce of my parents. I fell into a severe depression in college of which I am still fighting daily (I have a much better handle on it now though). I gained a lot of weight in college probably due to all of the above, and have lost and gained weight several times through various diets in the years since. Though I love my husband dearly, our marriage hasn’t been an easy one. Getting pregnant has been a challenge and in May I suffered a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, which led to the loss of my Fallopian tube (possible post about this in the future). There was at least one wonderful thing that happened! The BEST part of my twenties was the birth of my baby girl when I was 26…she definitely helped make the last 3 years of my twenties pretty wonderful and helped to make up for the years before she was born!
I’m saying all this to let you in on a well-known secret: life is hard and sometimes it really sucks! So many people see my instagram or facebook posts and think my little life out here on the farm is perfect and that I don’t have any struggles. If I could pick one word to describe my twenties it would STRUGGLE. I sound pretty ridiculous listing all the bad things that happened like I’m the only person in the world having trouble. I know there are so many people in much more dire circumstances. But in saying that, in those moments I felt despair and anguish and loneliness. Depression is real, and it’s really lonely.
So…this is where I was going to leave this post: “Thank you God I get a new decade! My twenties sucked. I’m throwing myself a pity party. Bye!”
Well, God had other plans for my heart today. This morning I woke up extra early and Eden was still sound asleep so I decided to go ahead and do my devotional and pray for our day. This year I have been doing the New Morning Mercies devo by Paul David Tripp (I highly recommend it!). I was reminded in it that “life is war.” Tripp asks what the war is about and he answers by saying that “it is the great war for the rulership of our hearts.” Thankfully, God has equipped us with the armor of God to fight this “great spiritual battle.” Tripp says,
“We are tempted to have more excitement in the things of this world than we do with the reality that we have become children of God. We still complain when sanctifying trials come our way and we still tend to credit God with faithfulness only when things in our lives seem to be working.”
Ya’ll!!! That is so me! I struggle to see the hardships in life as sanctifying, and I definitely forget that I am not alone in my hardships because I am a child of God. As I recently read in Eden’s devotional, I’m reminded of the Israelites wondering in the dessert grumbling against God, creating false Gods, and giving up on him. God rescued them, and though they had to wonder in the desert for quite some time, He had great plans for them and even through the desert HE WAS WITH THEM AND HE PROVIDED FOR THEM. For ten years I have been just like the Israelites grumbling and complaining, but the Lord has been with me every step of the way.
In reading through my devotional and scripture this morning, my heart started to soften and I sat in my kitchen and I actually thanked God for my twenties and I truly meant it. Yes, a lot of those years truly did suck and a lot of bad things did happen, but God was with me the entire time. He never left my side, and he was using all those events to sanctify me and to give glory to him. The trials I went through in my twenties have made me the woman I am today, and will continue to shape the woman I become.
Thank you God for my twenties.
If you’ve made it this far through my reflective rambling remember that no matter how hard things get, God is with you. Life on this side of Heaven is war and there will be a constant battle in our minds and in our hearts. God never said life would be easy or that there wouldn’t be hardships. We have to be strong in the Lord and persevere. You’re not alone in this fight. Be thankful for the years God has given you and brought you through because even when you think they were a waste God has a plan for every moment. He will bring you through the dessert and hold your hand and mine as we continue to fight this war. And for that I am very thankful.