I've dreaded turning 30 for a number of years. My husband calls it "glorying in my youth." I just call it immaturity. But whatever you call it, that's me.
It was my dad who said something along the lines of "What's the big deal, Gabby? You've got the life you want, and it's the life of a 30 year old." And it is.
I've had two careers I loved, one teaching high school English, and another raising my babies. And I've been able to get the degrees that I wanted. We own a home that we love, have two cute but annoying dogs and two cute but mischievous kids.
I woke up this morning (not the first wake-up, but the fourth wake-up) around 7:30 or so to the sound of my husband walking into our bedroom with our two year old. She was saying "Happy Birthday, Mommy!" It was probably the 50th time she had said that phrase recently, but the first time she'd said it on my actual birthday.
My husband got the baby out of the nursery and brought him to me. After I fed Andrew, I spent some time snuggling and just babbling with him. His babble is "dada," not "mama," but that's fine with me. Any babble is good babble, and my kids love their daddy. I can't blame them. He's a sweetie.
Andrew sleeps through the night at times but throw in a runny nose and the second tooth that's popping through his gums, and that means a long night for both of us. We saw 11:30 pm, 1:30 am, 4:30 am, & 6:30 am. But as much as I hate interrupted sleep, I love having a baby to hold and feed. I'm really just happy to have my son.
This particular birthday has been one that I've wanted to celebrate more than others. It just happens to coincide with entering another decade. The real reason I've wanted to celebrate is because just waking up and being alive has more significance this year than in the past. We've had a really rough year.
In some ways, it's easy to think I'm celebrating the fact that we made it through all the tough stuff. But it's more than that. I'm celebrating all the amazing things God has done this year.
Things like getting my son to the hospital with very little time to spare, but just in time to get the life-saving surgery he needed. And then completely and fully healing Andrew after having half a lung removed. God has done a number of other physical things for us. But the big stuff is what He has done spiritually.
See, like any other human being, I hate pain. I don't want to experience tough stuff. But those are the things that God uses to grow us. So He has brought me through incredible pain this year.
Without great pain, I wouldn't know His great comfort. I've become even more keenly aware that God is real. Real enough to bring me incomprehensible peace. I knew that before. But I've never had to sit in His lap quite so much and soak in comfort. And give Him my circumstances with complete trust.
All the things that I've believed about God, pain, and the purpose of trials have become more real to me than ever before because I've had to really live them out on a daily, even hourly basis. I've had to practice the art of training my thoughts to honor God, especially when I feel fear creeping in again. And it's been amazing to see how God works through that.
We've also seen the ways that God provides through people. We have been blessed with the most amazing family and friends. The kind who will care for your two year old indefinitely while your son is having lung surgery. Or feed the dogs. Or drop everything to visit us in the hospital. Or bring groceries once we got home. Or a meal. Or let me call, crying, at 9 pm with the latest crisis at the Daigle house. And they talk me down once more.
These same friends tell me the truth. They tell me when they catch me being fearful and believing a lie. And they help me combat it with truth. And then they pray for me. When my family or friends say they're praying for me, I know that they really are.
I am truly blessed.
So I love 30. Not just because I woke up this morning to a happy, healthy family, and pretty pink roses that my sister ordered for me. Life is so great because God is so great. He has done so many amazing things this year, but if He hadn't, He would still be great.
Life is great because I know Jesus. The Jesus who died so that I wouldn't have to pay the price for my sin, which is pretty wretched sin, by the way. And I love Him even more because of the pain we've gone through, because I know that I can trust Him through everything. He really is all-powerful.
Every morning, I wake up and read about God's goodness in His Word, and then I get to see it in real life. While it's been tough, it's also been a pretty cool journey.
If my 20s were this amazing, I can't wait to see what God has in store for me in my 30s. If it's fun or tough, and I have a feeling it'll be quite a bit of both, it really doesn't matter. God will carry us through all of it and grow us even more, which means I'll be even more in love with Him.
Thank you, Lord.