Shortly after Brian and I started dating, I had the privilege of ringing in his 30th birthday with him. We had only been dating 2 months at the time. We were driving out to Ned Divines to hear Fighting Gravity and a song came on the radio… my next 30 years some country song I cant think of who sings it. I asked him what he wanted to accomplish in his next 30. He said meet a nice girl, settle down, have some kids. Yea he has almost accomplished that already and its only been 3 years!
This weekend, that sweet man of mine threw me a surprise birthday party. It was so crazy because I was truly surprised. I had no idea it was coming and honestly never got over the shock and awe of it all. There had to be 50 people there. Its so humbling and makes me feel so loved and special that all those folks would come out for me. I got to catch up with old friends I had not seen in a while and celebrate with my closest tried and true friends who all mean so much to me. I had a great time, and it was an awesome way to start my 30s.
Well, the big day is tomorrow when my lifetime odometer turns over to a new decade, and I have spent a good bit of the weekend thinking about my own “next 30 years”
I think a lot about where God has brought me in life. Thinking back to my childhood and teenage years, I never would have imagined that I would be where I am today at 30. When my own mom turned 30– I remember celebrating with her because I was 9 years old. I can’t even imagine having a 9 year old daughter at this age. I still feel like I need my mom and depend on her so much how could I possibly be that for some other human being? Its mind boggling to me.
I think about where I have had the privilege of going, the people I have been honored to meet, know and work alongside, in career and in ministry. I think about the places I’ve seen and experiences I have had. I really don’t think it can get any better because it all seems too good to be true.
But the truth is, its really only beginning. I feel prepared and equipped to take the next 30 head on. I wonder what these years will bring. I know with certainty they will bring some of the most endearing times of rejoicing and suffering I have ever known. We will celebrate new life on earth, and we will also celebrate new eternal life for the death of our dearest family members. We will be challenged in our work and deal with strains on our marriage. We will further our education. We will move to a new city. We will travel to new countries. We will learn new languages. We will see God move in ways we can’t even imagine. We will enjoy the fruit of the seeds we are sowing today by giving God total authority of our lives, investing in our marriage and in the lives of our friends and family to the glory of God. I am looking forward to all of this. Its scary and its exciting. Its life, and as we all know, life is all about the journey.
Honestly, I am so blessed that I am scared. Because to whom much is given, much will be required. I have a lot to learn from the parable of the talents. I must not give into the temptation to sit on all that I’ve been given and hide this life from the world out of fear of loosing it because whoever seeks to save his life will loose it, but whoever loses his life for God’s sake will find it. I want to honor God with this life for the next 30 years. I want to invest what he has given me to manage and see his property multiply again and again so that He will receive glory, and worship, and honor and praise. That my friends who don’t really know who God is will see Him as He truly is, the beginning and end, the everlasting, the loving, the merciful, the good, the just, the righteous King Eternal, Ancient of Days. That my loved ones who don’t know my God in this way would finally get to know him and understand the depth of his love and compassion. That they would experience the true JOY of salvation and of worship and in the sharing of his sufferings understand the concept of eternal glory. There is so much on my heart that is bursting to come out, that others would just know the amazing, peaceful, comforting and blessed assurance of an intimate and personal relationship with the Creator God, allegiance to the death and resurrection of his son Jesus Christ and the true power over sin by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. These are the roots of the glorious fruit of my first 30 years. My heart’s desire, my hope, my joy, and my ultimate burden is that my next 30 years will be about nothing other than making these truths known where they are currently not known, that true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth, that God’s light will bring justice and peace in the darkest corners of Earth, and that I might so humbly join Him in his ancient plan to redeem a people from every tribe, tongue and nation unto Himself.
Yes, this is what my next 30 years will be. Lord willing, I am ready for the task. I have an amazing husband, a loving and supportive family, and the best friends anyone could imagine. I am ready to move into this next chapter, and will work as unto the Lord, anxiously awaiting His words: Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant.
For the Kingdom!