Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Twenty and Forty

I'll be 35 this year. Not old but also, not new. When my mom was my age, I was 15. My oldest daughter is 5, my youngest is 16 months. That seems like quite a gap between my age and theirs. But, I wouldn't trade what I know now for what I knew when I was twenty. Here are some of the things I wish I had known when I was twenty:

To be more patient. Everything has a season if we will but wait for it. I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry to "find" God's will but just enjoy the season I was in.

Being single is a gift. I love my husband and children but my single life gave me opportunities to serve in a different way. I should have appreciated that more.

Every person is redeemable and, therefore, lovable. I wish I would have spent more time with some of the more challenging people in my life, learning then how to love the unlovable.

Being unique is a good thing. I spent so much time trying to do things "right" and not enough time understanding who I am in Christ, what purpose He has for me, why He gifted me the way He has. That understanding would have been helpful earlier.

The attitudes I developed early in adulthood would be hard to change the older I got.

My opinion is not the Gospel. In fact, my opinion is not even worth voicing most of the time. What is important in the simple, beautiful Truth of God.

Youth is not an excuse for ignorance of the Word. I wish I had spent more time studying and seeking the Word then so it would be a broader, deeper foundation for me now.

My identity in Christ has nothing to do with what I do and everything to do with what He has done.

I'm still learning. The Lord has been, and continues to be, so patient with me. Here are some things I hope to learn by the time I'm 40:

How to allow God to be my true all in all.
More of the Word!
How to raise my girls to be in the world and influences of the world without being wrapped up in the world.
How to use my gifts in a deeper, more Christ-like way.

I really do enjoy getting older. I can't run as fast. I'm out of shape. My knees are starting to bother me now and then. I find myself a little more irritable in the mornings. But, I love being on this tremendous journey with the Lord. I love knowing that He still loves me and that I have learned to love Him more. I love knowing that He is building wisdom into me with every passing day--wisdom that I couldn't have known at twenty. I pray that when I am forty, I will look to the past and see God's gracious hand guiding me through life and then turn my face to the future with great joy and anticipation at what He has planned for me. My God is a good God.