Today is 33 days till my 30th birthday. If you know me at all you will know that I am a birthday
lover! Mine, yours, the dog across the street's- I don't care- I just to love the celebration. The accomplishment.
This year though, I'm having a difficult time getting past the number that I'm turning. It's a number with a lot of baggage. When I was younger I always wondered at those women that went around calling themselves 'forever 29', I mean what's the big deal? Another year is another year right? Just celebrate the birthday!
This year I'm understanding them a little better.
It's better to stay young because then you can avoid the reality of what your life situations say about you. I think at 30 those situations hit you hard. After all, in your twenties it's ok to still be a little clueless, a little selfish, a little bit alone. When you reach 30 however none of that is ok anymore. You're supposed to have it together. I'm not just talking about the world's perspectives here either, I'm talking about the Christian and homeschooling communities as well. There may be a little leeway for a spinster at 28 and 29 but at thirty? That can only mean one thing.
"Old, alone, done for."
Or worse yet is the label of being 'so strong' and 'so brave' to be facing this path of singleness in life. (But that's another post for another day.) The question that begins to be asked a lot more loudly (and a lot less behind your back) is "What's wrong with her?" I'm going to tell you right now: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH ME! It's just not my time yet. Some people are good at giving encouragement for your situation but some people really suck at it. They generally mean well but they've never been anywhere close to being in your shoes and they have no clue. So just as an FYI- one of the most hurtful things you can say to a single girl like me begins with the words "When I was your age..."
Don't tell me about how young you were married.
Don't tell me about how you already had 4 kids.
Don't tell me about that fantastic dream trip you took, just because you could.
Don't tell me about the trials of motherhood and how you were managing schooling your eldest while your next child was on the way.
Don't make me feel this big when God's plan for me is different then His plan was for you.
Don't get me wrong, I want to hear about your life and your blessings and your trials and I want to be apart of that- but please, don't 'help' by placing my picture in your frame! Because guess what? Right now his plan for me includes doing many of the things that you are doing. His plan for me includes doing the meal planning and cooking and shopping for my family. His plan for me includes scrubbing toilets and moping floors. His plan for me includes caring for and loving on little ones and it includes planning lessons and mentoring girls and teaching too. His plan for me includes ministry projects and bible study and giving my voice in worship from the choir loft.
The only thing is that right now it doesn't include is a husband of my own. Children of my own.
And I need that to be ok.
This afternoon I came across this article in my Facebook feed. It's titled "I Needed to Hear That" and I cried as I read it. The author is right, sometimes us single girls need to hear from our friends. Right now as I count down the days to finishing the first third of my life I need to hear some things...
I need to hear that it's ok to be thirty, and unmarried, and childless.
I need to hear it's ok to fail at something without being afraid of your condemnation at my failure.
I need to hear you love me for what I am doing and not for what I could be doing.
I need to hear you support me in the directions that God is leading me in at this moment.
I need to hear that not having a job or a husband or a child doesn't give me less value, and that what I do daily, weekly, and yearly as the time passes is of value.
I need to hear that what I'm doing right now is enough.
I want my birthday to be a happy one this year. I want to celebrate my life and the fact that I have the incredible blessing of gaining another year- because I know all to well that not everyone gets that opportunity. I want to have joy. I want to look forward to a new year of my life not dread it because of the social commentary it brings.
I want to enjoy being thirty and being where God has placed me! I want to be excited about what His next plans are for me!
I don't want to be "old, alone, and done for".
Is that really too much to ask?