This weekend I celebrated my 31st birthday. The celebration was awesome but the reflection was a lot to handle.
I am nowhere near where I thought I would be in my 30s. I expected a husband, home and family. I didn’t expect to be divorced, living alone in graduate school. This isn’t quite the picture of ‘perfect’ I had in mind. On my actual birthday, I promised myself I would not do any work or homework (except for a 20 minute assignment that I had to turn in…”it’s my birthday” isn’t really a valid excuse in grad school!). So I woke up early, did my assignment and then decided to tackle the day. Except when I finished the assignment, I realized I could not remember the last time I had an entire day with no agenda. No “to do” list. No plans. An absolute blank slate. I really had no idea what to do. It’s been YEARS since I was in that place. I felt completely lost.
So I decided to sit and drink coffee in a quaint coffee shop (Banyan Cafe…the place rocks!). Then I decided to run a few errands. And I actually bought a ShopVac and washed my own car versus paying someone to do it. (I get that no one really cares all the details of my day, but all these seemingly normal Saturday activities were really surreal for me.) I took the day a moment at a time and actually had time to enjoy the sunshine, breeze and just marinate in my thoughts. And as I went about my day…I felt normal. And I’m not sure the last time I really felt that way.
The last two years of my life have been filled with so much pain and heartache, I haven’t allowed myself to be still. I kept busy and filled my days and nights with as much as I possibly could do. Looking back, I’m pretty sure this was some defense mechanism to avoid being alone with God and my thoughts. To avoid thinking about anything having to do with my personal life, friends, family, etc. So yesterday I stopped playing defense and I allowed myself to soak in a normal day. I accepted being another year older…being divorced…being a little bruised and battered…spending my birthday washing my car…feeling God’s presence in my life…just being me. And it really felt good.
God reminds us to be still and rest in His peace.
He says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
When it comes to this instruction, I fail miserably. I am never still and I really don’t rest…and if I could do away with needing sleep, I would absolutely take that modification! But I am slowly starting to see the value…there’s healing in stillness. There’s hope in stillness. There’s peace.
And the awesome thing is yesterday felt so good…I decided to do it again today. So far, 31 feels pretty darn good.
Saturday afternoons, washing cars, and being still,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.