To my 20 year old self on my 30th birthday…
So you are turning 20. I remember it well.. Living in that tiny apartment. You felt so lonely. Matt was taking lots of classes at the seminary and you wondered if it was worth all the time you were spending alone. (Heads up.. It totally was).
You are still feeling uneasy in your new city. It’s not quite been a year since you moved.. And man was it a hard year. Your parents divorced and the pain has been unreal. You aren’t sure if life will feel normal again. (Heads up…It totally will)
During this last decade, I’ve learned that life changes and it changes fast. I know change doesn’t come easy for you, but embrace it. Big things will come if you open yourself up to something different and new.
So heads up… You are actually going to move again; no not 1/2 a block to a different apartment, (the pool is awesome!), but to a small town to plant a church. I know you are thinking.. Plant a church?! We haven’t even talked about that.. But God has a plan for you. You will plant a church and meet some amazing people.. You will learn so much about ministry and what it means to offer hospitality and listen to people who are going through hard things. You’ll even start to understand why you have experienced certain trials.. Just so you can speak truth, love extravagantly and have a good ear. You will buy a house, Matt will finish seminary and you’ll even have your first daughter. (First?! Oh yes.. Just the first one)
The road will get bumpy and through some hard praying this season and this church will close. It will be hard, but you will have a peace. God will still be at work. You will learn that growing and gaining wisdom doesn’t come without a price.
You’ll move out of that first house a bit more west with your now 3 year old daughter; 1 year old son and a new baby girl in your tummy. (3?!). Those early days of feeling lonely are getting much better. You’ve begun to realize your need for community and an amazing group of people live close by. You feel a deep calling from the LORD to go.. So you go.
Side note… Embrace community! It’s much harder having friends as an adult but it is worth the effort. Put yourself out there.. Open up and let people in.
Life is crazy. Life with three children is a lot. You will love to be home but your relationship with Matt will struggle. In these long days you will have to learn more than ever to seek the Lord together and put your relationship as a top priority. He needs you.. Not your leftovers. Love him well and remember what started it all. Encourage him. Listen to him. Hug him tight.
Raising kids takes a lot physically and mentally . Enjoy it though. Soak up the story times, cuddles, rounds of Bingo and kitchen play. By the time you are almost 30 Your first little girl is going to be in second grade , Your son a kindergartner, your Ruby girl will be 2 1/2 and little Evie, 3 months. (Yes you will have 4 kids!). You will need breaks though.. Don’t feel guilty about going to get a little time for yourself now and then. You have to take care of yourself to be a good mom. Surround yourself with people who are an encouragement to you. You need that more than ever during these years.
Also, your day is going to be filled with difficult moments, although it will feel like your day is ruined, just take a deep breath and keep going. I know you feel any negativity ruins the whole day. It doesn’t have to.
God is going to stretch you. You will not always understand. Seek the Lord… Love your husband.. Enjoy watching your kids as they grow and learn (did I forget to mention you will homeschool?!) Your 20s will be your best yet. Enjoy them.. Don’t waste them. Be teachable. You don’t know everything yet.
There is so much more I want to tell you, but…You need a few surprises!
Yourself.. On the day you turn 30