I say that number with more than a little trepidation. When I see the number 29, I don’t just see two little numbers. I see the last year of my 20’s. I see one more year until I’m thirty. I see 10 years past my teens.
And that’s okay. But, I still say it with a little fear and trembling. It still feels a little like the beginning of the end.
And yes, I get it, if you are in your 40’s or later, you think I’m being unreasonable about this because 29 sounds young to you. I’ll be there one day. But today, it makes me feel a weensy bit old.
As mixed as my emotions are about this, one thing is for sure, God has been good to me all 29 years of my life. Even as I examine my life at this age of 29 and realize that it looks nothing, and I mean nothing, like what I expected, I am still overwhelmed at his goodness to me. Even at the lowest points, I could never argue that he has not been good to me.
Far from it. More likely is the statement, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?” No, my life doesn’t look the way I always planned for it to look. But, oh has he still been good to me.
Even as I sat discussing these things with the Lord on my birthday morning, I realized (for the 1000th time) that my life looking the way I wanted it to, was really never the point. The purpose of my life has never been for it to unfold just the way I hoped and planned. It is all for a greater purpose and that greater purpose does not necessarily equal my momentary happiness, nor a life of my envisioning
I still follow a Shepherd who leads me by the still waters and through green pastures. That same Shepherd is also with me when I walk through the valley. It doesn’t get to be still waters and green pastures all of the time, and when it isn’t he is still with me. When I can’t see the plan, he still knows it. He is still leading, shepherding, guiding. I may not get it or see it, but he does and he has promised to never leave me or forsake me.
So grateful for 29 years of life where I have been abundantly blessed. Far, far more than I certainly deserve. I see it every day in the little and the large ways. This weekend I have seen it yet again in the love, phone calls, emails, sweet messages, gifts, birthday cakes, cards, and quality time with friends and family. And a sweet reminder from my Heavenly Father that though this day doesn’t look like I thought it might, He has never left me and never will. And that is worth far more than any life I could have ever planned for myself.
When I say that number, I see 29 years that have been filled with inconceivable blessings. I see a year ahead that while it may prove to be challenging, will not be without growth and promise. I see a whole lifetime left to be in pursuit of my Father.
It’s gonna be a good year.