The Big 3-0

Tomorrow I turn 30 and I'm still ambivalent about it. I'm ambivalent for a few reasons - first, because physically I don't really feel 30 as in I don't feel that much different from when I was 21 or so. 30 is also an interesting age given the cultural context that I live in - meaning that as a single adult who is Mormon, 30 is the "grandma" of young single adulthood. And living in a ward where the average age is probably 24, does make me feel a little old :P

The biggest reason though that I feel ambivalent is because where I'm at in my life right now is not at all what I envisioned when I thought ahead to 30. Things a like marriage and a family seemed for sure when I was in my early 20's. And to now hit 30 without that having happened is sometimes a little difficult to accept AND be happy/fine with. In conjunction, I thought where I would be with a career and what area I would be working in would be much different.than it is currently. When I started working at my job it was simply a job to work at that was flexible and allowed me to go to school with some ease. It has never been what I've wanted to do long-term and there have been times I haven't even enjoyed my job. When I started my masters degree I thought I had found my "dream career." But the Lord had other plans and after completing a year of my masters degree it was made clear I wasn't supposed to continue. That of course took some time to accept and even today I sometimes wonder why.

So I've spent the last several weeks pondering my life and how I feel about it. And after a bit of pondering I came to some conclusions and decisions. And I wanted to share them with you!

#1 - Life never turns out how we expect and often plan. And I've found this to be the case even more when I strive to follow the Lord's will. I most often think I know what is best for me and definitely have set in my mind the things I want. But ultimately I always return to the truth that the Lord knows me better than I even know myself and He also sees the entire picture. And because of this I want to do His will even though it isn't what I had planned and even at the time think I want. But I appreciate that the Lord, in time, if we seek will reveal to us the reason for things. Sometimes that does take alot of patience though. An example of both situations -

First, when it comes to not completing my masters degree and staying at my current job, even now I can see some efficacy in doing that. With the economy as it is, I was not guaranteed of being able to find a good job as a therapist that would allow me to pay back my school debt and support myself. However, my current job is extremely secure and allows me to easily support myself. This is a blessing in economic uncertainty and in addition my job is not stressful, which can be a great thing for me because I stress myself out enough as it is :) Thus, by striving to follow the Lord's plan, though it isn't always easy I have been blessed and will continue to be blessed in the future.

On the other hand - not being married yet has not revealed itself so clearly or at all :P I don't know why exactly I haven't had the opportunity yet especially because for most of my 20's it was one of the highest things on my list of things I did want. I only say that because I know sometimes people don't want to get married or want to get married later - that has never been me :) So I continue to wait to see why it is that it hasn't happened yet and I must continue to trust that the Lord has a plan and knows best.

#2 - You will miss out on happiness and joy if you are always waiting for certain things to happen that you want. Like with marriage - sometimes it is hard not to fall into the thinking error - "Well when I finally meet someone and get married, then I will feel ______ or be happy." This thinking error causes great discouragement and dissatisfaction with your life. For the grass will ALWAYS appear greener somewhere else if we wear those glasses. And we can also be unhappy if we aren't really willing to let go of what we want and put it fully into the Lord's hands. It makes me think of the Brother of Jared after they had prepared the barges with everything, got on them and they "commended themselves unto the Lord." They did everything they could to prepare, stepped in and then trusted the Lord would take care of them from there. The Lord does have our best interest at heart - His whole work and glory is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life. It isn't just a side job or hobby.

#3 - Striving to do the right things and live with Christ as the center of your life does not in anyway guarantee an easiness of the way or even a life without difficulty. In fact, it often appears to be the opposite - the harder you try to live the right way the more opposition you will face from both the adversary but also just because we live in a fallen world. The combination of these things makes it so our journey will NEVER be easy - but it can be worth it especially if we look at the battle, put on the armor, but then wade into the battle knowing we will make it through but will receive many wounds, dents and dings in our armor, and may even sometimes be so overcome we fall for a time. But like the stripling warriors we can all make it through - even if we do fall from loss of blood.

#4 - And now last but not least - gratitude makes a world of difference and we can always feel fulfilled when we are truly grateful. Fulfillment doesn't come from having everything you want but being grateful for what you do have.

Those are a few things I've been reminded of or taught the last few weeks. So here's to a great year of being 30!!
Category: 1 comments