"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps."
30 is a milestone.
I can't help but reflect over the last decade as I watch the clock click closer to my birthday.
On this day ten years ago, I was scared out of my mind. I was leaving my teenage years and I'd just found out I was going to be a mother.
My mom held me as I cried, realizing my childhood was officially over.
I'd been determined to grow up for so long, but when the time came, I was convinced I wasn't ready.
For my entire pregnancy, God drew me closer to Him than I'd ever been before. I had no choice but to lean on Him, and I felt Him promise that He had big plans for my life. I wasn't so sure I believed Him wholeheartedly, but I was at peace.
Time began to pass rather quickly after that.
My beautiful son was born that year, and 15 months later, in my 21st year, I became a wife.
I remember being extremely sick with the stomach virus on my 22nd birthday. I was turning 22 on 2-22 and I could barely get off the couch! What a lousy way to spend the day!
But in May of my 22nd year, I fulfilled my dreams as I received my degree, despite becoming a mother and a wife right in the middle of my college career.
That same year, my husband joined the Air Force and I felt like I was waiting in limbo for our life to begin.
Right before I turned 23, our little family moved to Florida, and for the first time, I truly felt like I was becoming an "adult."
My 23rd year brought our first deployment and the news that our son was going to become a big brother.
Around the time I turned 24, we moved to a house on base, near the water, that to this day was our "home" for the longest period of time.
A few months later, we welcome a beautiful baby girl into our family.
Turning 25 was somewhat hard for me. It was one of my loneliest seasons. I was a stay at home mom, which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I struggled in the area of friendships. On April 1st of my 25th year, I went for my very first run, and seven months later, I ran my first half marathon. To me, it was a huge deal that I was able to work hard and commit myself to something that was for me as a person, not just me as a wife and a mother.
26 was a year of many emotions and questions. Our years in Florida had brought me to a deep appreciation and love for God. As time passed, I felt a gentle nudging from Him and I fought the Lord strongly about it. My husband surrendered to his calling and changed career paths, and while I fully supported him and knew it was exactly what God wanted him to do, I also felt God calling us away from our home and out into the unknown and I did NOT want to go.
My son also started kindergarten and I was an emotional wreck! I took a part-time job at his school and we purchased our very first home.
Not long after I turned 27, I took a full-time teaching position, my very first, and my husband left on his second deployment. We soon got word that we had orders and would be moving across the country as soon as school was over. I can't lie, it was a very stressful season. Balancing a full-time job, raising two kids, preparing to move, and selling a house, all while my spouse was halfway across the world, was almost too much for me to handle.
God had been calling us for two years to the Pacific Northwest, and although I was absolutely heartbroken to leave our home in Florida, I was willing, though somewhat unhappily, to go.
My 28th year brought our big move. We moved to Washington homeless, but God quickly provided every step of the way and we ended up exactly where we were meant to be. My son started 2nd grade in public school, which was a big change for us, and it ended up being a huge blessing. I spent that year at home with my daughter, soaking up every bit of time I had left before she joined her brother at school.
The day after I turned 29, I received a phone call from my doctor that turned my life upside down. I spent many months sad, bitter, and afraid, but by September, I had a clean bill of health physically, even if I wasn't quite there yet emotionally.
My daughter began kindergarten and a few weeks later, I was hired to teach part-time at my kid's school. I had worried about working and balancing my time, but this position was perfect and gave me a chance to even teach my own children. It was truly an answered prayer.
In my 29th year, I finally began to think of Washington as "home."
All those years ago, looking at a positive pregnancy test, I remember telling my now husband that "in ten years, we'll look back and be able to see how God took this situation and worked it out for His good." My 20-year-old self was a little wiser than she knew.
The clock just struck midnight, and although I may feel like I'm turning into a pumpkin, I'm really just turning 30.
May the next decade of my life be filled with just as much love and adventure as years past.