(Self-portrait at 30)
I turned thirty on Friday. In typical fashion, it’s only four days later when I get to process what that means, holed away at a local Starbucks, working hard. I think the rate of staff members developing addictions to coffee this week is probably exponential. And yes, I am procrastinating at the moment. And saying hello to you, dear friends…I know I am not alone in saying I think about you all even if I am miles away from this poor neglected blog…and so grateful that I’ve gotten to know some of you in real life.
So Amber-girl. Mama to four- a new curled baby boy, Titus. She said it all for me earlier today, what this birthday means to me…go read the whole thing. But this-
With effort, a word can carry such gravity that it breaks breastbones and lets the artist out. The one you knew was in there when you tried to draw Eden but couldn’t.
I want to see you crack. I want to speak blessing over you. I want to watch you paint. Be art and mirror Artist.
This is the entire reason I’m here.
Cracked open. I spilled out on reading these words.
I’ve had this strange wake-up, resurrection time the last few weeks, and the question I’ve wrestled hard: what do you do when you’ve spent the last few years shrouded? Grief is strange like that. You don’t realize you are asleep, and you don’t realize for how long the world has passed by until suddenly you come on, gasping for air and looking about in mad wonder at this amazing place you are in. And the strangest part- is knowing you were there all along. Faces long blurred show intimate in their lines, the snaggle-tooth boy man with the freckled nose–that wee thing that was curled on your chest just a few minutes ago…
It’s a crossroad place, dusty and dirty, this head-space of mine. Looking forward, looking back. Dreaming. Dreaming again. I had forgotten how. My faith, locked into a desperate holding-on to the end of the rope, shrouded darkness turned mosaic of light now, comfortable and familiar, joyous and true. My tumble-down circus life is making sense, so far from normal, but yet mine. Mine to live. I’ve always tried to force things into boxes, make them line up, ducks in row. I am learning the open handedness of joy, the crazy free fall of grace.
In it all is the passion- that blood thru veins throbbing life- that had long laid sleeping. I am understanding what it was that I needed to do, the thing I had forgotten. Priorities are shifting back to what mattered, the God-pursuit, the mama life, the art mirror and mirroring.
I never would have thought at 30, I’d be mama to six- or maybe even married, for that matter. I was going to travel the world, and no beloved figured in that. I’d been burned too many times. Somehow, I’m in the field I dreamed of, years back, when I was on the university track, in ways I never imagined. I did not want to work while the children were young- I had made peace with where I needed to be in the moment. When it came out that I must work, I fretted. I literally struggled for six months to find balance. It was when I finally let it all go that the scales swung back. It always seems to be that way. Why I can’t trust the Lord’s plans for me, I’ll never know. I wish I wasn’t so doubtful or stubborn. I find that Ann is right- the counterpoint is in the thanks-giving. Counting with praise overflows all the dashes in the con-column, the one that feeds that desperate desire for control.
I think this decade is going to have someone else in the pilot’s seat. I’m looking forward with peace.
Happy birthday . . . and much joy to you in a new decade. It’s a beautiful place, being where He takes us, even when it’s where we least expected. And so often it is. 🙂
Thank you, Erin. I just pray I can keep looking forward. I have a horrible habit of dwelling where I don’t need to.
So much of what you write sounds familiar. My 30s were a decade of slowly awakening.
Megan, I sure hope so. I feel a bit shell-shocked at the moment, and I hope for blooming in time- your story gives grace to that thought.
Thank you for encouraging me here.
So far, my thirties have been a time of not being so hard on myself or on anyone else. I know so much less than I used to, and it’s so freeing.
Amber, I am so proud of you! My transition from three to four was both beautiful and hard, and I just want you to know you are in my heart and prayers.
And I can’t tell you how much your words have stuck with me – more later.