Thirty four years ago I was given a gift. A chance. The chance to find out what this world is all about. To learn the cosmic dance of beauty and brokenness. I was a surprise to my mama, and I think I’ve been surprising her ever since.
I’m not very good at birthdays. I get self-conscious with all the attention – and I get even more self-conscious with a lack of attention. So you know, birthdays are ripe for anxiety in this department.
But this year I’m not freaking out. Mostly. This year, I’m rather blown away by how full these 34 years have been. And I’m thankful.
34 years into my story, there are so many things I didn’t know would be true of today. I didn’t know …
… I’d be married to my best friend.
… I’d have filled two passports and be starting on the next one.
… I’d dance on white-sand beaches with crystal clear waters.
… I’d have twelve nephews and nieces, each with personalities that could fill a book.
… I’d have no children of my own.
… I’d know what infertility can do to a soul.
… I’d own a house.
… I’d be happy about owning a house.
… I’d love a dog who snores.
… I’d know foster children by name.
… I’d love scuba diving.
… I’d understand what “thirty-something” means.
… I’d “feel like I’m still in my 20’s” … until I want to go to bed at 10pm.
… I’d drive a convertible.
… I’d have friends that can beat up your friends.
… I’d still wonder if God knows how to do math.
… I’d have a twelve-year-career under my belt.
… I’d know the sound of someone’s last breath.
… I’d hear my niece’s first breath.
… I’d have friends that really do last a lifetime and across the miles.
… I’d find the deepest parts of my soul through my pen.
… I’d discover my favorite place in the whole world: wrapped in my man’s arms.
I didn’t know how brutal life could be, nor how brilliant.
But now I do. And THAT is what this 34 year old woman (for real, that number is freaking me out) will celebrate with each Happy Birthday that comes her way.