A Year Ago…

Here is a look at where I was a year ago.  I mentioned that it was a pretty rough day for me, so I am sharing my journal entry from that day to give context for the next post about where I find myself today…

June 25, 2013

Today I turn 30 and I wish I could write about how lovely a day it’s been and how excited I am for this new decade. But the truth is very far from that. It’s hard to face a milestone birthday at a different place in life than where I thought I would be. I so badly wanted to celebrate. I NEEDED to celebrate. To surround myself with everything that was good in my life so that way when I blew out the candles, my heart would draw on the strength and love of those around me.

Instead, because I was so depressed and shut everyone out, I baked a pan of brownies, lit my one and solitary candle, and gave God the last remaining scraps of a not very good day, and told Him it was yours. All yours. This day and this year. It was all I could muster as I blew out the candle and honestly, I think it was a prayer of resigned resolution rather than hopefulness.  

I don’t want to paint this day into my memory as one of ungratefulness and misery.  It literally PAINS me to record it honestly. I wanted to look back on turning thirty and be reminded of a magical time, of a special moment. Not necessarily one that was filled with glossed over sunshine and sparkles but one where I didn’t end up bawling my eyes out and retreating into a dark and lonely place. I HATE that I sound ungrateful. I hate that I sound so melodramatic and spoiled. I KNOW I have SO much to be thankful for and my life is beautiful regardless the way it’s celebrated because YOU celebrate me.

And maybe that’s what turning 30 is all about.  Acceptance.  

Wow. That sounds resolute and depressing. Haha : ) But I’ve been thinking about what turning 30 means to me and I don’t really know. I know it will come to mean many things and I hope one of those will be motherhood.  

But maybe you can’t grow if you are reaching too far forward or too far back. Maybe it’s like the saying goes, “Bloom where you are planted.” Maybe it’s opening my eyes to find what’s already in bloom around me.

I got to Skype with Bonnie and Sungsoo tonight and meet sweet little Jasper. Of course, Bonnie, like I knew she would, saw right past my forced facade of “everything is alright,” and I broke down in a blubbering mess. And they prayed over me, through a computer screen, from the other side of the world and it was the most beautiful thing imaginable…their love for me. Sunny prayed that I would understand that You delight in me, and I knew in that moment You do, and it caught me in a moment of overwhelming awe and surprise.  

I do need to grow up, to let go of expectations of how this life is supposed to go and instead, allow You to present me with beautiful, unexpected moments that occur amidst a real life that isn’t always a birthday party.  That Skype time with Bonnie was precious because of the tears we cried as I poured out my heart over my barren womb, while she held her own sweet four-day old son in her arms.  That is friendship.  Unconditional love. Honesty. Empathy.  Sixteen years of shared experiences and faith.  Most people go their entire lives not having that type of friendship, and yet I cried today because I thought I was forgotten.

You can’t see what’s right in front of you when you are too busy being distracted by what you think you want.  And so, I think this is what I pray for as I turn thirty:  

That I would bloom where I am planted.  That I would accept what I’ve been given.  Not out of begrudging or flippant resolution, but out of hope that I am loved.  I am Your delight.  I am beautiful. I want to run in open fields with open arms to feel the freedom that comes from being YOURS. To stop and see the wildflowers you have planted at my feet and stop looking for that perfect, manicured garden that supposedly exists somewhere else. I want to hold Your hand, feel the sunshine on my face, and know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.


Note:  A few days after I wrote this post, I got a big ol’ tattoo to commemorate it. I chose roses because (1) I wanted to remember to “bloom where I am planted” (2) it’s my birth month flower (Go June!) (3) an ode to this city and the way God has used it and the people who inhabit it to tell me a greater story of Himself (Portland is the city of roses).

So, if you ever wanted to know if there was any significance to that tattoo, there you go…. ; )

(Another) Note: Just so everyone knows, my “crappy” 30th birthday had nothing to do with my sweet, and amazing husband.  He planned an amazing day and I was too much of a wreck to be able to enjoy it properly. He is the best. Period. End. Dot.


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