“I can’t turn 30!” I was folding laundry in the living room and my 4-year-old daughter was sliding over the arm of the leather chair on her belly. She looked up at me and smiled. “Selah, I can’t turn 30!” I said again, half serious, and half joking.
She just giggled. (She continued pretending to be mermaid slipping down the front of the couch like it’s a water slide.) Meanwhile I began to panic inside.
I will turn 30 in just a few days.
Usually, I look forward to my birthday, but for the first time…I feel like that’s “old.”
I’m not a kid any more.
Pretty soon, my knees will creak when I bend. My hair will gray and whiten. My eyes will wrinkle when I smile. And who knows what illness may be waiting for me in the years to come?
“I can’t turn 30…” I muttered again, this time dropping my face into my hands.
“Yes, you can Mom!” Selah said, coming over to me, smiling wide.
“I can’t turn 30!” I said again.
“Yes, you can Mom!” She said.
Then she came over to me and put her hands on my shoulders and got right in my face, just like a football coach.
“Mom,” she said, very matter-of-factly, “You have to turn 30!”
“Why?” I asked her. Honestly, wanting to know. But I didn’t expect what she said next…
“Because,” she said, getting right in my face, “God’s still growing you!”
God’s still growing you.
And that’s when something caught in my spirit.
I pulled her close to me, and wrapped my arms around her, this little blonde girl, whose only four years old, but sometimes seems so much older. Who sometimes seems more like a little prophetess or angel, more like a messenger from God to me. Reminding me of wisdom from another world. Her words rang in my head.
“God’s still growing you.”
And suddenly I realized, in that moment. It’s okay that I’m turning 30. It’s okay that my body might change, or will change, in the coming years. It’s okay that I get older. It’s okay I look older. And even feel older.
It’s okay that wrinkles eventually appear from all the years of laughing.
Because you know what?
God’s still growing me.
And my body, may change, it may get weak and frail, and one day wear out. But even then,
God’s still growing me.
And every year is a gift, to be celebrated. To look back on all God has done, to look ahead at all He will do.
And God is always, always growing us. Growing us up in Him. Growing us in Christ.
Every year He moves us a little more out of the kingdom of this world, and a little more into the kingdom of God–the kingdom we were born for.
And every birthday I turn a year older.
But that just means I’m one year closer to seeing Jesus,
face to face.
And that is a reason to celebrate.
I don’t know what 30 will hold, or 50, or 70…or beyond.
But I know Who holds me.
And as long as He has me on this earth,
He is growing me.
He is constantly growing me.
And the only reason I breathe in and out each day is because
He fills me with His breath.
And outwardly I may be wasting away…but inwardly, He is renewing me day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
And, “My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
So, here’s to 30, I will embrace you with both arms. I won’t fear what the future holds. I won’t mourn my body. I won’t dread becoming older. Instead, I will smile at the future, and laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31:26)
Because God is still growing me.
“And besides Mom,” Selah says, “You have to turn 30, because you have to eat cake and blow out your candles!”
Yes, dear girl. I do.