Plucking gray hairs was just the cherry on the sundae. Ever since passing 30, birthdays have felt sobering causing butterflies in my stomach. This year was no different. I was nervous leading up to my birthday, but comforted by all the sweet and encouraging words from friends and family as my birthday approached. I would be lying if I said that I didn't have a few moments of panic as I assessed my current life status in comparison to where I thought or hoped I would be at this point.
Despite my anxiety, I had the most enchanting birthday this year. My husband and I packed up and headed to Charlottesville, VA for the weekend. We scored tickets to a Nickel Creek concert Saturday night, which has been on my bucket list for quite sometime. Earlier that day, we met up with some dear friends to enjoy an afternoon of food, fellowship, and telling life stories. The weather was perfect, and everything really fell into place. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend-really!
The crescendo of the weekend was definitely the Nickel Creek concert. Their music was quality, fun, and really speaks to the heart. There was one point during the concert that really stuck out to me. You could say that I had "a moment" during the concert; a realization of sorts.
Towards the end of their concert, they played the song "Rest of My Life." As I stood there next to Michael, arms around each other, feeling the warm spring breeze, surrounded by dear friends, the music just flooded over me. Do you know that feeling? It's like the music just envelops you as you listen. I closed my eyes and just held on to Michael as we lightly swayed.
In the midst of that moment, the word "embracing" came to my mind. I thought about embracing that very moment and drinking in all the wonderful memories, then my mind went even deeper...
As the song continued, I thought about how fear has managed to keep me from coming to terms with where I am in life. In that moment, I realized that I needed the courage to embrace this stage of life in spite of my anxiety. By embracing this stage and this time, I would ultimately be accepting that God had me exactly where He wanted me and at the precise time He wanted me there. I didn't have to feel "behind" anymore. By embracing, it would be as if it didn't matter.
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you."
~1 Peter 5:6-7 (ESV)
I want to embrace the fact that my life is nothing like I thought it would be and that deep down inside that doesn't bother me at all. I want to embrace who I am at heart and what I was born to do and not compare that to anyone else, or let someone else's gifts or success cause me to back down or play small. I want to embrace my husband and my marriage and walk into the future of starting a family someday with confidence and joy. I want to embrace the fact that there are broken things in my life that may never get fixed, or at least not get fixed in the way I would like them to. I want to embrace that I am the way that I am for a reason and not try to change that for anyone else. I want to embrace what I truly have to offer and let the Lord use it for His greater good.
Fear has shaded so many things in my life, but there is so much more of life to live. I just want to embrace the moments and make them count.
"When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul."
~Psalm 94:19 (ESV)
We spend so much time living in the past or wishing away our future. We rarely drink in the moments that are right now. So much of our anxiety stems from worrying about things we have yet to do.
If my 33 year old self could take some advice from my 23 year old self, I would say," Embrace the life God has given you and don't second guess the person He created you to be."