Sitting on the porch soaking in this spectacular spring day, I can't help but reflect and smile. My birthday passed a few days ago. I turned 41 years old. I don't feel the way I thought 41 year old people probably feel. 40 was no big deal, I didn't have any terrible panic attack. 41 didn't cause any earthquakes either but I am finding myself a bit more contemplative.
Where do I go from here. I have tween, a teen and a young adult. I'm so happily married as the email implies but what do I want to do with the second half of my life?
I have thought of going back to school, immersing myself even more into youth ministry, finishing the books that are gathering dust in my Word Doc folder, but it doesn't feel right. I spent the first 41 years moving as fast as I possibly could. I wanted to smell the roses while I ran with them in my hand. I wanted to do it all and squeeze in as much as I could into one day.
I don't feel like I need to do that now. I don't have anything at all to prove. Nothing. I know who I am. I have outgrown regrets because I have seen God take every mistake and turn it into glorious light.
The work of my life is not over, I still have a family to raise and all. But the pressure is gone. Perhaps we reach a place on the journey where we glimpse the view? Perhaps the trials of my life have blessed me with unwavering faith in God's plan?
Joy is coming into focus. Joy has rested in the seat of my soul many years. There it has been nurtured and fed by obedience, faithfulness, by an abundance of love and blessings, and trust in the Lord. Forgive the brief foray into the sci-fi realm, but it feels like a power core, an intense source of energy that cannot be destroyed by an X-wing fighter or properly fired blaster. The joy feels like it is beginning to radiate through my body.
Imagine laying on the beach at sunrise. You have your own body heat to keep you warm but as the sun begins to rise it kisses your toes. You begin to feel the warmth move up your entire body until the sun is fully risen and you are bathed in light and warmth.
I feel like the sun is rising in my life and the joy is beginning to reach all the dark and cold extremities. Not fully risen but breaking.
Indeed, a new dawn is breaking over me and I intend to stretch out my arms and my legs, close my eyes and let it be.