Tomorrow I’m 33! Can I tell you I already thought I was haha. On the eve of my birthday I’m still deep in life, no pre party time here. Barely remembering it’s my birthday between accidentally scheduling how to fix my bathroom tile (oops) and trying to finish school supply prep. Good thing I have kids who keep announcing its coming tomorrow!
This year was pretty pivotal as I’ve never felt so sure of myself or confident. I want to attribute it to making major progress in overcoming challenges like saying “yes” too much and having to learn new boundaries and what that means for me. So far my 30’s have been really good to me. Like a becoming I didn’t know I needed to step into, acknowledge, and accept. A part of me says “about time Carmen…about time.”
I’ve still danced the fine line of saying too much, taking things extremely personal, and not knowing how to express what I feel. Yet with that I’ve seen so much growth in being wise with my words, embracing compassion (not codependency), and finding my tribe who gets me.
There’s so many lessons I want to cram in here, but I will keep those tucked away in my journal for now. A whole 33 years of living! However, there are 3 lessons that are significant enough to permanently pen in internet ink per say:
- Be confident in God and yourself. As someone who regularly second guessed myself, the verse in James 1 “for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind” was truly spot on. Though I knew God could do anything, I struggled to trust the things He could do in me. Over time I discovered how much I wasn’t trusting God with those areas in my life I really held close. I needed to heal from bad choices and even moments where I should have listened to myself but didn’t. For me it’s taken years of being in my bible, knowing who God is even when life is bad, and listening to the wisdom and discernment that I’ve been entrusted with. My confidence has grown as I exercise wisdom in my own life. I feel stable and more capable to take risks, I’m so thankful for it!
- Stick to your guns when it counts. I’m a fighter, but ain’t nobody got time to be fighting ALL the time. But for a long time I was discouraged to stick to truth and speak on it during college by a mentor in my church. It really shook my core and caused a lot of self-defeating thoughts. I found myself being quiet even when I knew I needed to be loud. Too often spaces for women to express themselves are misrepresented as “complaining” or “overly sensitive” especially if you’re a vocal woman. It wasn’t until some time during my first pregnancy that I began to find my voice and refine it. Knowing that I don’t always need to fight brings a sense of drive and wisdom when I do. It’s helped me discern when I need to have tough talks and push through. Not all battles are won at peace treaties, and I’ve learned to value that I can wisely step on the field when its time.
- Even if you’re right, resolve it. Being right isn’t everything (yes babe if you’re reading I said it). Especially if it tears at relationships that are worth something to you. Too often my mind would be so focused on being right that my heart would harden to the hurt I was causing. Over the years I’ve lost some valuable relationships because of it. It took one in particular to come to this conclusion, and I’m better for it. So frequently in our current society and definitely for people of faith it’s an either/or and in the midst we lose the very soul, friend, opportunity to be like Christ because we need to be right. So we bulldoze through arguments and leave a lot of brokenness. As I’ve healed emotionally, mentally, and even physically over the years I desire to see that same freedom in those around me. So even if I’m right, how can we resolve the issue… no need to lose, shame, or hurt someone for my own self gain.
It’s been a beautiful journey to say the least. I’m thankful to be far more grounded today than ever before. More sure of what God is doing and who I want to be in Him and for His purposes in my life. I still act out and hope to never be so proud that I’m unable to ask for forgiveness first. This year I look forward to far more risk taking, more chances to love my family, more time to dig deep, and more of doing what I know I’m supposed to do.
Here’s to 33.