Last weekend I had a preemptive meltdown about my golden birthday. Thirty-one on the 31st.
I'm not eaten up about turning 31 because it sounds old; I've accepted I'll never squeeze into bright orange skinny jeans and I now have to turn down caffeine after supper.
What breaks my heart is feeling I've lost so much time.
I want my life back. I want the missing months and memories and brain cells and tears back, desperately and with all my heart. If this were 5th grade recess, I'd stomp my foot and demand a do-over. But it isn't.
Thirty had its highlights: I found out we were expecting a girl, we celebrated Mac's second birthday, we welcomed his baby sister and had a golden few weeks before time stopped. Maybe now it's time to start it again.
I feel a hundred years older than I did in February. I want to shake it off, to start over. I can't get 30 back, but I'm adopting a blog friend's attitude and owning every inch and hour of 31.
Yes, I'm older. Hallelujah for that! It means more time with the people I love. (And perhaps a search for eye cream, but we'll discuss that later.)
A friend reminded me of this song today, and I wanted to share. Yes, it made me ugly cry, but it is just what I'm feeling. And while there's hurt behind it, most of all there is gratitude.
The back half of thirty was a rollercoaster I'd prefer never to ride again. But I was held. By you and by far bigger hands, too.
This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive.
This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was when everything fell, we'd be held.
So now there are mascara stains on a beautifully monogrammed burp cloth; I couldn't find more perfect words if I wrote for years.
The painful truth: my hope is and has been born of suffering. My Savior's and, to a far lesser degree, my family's and my own. It makes His hope and security so much more real.
I prayed over and over last night, "Remind me I'm not alone right now." And I wasn't. At no point in this journey have I been on my own.
Thank you for holding me this last year. I'd love to squeeze each of you and toast a Diet Coke (I could use an IV of it lately) to a healthy, happy, beautiful thirty-first year.
If you're reading this, you're part of the reason I lived to see 31. I've achieved full-on old lady status; may I be "old" for many, many years.
I don't know what the future holds, but looking back at the darkest moments in my recent past, I know I've been held. He has gone ahead of me; there is nothing to fear. And, just as sweet, He's given me each of you.