July 31, 2012

Held Another Year

It's my birthday. I'm not quite wearing my party hat; I was up 'til 2am, a knot in my stomach and a pile of nonsense in my mind.

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.


He's given me these tiny people, too. No need for candles or even a sunny, celebratory day. This birthday girl is going to wipe her tears, walk out into the monsoon and show 31 how it's done. Hallelujah and amen.


User Not Found said...

AMEN! And again, Happy Happy Birthday!!

Sweet Caroline said...


Also, can you write a book or something?!? You know, in all that spare time you have right now;-) I love your writing!

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

happy birthday, my sweet friend! love you!

Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

Happy, happy birthday! May you spend this birthday week (I do them by week) surrounded by loved ones and copious amounts of Diet Coke.

StratPack said...

I'm about to sound like it's 1994 and I'm watching Oprah, but couldn't help thinking when I finished reading this: "You go girl!" Happy 31 years!

MatersandMelons said...

Happy 31! May it be a better year for you!

MatersandMelons said...

Happy 31! May it be a better year for you!

Rowena said...

Oh my sweet friend. I am so very glad you were born and I truly believe that 31 will be a year of multitude celebrations.

Mrs. Yellow Ribbon said...

Beautiful post. Happy Birthday!

Kathryn Whitaker said...

Amen sister. Love you!

Anonymous said...

I'm just reading this!!! You made me cry- and you reminded me of what's important. How silly of us to sometimes make sunny days cloudy; especially after having a true concept of darkness. I just want to squeeze your baby girl and give you a big hug! Happy 31 Anne! xo, Markey


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