I am thirty years old. That may not matter to you, but it does to me. I am thirty years old and tonight I took my dog, Paco, for a walk. We’re averaging two miles a night right now.
If I weren’t thirty years old, I would never have met my amazing boyfriend. I wouldn’t have signed up for my first 5k with a friend and I wouldn’t have changed my degree program less than a month before graduating with a Masters. A trip to Spain to visit one of my favorite people would still be an item on my bucket list. I also wouldn’t have eaten the bug that flew into my mouth on our walk tonight. (Maybe I could have been okay without that last one…)
I am thirty years old.
And if I wasn’t thirty years old? I would have never wept openly on my walk as a new song played through Apple Music.
If I’m being honest with you? I never thought I’d see my thirties.
I’ve only admitted that to a few select people. Mostly mental health professionals, but even my current therapist has no idea that was part of my life plan. In fact, I don’t really know what prompted me to tell you, but I think it’s important you know that part of this story. Making it to thirty seemed downright impossible.
I was in high school when I got this eerie feeling that maybe I’d die young. I couldn’t place it then, in the start of my mental health journey that I didn’t even know was happening, but I think I was sensing something beyond words.
I was in college the first time I wondered if my life could be worth anything as an adult. Would I be successful enough? Pretty enough? Talented enough? Loved enough? And then I decided. Thirty probably wouldn’t be worth it.
I was twenty-eight when I started seminary. I never thought I’d finish. I figured my life would end before then. I struggled constantly with mental health concerns, I still do, and fighting through them seemed futile.
But in the end I refused to give up.
And I sit here tonight, after a long day at work filled with new admissions to the nursing home, cranky residents and exhausting activities, savoring a little bit of ice cream and giving thanks.
Thanks that people have pushed me and seen who God created. Thanks that I’ve pushed myself, even when I wasn’t feeling like it — especially when I wasn’t feeling like it — to get out of bed and start the next day. Thanks that today gets to be a miracle.
That I get to be a miracle.
That you’re a miracle.
That Miracles are all different.
And, as my God-given brother would say, hard.
So, so very hard.
But each breath is something amazing – one in a million. No longer defined by fears and struggles, I am seen by the Creator God who knows me, loves me, and calls me by name:
You are, too. You are a miracle. Made in the image of God. Even when it’s hard, God is working in, with, and through you. God calls us to persevere. To refuse to give up. To see the best and the glory in all things, to give thanks in all circumstances, and to trust.
Trust in our call.
In God, who loves us and created us.
The Son of Man who died on a cross and redeemed us when we were still sinners.
The Holy Spirit who continues to wrap us in loving arms and reveal God’s true nature to humankind.
Trust that we are miracles.
That the pain will one day cease.
That we are not alone.
That we were created with purpose.
Job Chapter 5:8-9 read:
“But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.”
In the midst of Job’s misery, God remained by his side. When we feel broken, used, abused, and thrown out, God is there.
I didn’t think I’d make it to thirty, but God remained.
God held space.
For my tears.
For my worry.
For my anxiety.
For my laughter.
For my joy.
For my love.
For this created life, in all of its pain and wonder.
May you find solace in knowing that you were created holy and right, loved and dreamt about. May you know that you are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, cherished and adored. May you believe that you are a miracle, the beloved child of God.