This is my last night of my twenties. I really thought that by thirty, I would have everything figured out. I guess I have four hours to get that done! Ha ha! In all honesty, my twenties brought some of the best times of my life and a few of the worst times. Although I definitely don't have it all figured out, I did learn a thing or two in my twenties that I would like to share with you.
Faith over fear. This lesson was a big one and by far the most difficult lesson of my twenties. My faith in God wavered a lot throughout the struggles over the last decade. I pushed away from Him a lot in my early twenties. I found my faith again in my mid-twenties but I still had my most difficult challenges ahead. My husband and I faced years of infertility, which really threw me for a loop. I became quite depressed and felt hopeless. It was in my struggle with infertility that I learned a lot about having faith and learning to accept my life as it was. When we suffered a miscarriage in 2016 I clung hard to my faith and it truly pulled me through. Faith is the promise that God loves us and is there for us, even when we are struggling. It is the quiet assurance that this life is not all we have, but that we have something much more beautiful to look forward to. It is the promise of forgiveness and Redemption. My faith solidified in my twenties and I am truly grateful for that.
I don't know everything. I love people in their early twenties. I love the bold confidence that most of them possess. I was the same way. I knew when I was going to get married, how many kids I would have, how I would raise said children and basically what I would do different from all of those people in the trenches who were doing it "wrong". Youth carries a certain arrogance that is probably necessary in those first uncertain years on your own. It also makes for a hard thump when reality sends you crashing down. I met the man of my dreams nine years too "early" and got married 7 years before my "plan". I learned that the number of children that I will have will never really be up to me. I also learned that parenting doesn't come with a handbook and that most of us are just doing the very best that we can. I learned to give grace to others because I myself needed to have grace given to me. I am much less arrogant about "my way" of doing things. I trust my gut and try to do what is best for my family and I give the same grace to others. When someone is doing things different than I am, it doesn't mean that one of us is wrong. It just means that we are different. Different is a beautiful thing.
Embrace the little moments because time flies. This one is cliche but it is also the truth. Life is made in the everyday moments and it pays to be present. I can't believe that I turn thirty at midnight. I can't believe that I have been a wife for (almost) seven years and a mother for three years. I really try to remind myself to slow down and pay attention to my life. The smell of coffee in the morning, the feeling of my Hubby's hand in mine and the sound of my daughter's laughter. It really is the tiny things that make life beautiful.
You never stop learning. My coworkers are mostly women nearing retirement age. Boy, did they laugh when I told them that I really thought that I would have had life figured out by now. One of my coworkers assured me that we never really have life "figured out". It makes sense because we are always learning. We are always changing and evolving. Life demands that we keep moving forward and through new experiences. It has been in my most difficult experiences that I have learned the most. The process is never fun but the outcome is a little more knowledge and empathy for others. It helps you evolve into a better person and get to know yourself a little bit better.
I am grateful for my twenties and all the things that those ten years have taught me. I look forward to the future and the experiences that await me there.