Sounds crazy, don't it?
But let's do a quick review:
- My 28th birthday I was a happily married women with two great kids and a wonderful husband.
- My 29th birthday I was a barely functioning widow, really an emotional amputee with three sons (5, 2, and a newborn). My birthday was simply a day focused on breathing as my wounded heart bled out my eyes.
- I simply have no memory of my 30th birthday. I entered my 30's with about as much enthusiasm as a corpse.
- Most birthdays since then have been a blur. Usually full of vast emotions and learning to breathing again. Putting another school year behind us and forcing myself to walk forward.
- Certain ones stand out. I remember the cold splash of reality of being a widow longer than I had been a wife. Yet still having his missing "happy birthday" put a hole in all the well wishes of others.
- There were a couple birthdays that family did surprise parties after church. It was sweet of them, I felt showered with love, but inside was a storm.
- Then there is the birthday when my dad broke his hip. That was a memorable and crazy day for sure!
"I survived my 30's (and maybe even thrived a little) as a widow homeschool mom of three boys." The fact that the Lord did an amazing healing in my heart this last year just is icing on the cake. Turning 40 feels like a graduation.
With God's unshakeable grip on me, I have kept the faith.Through His wisdom, He has used my pain to help others. Through God's grace and provision, I have continued to homeschool the boys. I have survived, and lived over 4,000 days longer than I ever thought I would. I stumbled and fell many times, got scrapes and bruises along the way. But with the help of God, I struggled to my feet and tried again. Miraculously, I have lived to tell a tale that I thought was going to kill me. He stood against my deepest fears and healed my shattered heart. Like I said in December, "I feel as if I have finally graduated from physical therapy with prosthetic limbs and I am able to walk again. I feel that the LORD and I can hike together now toward something special up ahead. I don't know what it is, but I know the LORD is good and He knows best."
And so, for my 40th birthday, I am looking forward to a retreat.
Some time completely alone with just my Healer and me. Time to relax and just be.
Not be a mom, or a teacher, or a house manager, or a daughter, sister or friend.
Just be me. Spending time with my Creator. A two-day long God date.
Time to reflect. Time to write. Time reading my Lord's love letter. Time listening to Him. Time to look forward and dream. Time to step into my 40's with a smile and a sweet peace knowing God's got some pretty exciting adventures ahead.
And in all my anticipation of my 40th birthday, I think of my Jim. I can just see him with a big grin on his face, like he knew this is where I would get to all along. And there'd be a knowing twinkle in his eyes, showing secrets he won't share, but that say "It's going to be great!"