Not Who I Used to Be
I turned 32 on Sunday... THIRTY-TWO! Does anyone else go "What? I'm what age?!" every year or is that just me?
I had a nice birthday, despite having limitations on what we could do. We made it work and it was special. (Thank you to all who gave me birthday wishes as well, that was very sweet!)
As I reflected the next day on being 32, I remembered another birthday that didn't seem that long ago, 23. I remember going to the coast, I remember the little photo shoot that was taken. I remember I got not one but two rainbow umbrellas for my birthday that year because I loved over the top color. I was colorful, carefree, loved Africa and art and having fun.
|Me at 23|
I'm 32 and I'm a wife, a mother of three, I homeschool and blog. I still love Africa but I'm a whole lot less carefree and colorful at times than I used to be. I live a very different and beautiful life but that's not the biggest difference between me and the girl I was at 23? The biggest difference between me and the girl I used to be is:
I truly believe I'm loved.
That is the biggest difference! I knew in my head I was loved back that but I always doubted it if I wasn't performing the way I wanted. If I wasn't perfect.
Learning I was truly loved started from my heartbreaking prayer that God teach me about love, to having people show up in my life to display it. To my deepest, ugliest spot in life.
Infertility broke me. It left me in ashes. My belief that if I did what was right that things would all work out. My inner belief that God was only really happy with me when I was happy. My self worth, still, being caught up in how much I pleased other, all taken away. Just me. Broken, hurt, ANGRY me left. I told God how angry I was. I told Him it was unfair. I told Him I felt gipped, that I'd done what He asked and I felt somehow He owed me.
|Photo Credit: thelist.com|
I had reached my lowest and all my "goodness" had been stripped away and just broken, hurting me remained... but what I learned changed my life and it is why I'm truly different today than my 23 year old counterpart.
God's love for me was EXACTLY the same, unending, never-fading, full, vibrant, unmeasurable love when I was at my lowest, HE DIDN'T CHANGE AT ALL! He didn't think any less of me why I sobbed my heart out in anguish than when I'm joyful and rejoicing. His love for me didn't change.
And honestly, the humbleness and honesty that came in my pain was probably much more pleasing to Jesus than my "I've got this God. I'll make You proud" self.
That is the biggest change in me I've seen. It's not being a wife or a mother even, it's not the way my body has changed or even have my mind has, it's that I truly believe that I'm loved the same in my lowest and in my highest places by a God of tender loving mercies. A God who created me exactly as He intended. A God who gave everything, even His life, to be near to me, to love me.
That is what ultimately has changed in me and what has changed everything about how I see and do life.
You are loved like that too!