It’s really true: I’m not a little girl anymore. Turning 26 yesterday pretty much sealed the deal on that one, if there were doubts in anyone’s mind (my own included…)! And what a full day it was – full of love, full of people and espresso and most of my favorite regulars, and full of the reality that like it or not, I am growing up (although I must say, not a single person believed me when I confessed my age, which was amusing on the first few and slightly irksome by the 20th…)
I think I was on cloud nine most of the day, because I woke up to balloons hanging outside my bedroom door, a big sign downstairs in the kitchen, and every time I went on a break at work there were seven more texts on my phone and a couple dozen new Facebook posts.
To top it all off, I had dinner with my sister. It was splendid. Fondue and Pinot Noir and a melt-in-your-mouth reuben… but mostly, one-on-one time with my bestie, which had left me giddy with anticipation all day. We talked about everything, just like always, sitting across the table in a crowded, noisy McMenamins, laughing at how fortunate it is we have such loud voices.
And then we walked out to our cars, her to hers, me to mine, gift and take-out box under my arm. Off she drove, home to her hubby; off I drove, home to amazing housemates and Rachel’s mouth-watering cupcakes. In the car I listened to a couple voicemails. Grandma, singing “Happy birthday dear Jill”… oh gosh, I wasn’t gonna talk about how I cried in this blog. You all must thing I am a perpetual mess! But I’m crying as I write this, so I might as well just pull the mask and let you all the way in…
Life is weird. Growing up is hard. I have come to the conclusion that it is the most traumatic event any human ever goes through, and yet, nobody tells you how hard it will be. Nobody tells you how strange it will feel to say goodnight to the sister you grew up, shared a room with, were inseparable from… and drive separate ways on the rainy street on your birthday. Nobody tells you how it leaves a hollow confusion when in one year, two sisters get married, a beloved grandfather passes away, and life just keeps moving on and expects you to move right along with it. Nobody tells you how to transition from being a little dependent daughter to being a grown woman and peer to the two people who once were perfect in your eyes, who were always strong in every way. Nobody tells you how it feels to be 26 and wonder when Prince Charming is supposed to arrive and fight the urge to deny the desire cuz “I really don’t wanna be another one of those silly girls…” Nobody tells you about that paradox that says you’ve gotta be strong and independent and put together… when I’m really not, and deep down inside I still feel like a little girl whose wondering how in the world I got to 26 and what it means and what makes me a woman now.
At the end of the day, I laugh and cry in the Lord’s arms. He’s the One that never changes. What a stunning reality – EVERYTHING ELSE changes. Everything! But He is the same. And I have a promise for this new year that I am embarking upon… Because truth be told, I had already shed a couple tears before I even made it into that McMenamins for dinner with my sis. Not tears of sadness, not tears from the hollow, but tears from the full. Tears of awe at the love with which my Daddy has filled my life to overflowing. I couldn’t understand how so many people, from so many places and random intersections on this road of my life, could love me so much. How I could be worthy of SO. MUCH. LOVE. Unfathomable!
It is all because of this:
Psalm 103:4-5 “He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!”