Age is a funny concept in that it's totally relative. Any age can be considered old or young, depending on who's doing the comparing. When I entered my thirties, I expected to have anxiety about getting older, and leaving my young wild days behind me (Let's be real though, by thirty I was married with two toddlers. My fancy-free days were long gone anyway). But it turned out I was actually excited about getting older because it felt like my "new number" gave me a bit of legitimacy. People in their thirties have been around the block a time or two. They have enough wisdom to be credible, but are still youthful enough to remain relevant. (I actually think this is true of many decades...but thirty seems like the gateway to that balance.)
Now at the ripe old age of 31, I find I often forget my exact age. It doesn't matter much anymore...what's 31 vs. say, 38? Point is, I'm a grown up. I know who I am, what I'm good at, what I struggle with. I'm pretty much fully formed. Which is a comforting feeling...until I realize that it's also kind of terrifying. Yes, it's nice to have a confidence in who I am, but that also means I know my limitations. And oh, are there a few (hundred) of those. I see my selfish nature, how I fail to care for people, how short my fuse can be, how I unintentionally hurt with my words...and I get discouraged. Oh. This is me. This is it. I'm a flawed, messy person, who fails to live up to God's standard on the regular.
And in those moments, being a grown up feels like a bad thing. Like I've peaked, completed development, and this is as good as I'm getting.
But thank God that's not true. I was reminded in worship this week at church, that God makes beautiful things out of the dust, and likewise -- He can make (and IS making) beautiful things out of us. Meaning me. And you.
"You make me new. You are making me new." - Gunger (based on Revelation 21:5)
So as I raised my hands and sang those words, it became a prayer of thankfulness:
Thank you God that this isn't it. Thank you that you have more for me. Thank you for covering my weaknesses and molding me into more than am, or was, or could have been otherwise. Thank you for making me new.
So I may be 31. I may have two (and a half) kids. I even may drive a mini-van. I might get too stern with my kids, or take advantage of my husband's kindness, or get consumed with my own agenda and totally blow by opportunities to bless others. But that doesn't mean I'm done growing. And more importantly, it doesn't mean God is done growing me.