Well it’s after midnight here in good ol’ NC which means that it’s officially my birthday. I am 29. This is my last year being in my 20’s. I’m freaking out.
Last week I was on Duke’s campus at the gym and as I walked to the parking lot I noticed a student’s car with the following sticker on its bumper: “Duke Class of 2013.” I quickly did the math in my head. That student is a Freshman, and he or she will graduate from college exactly 10 years after me. I’m telling you–FREAking out.
I don’t know why the number 29 has sent me into such a tizzy (next year I’ll probably be a train wreck) but the older I get the more I think, “Wait, how did I get here so fast? Where did my life go?” Then I start to think about all the things I wish I had already done (like become a world famous author…or at the very least write A book) and I get even more depressed. I feel like time is literally slipping through my fingers.
It’s not that I’m afraid of aging (scratch that–I’m totally afraid of aging) but my real fear is that I’ve wasted the time on earth that I’ve already spent. It’s so easy to compare myself to others. Either I haven’t accomplished as much as other people, or I haven’t started having kids yet, or we still live in an apartment instead of a real house. All these comparisons to other people who have done all those things make me feel like I’m behind in life. They create in me an urgency to catch up and do more.
When faced with this feeling, I’ve had to be very intentional about taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). I’ve had to remember that I’m on nobody’s timeline but God’s. He has a perfect plan for me with perfect timing, and rather than judge that plan according to others’ timelines, I need to rest in it. Even enjoy it!
I am working on trusting God in this area, believing that I am exactly where He wants me to be right now. So I encourage you to do the same. If, for instance, you’re one of my friends, you may have even looked at my life and compared yourself to me, using the comparison as evidence that you too are behind. If that’s true, I hope my own confession encourages you. That fear you have is not unique to your season in life. It’s unique to being human. Each one of us has our own uniquely designed timeline that is just for us; each one of us also has the fallen tendency to compare our timelines to others, to desire the greener grass. So don’t feed into it. The answer is not to have that “next thing” but to be satisfied with where God has you now. Otherwise, the cycle never stops.
My heart still accelerates when I think about the fact that I’m turning 30 next year, but I’m on God’s timeline and I know He has good plans for me each year that He’s placed me on this earth.
So here’s to finishing off my 20’s strong!
Ugh, Jesus please help me!