This past week I turned twenty-six. It’s not all that exciting like turning twenty-one is and it’s really not that big of a deal, like turning thirty is. It’s right there in the middle of the twenties.
The turning of another year of life sort of crept up on me. The evening was quickly fading into the night and I needed to get out. I needed to clear my head in the silence and the rhythm of a long run. So I headed to the park near by our house where there are miles and miles of trails that weave alongside the Cumberland river. As the miles of trails converged into a clearing I caught a glimpse of the moon through the trees as it reflected off the river. It was bright and full, silvery with undertones of blue and purple. It was breathtaking in the darkness of the night and its iridescent glow was calming.
Every night growing up as I laid down to sleep, I would always ask my mom what we were doing the next day. I always had to know as if there might be something terribly important and pressing that I may need to do on a summer day as an eight-year-old child. I guess I still have some of that in me because as I ran further down the trails my thoughts settled on the next day, which was my birthday, and what I had to do that day.
It was in that moment that it hit me, the next day was my birthday and another year of life had passed. It wasn't just another birthday, but it’s another year lived. I thought back on this past year, how different life was at this time last year. We were living in China, caring for those sweet kiddos that we still miss dearly, life was very simple and unadorned. It was challenging us and growing us in necessary yet uncomfortable ways.
During this year of life, a new page was turned and a new chapter begun as that season came to an end. A new scene began to unfold in a different location, with different jobs, and my husband and I both as very different people.
The chapter that I’m living today and that will continue to be written when I wake up tomorrow is one that I know desperately needs to be written.
This one is a chapter of transition, it’s one of continued growth and challenges.
On my best days, I am thankful for this chapter. I’m grateful for the growth that is uncomfortable and the challenges that are refining.
And on my worst days I think this is it. The wreck of a person I see staring back at me in the mirror some days is who I’m convinced will be staring back at me forever.
But today is not the whole story.
This season of life is not the full story.
Today, this moment, is just a snippet.
Right now is just a short scene.
The chapter I’m living today is not the end and thank God for that.
It’s a tiny fraction of the beautiful drama of love and redemption that God has written and has you and me living out in our own stories each day.
Broken hearts and shattered dreams are often times just a part of the exposition.
Our characters are continually evolving, always growing and ever changing as the story unfolds.
The plot is one of redemption and love.
There’s a wild and beautiful life ahead of us, waiting to be lived and a story ready to be written.
So here’s to another year of life.
Here’s to a story that is not even close to being finished in the best possible way.
Here’s to a story that though obscure at times, is being written day by day through the lens of grace, by the work of redemption, and with all the power and force of love.