It seems unwise to just assume that you know me. As I write this, I picture "you" to be a friend, a former client, or even a seeming stranger who has wandered down an internet rabbit trail ending in this unlikely location. While there may remain a mystery as to your identity, dear reader, I think the secrets should stop there. Less than an about page, but more than a snippet of current events, I want to take a moment (as I try once more to ignite the fire under this blog) to introduce you to who I am today.
Over the past few months, or more likely the last year, the events of life have shifted some of what I hold to be true about myself. Perhaps this is what it means to be 30, or just to be alive... the more hard things we face, the less certain we become. And yet, in the midst of hard times some things shake out to be truer than ever.
On April 30, 2013 I left behind my 20s and entered the next decade. I remember I spent the afternoon fretting over what to wear to the big party I had planned, the kind of epic invite-everyone-you-know extravaganza that a milestone birthday seems to call for... I tried on dress after dress and I know I didn't buy any of them but I also know that I have no idea what I wore that night. It was my golden birthday, so I'm sure it was something shiny... I remember gold shoes and piles of all my favorite sweets and chatting with friends from all corners of my life. And then my parents showed up and they got to chat with all these lovely folks who make up my Grand Rapids people. At the time, I'm not sure I understood how great that was, this mixing of real family and adopted family.
I had built up this golden birthday for weeks, if not months. Turning 30 was the perfect deadline for every habit I'd wanted to make or break for years. As the actual day drew near, it was pretty obvious that things would be different in this new decade. Just 4 days shy of the end of April I moved into my very own house, struggling to believe that anyone would actually choose to loan me such a large sum of money but thankful for a place to call my own. From the beginning of 2013 I had been certain of two things, one being that God was asking me to pursue buying a home and the other being that my dad's MS was taking a turn for the worse and it seemed highly possible that his life was not going to go on for as long as I would prefer. Just when I was certain that God wanted me to move back home and help take care of my dad in the midst of this decline, God brought me to this little blue house that seemed like just exactly what I had been hoping to find.
I thought that turning 30 would be IT - that moment that would change the course of my life, that would redefine everything, that would cause me to evaluate my past and set a clearer direction for my future. Okay, maybe I was less dramatic about the prospect of a new era, but nonetheless I knew in my heart that this birthday had the potential to be the point at which all the wrong things could be turned right. I knew that it could be a jumping off point, a fresh start, an excuse to make needed changes.
And what I'm beginning to realize as I write this is that things are different. This 30th year of life has been unlike any before it. However, the catalyst that brought about this change had little to do with a date on the calendar or even buying my first house. It would soon become obvious that there were events in my future that lay outside the scope of my understanding and preparation.
Turns out it's hard to summarize a year like this in just a moment, so more to come later this week...