Somehow, I’ve never subscribed to that idea that I’m supposed to care if people know how old I am. Even now, as I turn 3 decades old today, it doesn’t seem like a big deal for people to know my age. Maybe it comes from working with kids… whose guesses of my age might range from 16 to 60 on any given day. Or maybe I’ve just decided that each year is a grace and I’m thankful for the life I’ve been given.
Despite my not caring about my age, it does seem a little funny to be hitting THIRTY this year. There are definitely life events and things that I would have thought would have happened by now – but on the other hand, there are a million things I never would have expected to have happened EVER, let alone by my third decade circling around the sun.
This past weekend a bunch of us got together to play games and celebrate the week’s numerous birthdays, and we ended the night sharing where each of us were and what we were doing 10 years ago.
It's funny to look back. If you had asked me ten years ago where I would be today, I never would have guessed that living in North Carolina might have been part of my journey, nor that I’d have been living in East Africa teaching missionary kids for the past three years of my life. I might have guessed I’d be a doctor by now (I started Hope pre-med), working in pediatrics... married with kids, living the "American dream." Traveling was a passion but living overseas never entered my mind. I really didn’t know that much about the Bible, other than it was Truth – I certainly couldn’t have told you that I’d be supporting the work of Bible Translation into 120 different languages in Tanzania. I couldn’t have even told you where Tanzania WAS. Granted, a year later, God started laying teaching missionary kids on my heart, but it wasn’t till 3 years later that I started even thinking about Africa as a potential place to live, let alone a specific location on this continent.
It’s funny how the best-laid plans are often not God’s. As I look back over my last thirty years, or even the last ten, I can’t regret anything that’s happened. God’s grace has taken me on an adventure I never could have imagined. Discovering teaching as my passion, teaching kids from around the world, gaining amazing friendships and experiences and having my eyes opened to the world in new ways every day, committing to serving God wherever and however He calls me and seeing that come to fruition for now in the work of supporting Bible Translation, leaning hard on my Savior and seeing Him come through in working out all things for His glory and my good… tasting the loneliness of being an alien on this earth and yet gaining more “family” everywhere I go, surrounded by amazing believers old and new, and getting to walk beside kids of all ages as they grow in their faith and love for Jesus.
God is faithful. I am blessed.