Turning Thirty is Like Stopping at a Stop Sign

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I can't say that I'm not emotional about turning thirty - I am. At first it was a sad kind of emotion... sad because getting older scares me. Sad because I'm reminded that time isn't waiting for me, and sad because my time with my husband and babies must only be getting shorter. Insert internal panic and sudden anxiety. Then I felt silly for being sad. Stop it, Tamara! Be thankful that you *get* to turn thirty. Celebrate your blessings! Be thankful that you have more time. Yeah, be thankful.

After feeling thankful for a short time, I found myself feeling emotional again. And kind of ridiculous. Why am I, Tamara, who is *not* very emotional, so emotional?! 
Answer: I have no idea. Insert eye roll this time.

Here's what I do know: My heart is overflowing with thankfulness. As I reflect over the past thirty years, I see a story of a little girl who was so loved, then broken, scarred, and chose a path of turmoil more than once. In my thirty years, I've seen and done some detrimental things, but by the grace of God have been ultimately and completely redeemed. And it's no little thing, friends. It's a tear-jerking, emotional-getting, shout it from the rooftops kind of redemption! God is good.

Maybe thirty is one of those milestones that makes you stop and reflect on where you've been and where you're going. Maybe thirty is a like stop sign, and as you approach, you have to stop and look all around. You look behind you, you look all around you, and then you look ahead.

Whether or not you're turning thirty, I challenge you to pull up to this emotional stop sign with me. Take a moment to reflect: Take a look in the rear view mirror - what do you see?
Then look around you - who do you see? Lastly, look ahead - what lies before you?

Often times we stroll through life and just pull the California Stops through the stop signs - you know, where you don't actually stop... you just kinda roll right through. It's easier that way. Looking back isn't always easy, in fact, it's hard most of the time. And looking around takes being intentional. We like to look ahead, but we forget that we first have to look both ways to make sure we're safe before proceeding to our destinations. What good is stopping at a stop sign if you're not going to look around you? And how safe is it to speed through a stop sign and not even pause at all? But don't we do that in our stop signs of life? 

Friends, if there's one thing I've learned in my thirty years of life, it's this: you're never too far gone, and it's never to late to stop, reflect, and re-direct. I know, it's heavy, but it's true, and I'm living proof. And what good is redemption if you don't share it with the world?

Turning thirty is like stopping at a stop sign. Yeah, that's it. Perhaps that's why I'm feeling so emotional. Looking back is hard, but looking around, for the first time in a long time, feels safe, feels right. And it doesn't just *feel* right, it IS right. And that, my friends, is worth a tear or two.

So long, twenty nine. Surely thirty has incredible things in store.