After the whole ordeal with our twins, every one of my birthdays since have seemed so monumental. Where the years started to blend, one into the other, in my mid to late twenties, my thirties have brought very distinct chapters in my life.
Beginning with my thirtieth birthday, we were closing out our NICU chapter, having just received news that after ten and a half months we would finally be able to take our sweet Sophia home. Best birthday present. Ever. The following birthday, I remember sitting on the floor near Sophia’s crib, crying out to God in the late night. I was desperately trying to hold onto the belief that she would not still need a feeding tube when I returned to work. I would be beginning my new job in a mere month and Sophia was nowhere near eating solely by mouth. I asked God to forgive my wavering and to please give me confirmation that I had heard Him clearly. That evening, in that dark, quiet room, He gave me clear confirmation. A mere month later, He fulfilled that promise.
Last year, leading up to my thirty-third birthday, I could feel a distinct stirring in my spirit… God pushing me to move. Unbeknownst to me, God would finally corner me into writing this blog, amongst other areas outside of my comfort zone. Every year has just felt like a graduation of some sort… along with the anticipation for the next year of growth. This birthday was no different.
Brian and I were scheduled to volunteer at our church that evening, but I could feel the overwhelming urge to be outside. Do you ever just feel like you need to be in the middle of a wide open space within sight of trees and grass? That just always tangibly reminds me of the bigger picture. Maybe it’s the thought of those trees being there way before us and possibly even after us. Two huge forested hills overlook our neighborhood. Every time I turn towards our street, facing the hills, I can’t help but to be in awe of God’s “little” creations. Those hills seem so grand, towering above the houses, yet I know they are a drop in the bucket for God. It simply puts God’s capabilities into perspective.
With only an hour left before we would need to leave, I quickly geared up for a quick stroll. Before I even left the house, I knew where my heart was desiring to go. Around the corner, there was a dirt road, running right between the two hills. At one time, construction trucks would disappear around the bend of the dirt road and you could hear preparations being made for a new subdivision. For whatever reason though, the preparations came to a halt almost a year ago.
Months before, I had ventured down the road but only to the bend, not wanting to lose sight of our neighborhood. It was my way of not letting go of the side of the pool. Now armed with a pocketknife, per Brian’s request, and our intimidating, but actually very timid, Great Dane, I was prepared to go… Go where? I wasn’t sure where the road led but it felt very symbolic of “trusting the path.”
It had rained that day so it did not take long before my shoes began to sink into the unpaved road. Before I even reached the bend, it crossed my mind to turn back. I could feel the need to follow the road regardless, though. I journeyed on and soon found myself completely engulfed by the two hills. I was a bit on edge, probably just too much ID TV (pretty much every other episode is an abduction), but it felt so liberating to just trust the instinct to follow this road.
Finally, I reached a clearing with a calming view of the nearby lake and a sun and clouds masterpiece. Even though the road seemed to continue down further, I knew this place was why I was supposed to follow the road that day. I spent some brief moments, silently praising God, giving thanks for this mini journey, the beautiful destination, and gained insight.
As I headed back to the house, not minding the mud caking on my shoes this time through, I belted out, “You’re a good, good Father. It’s who You are, it’s who You are, it’s who You aaaarrrreeee….” Probably not hitting not even one of those notes in key, I continued to sing (well my version of singing anyway) with a smile.
You see, for me this year will be about following the road with my heart leading. Being bolder. Trusting my intuition, knowing it’s divinely influenced. Realizing that it might get a little “muddy” but the destination is worth it.
As the new year approaches, I’d like to also encourage you to journey outside your comfort zone where God may lead you. Don’t convince yourself to turn back. Trust. Trust our Creator, trust the process, and, of course, trust yourself.
You’re headed to beautiful places.