I just recently turned thirty, and as I begin this fourth decade of my life, as well as a new ministry, my family is also blessed with a new spark of life. That’s right, future aunt right here! To celebrate my birthday, and this tiny new member of our family, my sister and I went to the Magic Kingdom! I had been so freaked about turning 30, my mind was full of thoughts of saying goodbye to young adulthood, so we thought it would be best to go all out and really celebrate this big milestone as I transition into full-blown adulthood, and what better place to celebrate than Disney.
Celebrating is what I love most about birthdays, marking the end of a year completed and seeing how far I’ve come, especially on this occasion because thirty is the last big milestone birthday for awhile. In retrospect I suppose I didn’t need to be so worried, after all a milestone is something we’ve invented as a society. I will continue to grow and be myself whether I’m 20 something or 50 something; it’s not like I woke up on my birthday a new and different person from the day before. Everyday I continue to evolve, as a sister-friend of mine noted just the other day as she recalled some of my first incorporation interviews into the Sisters of Mercy. I am a much different person than I was five years ago when I began this journey, but of course not all of that growth happened overnight. Every year has been filled with a deepening of my self understanding as I am shaped by the course of my life. In just this past year I have gone through a lot of changes: I lived in three different states with three different groups of sisters, and participated in three different ministries. These events, just as with all events big and small, have shaped me and helped me to grow and mature. I’ve faced challenges and overcame them, gone out of my comfort zone, been touched by the depth of relationships in both community and ministry. These are all milestones in and of themselves and each moment deserves to be celebrated because I am grateful for who I am becoming on the journey.
I look forward now to the continuing journey, and though it’s impossible to tell what will happen or how events and encounters will change me, I trust that God has a desire for my growth. I am still confirmed by the quote I chose to begin this blog five years ago: “I know the plans I have for you, plans for good…to give you a future with hope.” (Jer 29:11). No matter how old I get I’ll never really know where this life of mine is going, but I will continue to trust that I have a future full of hope.