Monday, February 22, 2010

Initial Thoughts of a New Age

It's late and I'm tired, but I wanted to just dive briefly into my initial thought on being 18. I excuse any lack of clarity on the hour, which just struck two.

Officially I'm not 18 four another four hours, but on principle, it's my birthday, so I'm eighteen. It's a weird thought. Legally I'm an adult, but I feel no different than I did three hours ago. However, I feel far different than I did at this point last year.

I've changed so mauch in the past 365 days. I'd like to think that I've grown. I believe I'm grown as a person, as a friend, as a daughter, as a sister, and as a Christian. The last most of all. I've certainly matured in the last year. I don't even like to think on how much of a selfish, grasping child I was only a year ago. In fact, a year ago is probably the time in my life that I hate myself the most for.

But the thing that surprises me is that I've changed. I've changed a lot. I've grown past that and I've grown up. Perhaps it seems absurd to be an adult, but being a year older feels absurd only because I feel as if I have aged much more than that. Oh yes, I still have a long way to go, but the work God has done in my life this last year, and really only since this summer, far surpasses anything He's done before.

A few days ago I was dwelling on my approaching birthday and my mind started to drift over all the things that I've lost over the past year and all the things that have changed for the worst. I have a habit of dreading birthdays. They've always seemed a time for nothing more than reflecting upon a broken past. However, a dear friend shared with me something she had written upon her own 18th birthday, that made me stop and think. I'm going to share a small portion of it here, because they're worthy to be said again.


One of my heroes and role models, Jamie Tworkowski, said the following about birthdays on the TWLOHA blog:

“At the heart of it is the opportunity to tell someone "I'm glad that you were born", which is also to say "I'm glad that you're alive." Those are powerful statements. The world would be a different better place if we lived that way, if we said and showed those things, more than once a year.”

Those words are what made me look at my birthday this year in a different light. Not as a day to mark everything I've lost in the last year, as it had been before, but a way of allowing myself to be reminded that just the fact that I'm alive has meaning.


The fact that I'm alive. Not that long ago, that wouldn't have been something I would revel in. Life was something I didn't want to face. However, the other week I paused in the middle of doing something and realized that I was happy. Genuinely happy for no reason other than the fact that I was alive and blessed. I had a God who loved me and took care of me, and I had wonderful, amazing friends. I was glad to be alive.

As I'm sitting here, I have so many things I want to say. In fact, cut out a large chunk of text to save for another day because it was going so far off topic and my poor, tired mind couldn't follow it. I think the reason I don't blog that often is because it's so overwhelming. There's always so much I want to mention, and I can only focus and type for so long.

Eighteen. My mind still can't wrap around it. Even though I know I've grown so much over the last year, I still feel so young. I wonder if everyone feels this way on entering adulthood.

In someways I'm sad to leave this year behind. As a seventeen-year-old, I had some of the best experiences of my life. I made friends that I will treasure forever, I learned lessons that I needed to learn, I got to go to Moot and visit with friends and travel the country. It was my last year of childhood, and I wish more of them could have gone as well as it did. True, I have no desire to relive the beginning, but the second half more than made up for it, and I can see now how God used it, even if I wish He could have chosen an easier path. Still, I wonder if this new year--a new age with a new path of adventures--will measure up.

This fall I will begin college. I'll be getting my license soon. I'll be needing to get my first job. The idea of entering the world of adults frightens me a bit. I look forward to growing up and discovering what God has in store for me, but a part of me still longs to remain where I am--safe, sheltered, and provided for.

But there are other things to look forward to and hope for in the coming year. In June a dear friend will be coming to visit. Over the summer I may get to see Lu and San again. And in August there's Moot. Though the last still requires much prayer and effort on my part.

In the end, this post rather fell apart from what I had intended it to be, but nonetheless, it's a glimpse into my musings in the first few hours of adulthood.

Despite my fears and concerns for the coming year and my regrets for this year past, I have learned one thing clearly in the last few months of my childhood.

No matter how dark things may seem, the stars are always there. God has blessed me greatly and He loves me no matter what. He will provide. All I need to do is trust.

And now I enter a new age, a new year, a new stage of life and I take a step of faith in posting this--faith that somehow God will make my meaning clear. To me as well.

Now off to bed I go. Perhaps in the morning the idea of being an adult will have sunk in some. Or perhaps not.

At least, no matter what the future may hold, I can look back on this past year, smile, and say, "Yes, seventeen was a good age to be." But now, future, here I come. Just as soon as I wake up...