Ebb and Flow

I didn’t even know what I was going to write until I sat down at this blank page, I just knew that I needed to write today.

I just had my birthday last weekend, and as I get farther into my 30s, I start to laugh even more at my younger self and the ideas I had about what adulthood was going to be like. In my mind, there was this point – probably by age 30 – where you just had it figured out. You were set, and coasting, and life was just your plans coming to fruition, with you adeptly handling every challenge, cruising through life because you had put the work in, and already had what you needed to figure it all out.

But as I sit here on the other side of that “point” feeling less like I am cruising, and more like I am sometimes stumbling and sometimes sitting down and just plain stopping, I remind myself that there is a reason I am drawn to the ocean. Because, like the tide that brings the waves, life is all about ebb and flow. My younger self thought it was just a straight and narrow shot through adulthood until you died, but my older self knows now its all seasons, and it’s a constant changing of the look and feel of your life. Its what you do about it that makes it all the same – its what anchors you in that ebb and flow that keeps you afloat.

I have learned that I can either cling to my silly ideas and be disjointed and out of sorts and struggling to keep up, or I can embrace the realities of life – that it is a beautiful rhythm of moments when I am strong and then ones where I am realizing my weakness and embracing grace. Of being hurried off my feet in some seasons, and then having moments of sweet rest and solitude in others. Its about being in a place where I am single-mindedly pursuing goals and set in a pattern of reliable habits, and then being in a season of simply surviving the day and trying to do better the next one. Its about having times where I am able to be the one to help others, and then being gracious enough to be helped when I need it in turn. Its about being comfortable in my skin, at home with my thoughts and in control of my emotions, only to have something come along and turn me upside down and be feeling like I am struggling with my identity and starting over as I learn myself again

I have never been more grateful for my ideas being wrong than I am now, on the other side of 30. If I had had it all figured out, if my plans had all worked out, if I was simply cruising, I wouldn’t have met Jesus in a new way and grown to rely on Him so totally, come what may. He is the anchor for my soul no matter what wave I’m riding, and I am so eternally grateful for His peace, His joy, and His love for me. I am learning to be comfortable with this unreliable and ever changing life – in those moments, I am learning so much if I just let go and allow myself to be. Be real with what I am feeling, be real with my weakness and humanity, be real with the moments that are happening, being grateful for each one because I know that the “givens” in life aren’t actually given at all. The one thing that we can rely on to remain constant is that things WILL change, but that we are loved by a God that never does. God’s amazing presence in our lives is the best, most solid thing we can hold onto.

This miraculous, crazy life is exhausting and rewarding and ever-changing, and I am so grateful for the gritty reality of it. That’s where God brought me to new life.

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