My heart is heavy. As I get closer to 30, and most of my friends are past that point, I’m having somewhat of a Peter Pan moment. I don’t want to grow up; grown-ups have too many problems. Real adult problems.
These were the things that I’ve always known can happen, things that sometimes used to affect my friends’ parents, but now they’re affecting my friends. And I don’t like it.
I have friends who have had multiple miscarriages, friends who have been divorced, friends who have gotten cancer, friends whose husbands had affairs, friends whose husbands have been deployed…
These are not things relegated to a storyline in a book or movie any more. These things are affecting people I know and love.
I guess I had somewhat bought into the lie of “We’re young and invincible! We’re in charge of our destinies! Just stay in school and don’t do drugs and everything will be ok.” And even “If you’re a good enough person, hard things won’t happen to you.”
I have learned from watching my friends go through hard stuff. Most of them are Christians and have acknowledged the complete suckiness of their situations but have also shown faithfulness, trust, patience and hope. I admire their strength as they face some seriously difficult life seasons. My heart hurts for them, and I always feel at a loss of what to say or do to show support or encouragement.
Getting older stinks.
However, while getting older, I see friends have these adult problems, but I have also gotten to see friends make exciting decisions and rejoice with grown-up situations. I have friends who were surprised with twins after being told getting pregnant would be difficult, friends who are missionaries, friends who started successful businesses.
I know the highs and lows are just part of life, and there are (hopefully) a lot more to come. In this season of Thanksgiving, I am praying for a truly thankful heart for the gifts with which I am surrounded. I’m praying for protection over my family and loved ones and for words of encouragement for those who are in a difficult season.
God is good.
It is tough stuff growing up, isn’t it? I think the best we can do for each other when facing one of life’s big challenges is to pray for our friends, and to just be there when they need someone to listen. Checking in from time to time just to say Hello and I’m thinking of you can really mean a lot. When I was dealing with infertility, just hearing “I’m so sorry this happened to you” really soothed my aching heart – even more so than the ones who tried to give me solutions or strategies. Your last line is also powerful – God is good. And God can make all things good – even the things that are so ugly and hurtful. I was reminded of this at a Q&A with our pastor last week. He reminded me to look to the cross – look what good came from such injustice and pain!! Catholics have a simple prayer to the Divine Mercy. It is “Jesus, I trust in you!” I used to get hung up on it some because I was confused about what I was trusting in – it’s not that God will answer my prayers the way I want Him to, but that God has beautiful plans for me and will weave my pain and sorrow into that great plan. That is where we can safely place our trust.
thanks, DIana: for sharing your heart for praying for us so well.
Getting old ISN’T fun, but seeing God’s faithfulness and mercy and grace through all these days IS… As I have read your words, and feel compelled to respond (that is what jetlag does: provides middle of the night compulsions to do/say Something Important instead of sleep!), I have gotten new insights on Psalm 34, esp v.12
Who IS that person who desires life and loves MANY days that s/he may see good? OOH! OOH! Let it be me… and mine and all those that love the Lord!
One amazing thing I have seen as I have gotten older is how “God at work” is not confined to what I actually have prayed for, but bubbles up, spills over and floods the next generation, too! SO wonderful!
OK. The other thing about jetlag for me is that I prattle on. I will stop.
Love you! Glad to pray, too! <3