This week I said goodbye to a good friend. She’s the friend who has walked with me through some of my greatest joys – the birth of two of my baby girls, finding my sweet spot in ministry, and learning a new language. She’s gone with me to book signings and baby showers. We have laughed until our bellies ached and sang together at the top of our lungs.
She’s also that friend who journeyed with me through the darkest days. She was there when he lost his job and Christmas was just around the corner. She was there when we were just scraping by, trying to raise a family. She was there when we received his cancer diagnosis. She stood with me by the graveside and sat by me when I wept and wailed my “whys” and “how comes” to God and the stars.
She’s been a faithful friend. She’s taught me how to love my body and stand firm in my convictions. She’s helped me to feel confident standing on a stage and mothering my three unique children. She’s the one who taught me how to let go of pretense and perfection.
Farewell, Thirties. Oh, how I will miss you.
I have a new friend now. I don’t like to replace people but it’s kind of turning out that way. Last Saturday we toasted my new friend with a full house and music spilling into our yard on Backer Avenue. We served up Indian food and delectable desserts. And my new friend swept into my life with a new haircut and a promise of new adventures to come.
Some people have jokingly called her my “mid-life friend.” I know better. I know she could be gone tomorrow.
She told me we have a blank canvas before us and handed me a paint brush. I pulled a new painter’s palette and basket of paints from that gift bag she brought. I don’t know how she knew I needed this. It’s like she read my journal or eavesdropped on my early-morning, whispered prayers.
“It’s time,” she said.
“Time for what?” I quizzed.
But I knew. I knew she was saying it’s time to remake myself.
It’s time to embrace all my old friend taught me and let go of the mistakes we made together. It’s time to stop worrying about pleasing people and start sharing this gorgeous glory story God has given me.
It’s time to move forward.
It’s time to give myself permission to rediscover, to explore, to celebrate, to rest and to remake me.
My new friend said I can run marathons, travel to new lands, jump into a new career, discover new adventures with my girls, dance wild and free with my new husband, and every once in a while linger over the memories of another life, another decade.
Hello, Forties. It’s so very good to meet you.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” ~Revelation 21:5
Would you like to read more about what I learned in my thirties decade?
Check out these blogs:
Learning to flourish through the seasons
Personal Sabbath: How training for a marathon taught me to rest
Alisa Hopper says
YAY! Happy 40’s, lovely friend. It’s a wonderful time to embrace the odd and unfamiliar beauty where you least expect it. It’s not the physical beauty of our 20’s, or the beauty of growing our families in our 30’s, but instead it’s the emotional beauty that erupts in the comfort of who God has made us to be, and he continues that work. It’s the confidence in who we are becoming, what we’ve learned so we can teach our children the same. It’s the beauty of wrinkles and gray hair because we’ve sincerely earned them. They’re reminders of the training we’ve dredged through to get here – to BE here. It’s the beauty of enjoying what you’ve worked SO HARD to have, to be, to achieve. So enjoy, because no one deserves that joy of 40’s beauty like you do.
Happy birthday! I love that you are embracing your 40’s and all the goodness it has to offer. Love this post.
Dorina Gilmore says
Thanks, friend! Grateful for 40 years of chasing His glory and hopeful for many more to come!