Looking Back into my 20s
I recently hit the BIG 3-0!
My twenties really did seem to fly by, and so many life changes took place. I finished college, found the Lord, got a job, got married, bought a house, and had my first child. It’s unbelievable to look back and realize how much has changed in just a decade, and I wonder what God has in store for me next.
I have so much to be thankful for, and this post is about just that- What I’m Thankful for at 30.
1) My husband-
He’s truly a man who loves Jesus, loves me, and loves our family with all his heart. He makes me laugh every single day. I love his enthusiasm for life, for the little things, and for us. I’m always fascinated by our differences. I don’t think it’s something I’ve ever told him, but I truly am. In conversations or situations with people, I learn more about who he is in how he responds or reacts.
Our lives teach me more about who he is each day so that I can be a better wife and a better mother for our family. He’s a wonderful dad to our son, and I love watching them bond, play, and laugh together. I’m glad that the Lord blessed us in our relationship, and that we’re on this life journey together. It hasn’t always been easy, or perfect, by any means, but I’m thankful that he’s the one that’s by my side; he’s taught me to look for the good in life.
2) My son-
Nothing can fully describe a mother’s love for her child. Motherhood is difficult, but it’s the constant giving of ourselves that brings out the most joyous moments in the relationship we have with our children. It’s a selfless, dying-to-self, tiring job, but it is the most fulfilling job, and it’s one that I will never take for granted. It’s important.
It points me more and more towards Jesus and God’s love for His own children. It reminds me to constantly be turning to Him because there’s no way I could possibly do this on my own. Watching my son learn, explore, cry, laugh, squirm, babble, and discover is one of the most precious gifts I could ever receive, and I’m thankful to be called his mother.
3) Friends and Family-
The saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” is quite true. And I might add to that, “it also takes the village to help keep my own sanity.” I’m so thankful for my friends and family who are wonderful support systems. I tend to be the person that is okay with staying home, playing with my son, being the introvert, reading a book, going on a walk with my dog and son, but I can get stuck in my own little world- it’s all too easy.
I’m thankful to those people in my life who remind me that they are continually there for me, those people who remind me to look outward- to ask for help when I need it.
I’m still learning the importance of asking for help and being humble enough to do so. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of being human, the need for relationship, and the reminder that I’m not God and don’t have it all together.
God placed these wonderful people around me for a reason, and it’s these growing, daily relationships that keep me sane at times. And I’m thankful to those won’t leave me alone.
4) My car accident-
In August of 2010, an intentional directional disruption took place in my life. I was in a devastating car accident that could have taken my life. It was a needed hardship that God allowed to happen in order for me to be saved.
Prior to my accident, I struggled on a daily basis. Deep within my heart, I desired a relationship with the all-knowing, all-powerful God, but I didn’t know how to get it. I placed too much emphasis on “doing the right thing”, and when I didn’t “do the right thing” I was devastated. I continued to hold myself to a standard I could never reach, and so I chose not to. I chose to chase after things of this world- more education, more money, more fun, more stuff, to fill an empty void that seemed to continue to always be hungry and never satisfied.
In August of 2010, my life changed. As I was crossing four lanes of traffic in my Ford Taurus, I was struck on the driver’s side of my vehicle by a large SUV. I don’t remember getting hit. Thank, God.
I couldn’t open my eyes as I lay on the pavement, but someone was holding my hand. Someone had pulled me out of my vehicle. He said, “Amber, you’re going to be okay. You were in a car accident.” I never met this helpful stranger.
As sirens approached, and I was loaded onto a backboard with straps around my head, I remember intentionally wiggling my toes to make sure I wasn’t paralyzed. My eyes wouldn’t open until I was in the ambulance and on my way to the hospital.
Multiple scans and tests were done. My body hurt, I was vomiting from the pain, but I didn’t know what was wrong. It was then determined that my condition was worse than they had thought, and I was taken in a flight-for-life helicopter to the nearest trauma center. The tests and scans showed I had eight fractured ribs, bleeding on the outside of my brain, a fractured pelvis, a fractured hip, and a punctured lung.
The doctors, my family, and friends were amazed that those were the only injuries I had. I remember someone saying I was lucky to be alive, and another person corrected them by saying that luck had nothing to do with it, and I believe that’s true.
Recovery took some time. I was in the hospital for a week, I had a walker (yes, a walker) for about a month, and then crutches for another month, and then it took about six months to get my strength back. I’m beyond thankful for my current mobility and abilities; I never want to take those for granted.
Throughout this time, God was doing a great work in me. I had a new teaching job, in a new city, without any family within 5 hours of me. It was a lot to tackle on my own after a trauma. God connected me with a wonderful church family that helped me to grow in learning more about who Jesus Christ truly is.
I learned that it wasn’t about my “good” works, it wasn’t about how “good” I was doing from a moment-to-moment basis, it was about what He had already done for me, thousands of years ago, on a cross because He knew me, and loved me, before I knew Him. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice so that I could truly be in relationship with Him, so that I could be adopted into God’s family.
The only sacrifice that would cover my sin would be through God sending His Son to die on a cross for me. I needed a pure, holy, Lamb of God who is blameless, sinless, and the ultimate example of God’s true character. Nothing else can restore my relationship with a Holy God, but Jesus. As Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” –John 14:6
As I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I also accepted to follow Him all the days of my life. By this, I’m still an imperfect human being, but because of the acceptance of who Jesus is, I am made perfect in God’s eyes because He sees Jesus’ impeccable record, and not my tarnished one. And because of this undeserved gift that can’t ever be bought or earned, I want to live my life to the glory of God. My good works are now because He works through me, and not because I want to earn his favor.
While I am in the flesh, sin will always be a struggle. But, He continues to mold me day-by-day to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to live a life that glorifies my Father in Heaven. Without the ultimate gift of Jesus, I would not be where I am today. And I pray that He would use my life so that others may come to see Him and know Him.
God used heartache, injury, stress, and chaos to change my entire life into something for His good. Each day I’m learning more and more about God’s character, and I’m excited to continue to learn of who He is for eternity.
So, here I am at 30. Thankful to be here, and thankful for what God did for me and continues to do in my life thanks to Jesus.
What are you thankful for today? Even if you are having a rough day, what’s one thing you can say that you’re thankful for?
If you had a time in your life that God really used chaos or a trauma to influence you, what was it? How did He change your life because of your circumstances?
Thanks for sharing!