Lately I've felt a little bit lost. Like I've lost myself, somehow. When I walk by a mirror and glance at the reflection, I've found myself thinking "Who is that?"
I suppose part of it is how my appearance has changed over the past years. Not necessarily in a bad way, but it has changed. I am different from the person I was when I had my first baby. I do not look like the girl in my wedding photographs (and that's not such a bad thing - I was a lot heavier then). My hair is different these days. My clothes are different. I wear glasses instead of contacts.
And I feel different, too. Experience? Maturity? Loss of a certain naivete? Perhaps.
Certainly I've experienced much more life than I had back then. I've become a mother, with all the richness and anxiety that role can bring. I've birthed four children, and mourned one I never got to hold. I've seen more of the world (though there's still so much more I'd like to see!). I've learned to be more giving, less selfish... to set boundaries, and to be more generous when I have to share my husband.
I was 14 when I first met Jeff. When I was 20 years old, we were married. At age 24, we moved halfway across the country to put down roots in a completely new place. I was 26 when my first child was born. At lot has changed since those days.
My beliefs about childbirth, food...the way God made our world and our bodies...have altered drastically as well. My priorities have changed, and with each change that comes into my life, something shifts a bit.
The process of learning is ongoing. I'm learning to assume others are acting with positive intent; that there are always (at least) two sides to every story.
This past year - 2010 - was rich, as well as challenging.
My family moved into our new home, made new friends, had a baby. There were so many highs, as well as lows I never imagined I'd have to face. And at age 34, I'm starting to catch a glimpse of what this new phase of my life really means.
And so, who am I these days? Am I different from the person I was 5, 10, 20 years ago? Undoubtedly. Yet, I would venture to say that, for the most part, the changes are for the better. The things I've been allowed to experience have shaped me, grown me, stretched me. I'm growing more and more into the woman God intends for me to be.
I don't know what the future holds, but I know that I am in His hands. And so, as I'm stepping into this next year, I choose to embrace the future. Yes, there will be challenges. Gravity may not be as kind as I hope. People may not be, either. But here I am, plunging in, hand in hand with my husband. We know that as we leave ourselves at the Lord's feet, He will lead us onward. He who promised is faithful!