Time is ticking to the 29th anniversary of my arrival, hale, hearty and hungry, into this world. This is probably bigger for me than my 30th will be because it is the tenth year anniversary of my adulthood. Ten years ago I started university in a country far away, I started drinking, I fell in love for the first time, and I began to make important life decisions like where I should place my faith and what career I should pursue.
Over the past ten years nothing has gone to plan. My 19 year-old dreams were so pure, so untainted, and my will to fulfill them as they were was so strong and my wisdom complete. But I learned that no matter how much I tried, no matter how resolved I might be, no matter how hard I worked, things would never happen the way I expected them to.
A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.
In the last ten years I almost died twice. My first love and I fell apart, and so did the second love, and the third and so on. My body lost its lithe athletic look in illness and I have fought daily to get it back. I have seen loved ones die, have tested my own faith, and have battled bitterness. In the last year alone there have been many mistakes and much sadness.
I wonder, what would my 19 year-old self think of who I am today? Would she be disappointed in where I am? There are things she would be proud of, certainly. My financial independence, my career changes and successes, my choices in faith. But would she be proud of my visits to bitterness? My frequent alcoholic beverage intake?
Over the next little while, as the day approaches, there is a lot of self-examination to be done. What can I do to make that 19 year-old proud of me? Where have I surpassed her dreams? Where have I failed her?
I owe it to her to get it right – it is her life too.