On Christmas Eve, I turned thirty-three. That's three years removed from thirty. Three years past what I remembered to be "old." Or at least, as old as my mom. Or my dad. As old as a parent. A grown-up. And I'm now, most definitively, three years older than that.
There's something that happens between twenty-three and thirty-three. It's a phenomenon I think some would call, "maturing."
You see, the older I get, the less I seem to know. The more years I put between adult motherhood and my college self, the less I know what the heck I'm doing...or which route is the correct...or which parenting guru-author is grounded in truth. Twenty-three year old me had it all figured out. Thirty-three year old me? Not so much.
If this is maturity, maybe I don't want it.
I kind of liked knowing it all...or thinking I did. There is a confidence that comes with having everything mapped out. Black and white makes the world a little easier to navigate.
Nowadays? There is a little more gray. A little more uncertainty as I try, again, to find my footing on holy ground.
So I find myself going back to the basics. Our pastor used to always say, "Do what you know and you'll know what to do." In other words...these days? I'm sticking to what I know.
I know God is good. I know He has preserved His Word for this generation. I believe in redemption and in restoration. I know Jesus has walked on water, out of a tomb and into the hearts of all those who have called upon His name.
I know He is faithful.
I know that, at the end of it all, if the glorification of a Holy God has not been my focus, all my efforts are futile.
So right now, as years are beginning to scream by faster than I can fathom...as time slips through my fingertips before I can grasp the moments and hold on...I cling to Truth.
Maybe growing up is about letting go. Letting go of guilt...of perfectionism...of thinking I know anything about anything.
The road from twenty-three to thirty-three is paved with whole lot of failure and falling down. And once we get here? We've been bruised and battered, healed and restored, crushed and repaired so many times that we stare down the next ten years with a little bit of hesitation and a whole lot more faith.
Maybe it's not so bad...all this growing up and maturing.
It does seem odd to me that the wisdom I need right now, in the thick of mothering, mentoring, and muck, will not completely descend upon me until I no longer need it.
But then? Maybe someone else will need me. Another twenty-three year old mother will stand at the back of the church, clinging to her baby, looking for all the world both scared and solidified in her stance.
Maybe I'll have to guts to walk up to her, take her baby, bounce her on my hip and whisper, with a twinkle in my eye, "Honey, you don't know anything..."