Today is my 30th birthday. There, I said it. That photo of that little baby was taken 3 whole decades ago!
So yes, I’m 30, and I have to admit that I fell asleep a little nostalgic for my 20’s last night, but woke up feeling oh-so-grateful for this new decade. I spent some time reminiscing over the last 10 years, at what seems like a lifetime of lessons in wisdom, heartache, love, adventure, and growth.
You can fit a whole lot of life into 10 years, but I found that all of the lessons I’ve learned have boiled down to one important thing: knowing Jesus.
When I turned 20, I knew Jesus. I knew he was the Son of God made flesh. I knew that he died on the cross for my sins. I knew that he rose from the dead. But, I did not know Jesus. I did not know him intimately as my rock, my friend, my comforter, my peace, my savior. I did not know how he could so radically change the way I experience life.
But today, at 30, I do.
I know how much I need Jesus. I know how much sweeter life is when you walk with the redeemer of the world. I know that the love I have for my husband and daughter are greater, and more meaningful, with Jesus as my example of unconditional love. I know that joy, even in sadness, is complete in Jesus. I know all of these things at 30, and that makes 30 infinitely better than 20 could ever be.
So, my birthday wish is that you would know Jesus. Maybe you know him like I did at 20, but don’t yet know him. Maybe you have never known him, but have thought in the back of your head sometime before that you’d like to. Maybe you do know him and could benefit from a little more time with him. Whatever the case may be, I ask that you would indulge my wish on my birthday and simply sit in these truths about my greatest gift at 30: knowing Jesus.
- He will give you rest. Allow Jesus to carry your burdens. Put them down at his feet and rest. “‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30
- He cares for you. Hand him your worries and know that he is for you. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1Peter 5: 7
- He calls you blessed, no matter your upbringing, your shortcomings, or your social status. “‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'” -Matthew 5:3-11
- He calls you his friend. You have a friend in the King, who desires to know you intimately. “ No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” -John 15: 15
So, wherever you find yourself today, I hope that you find Jesus there too. I know that my birthday, and every day, are so much sweeter for it!