Well, since I’m doing this in reverse, I think the next memory stone would really be my 40th birthday. Yes, I know that’s a huge 5 year gap but I’ll cover the gist of that 5 years in this one post…you’re scared aren’t you...me too!
My 40th birthday was actually really sweet. My dear husband attempted to have a surprise party for me with all our ‘closest’ friends, but since 6 people weren’t enough for a decent surprise party…he invited nearly our entire church, to our 1500 s.f. home. He was in school and working…so guess who ‘threw’ the party? Yep, me…mostly. It was fine really. That way I felt more in control of it and Lord knows I like control, even more so back then.
We limited the gifts to what people could create or make on their own. That was the most wonderful part, seeing what people could create.
My 40th birthday was unfortunately also a time when I was deeply struggling with our infertility and Satan had me fully convinced that I was not worthy to have a child and God would NEVER give me a child because of my sin and my past and I was basically a bad person. Of course it didn’t make it any easier seeing people pop out babies right and left…including those who didn’t even want children.
The turning point for me came after reading this book, by this person, which I happened to WIN at the CWA site. I blogged about it here and here. It absolutely changed my life when I realized God wasn’t angry with me…His plan was just something different. By then I was 43, so you see it wasn’t overnight. I still thought about it some and hurt about it often, but God and my loving husband helped me realize God had another plan. Part of that plan is to remind other mothers’ regularly to LOVE those babies and to LOVE those kids and to LOVE those teenagers and to LOVE those annoying young adults and to LOVE those grandbabies…because it could have gone another way.
Part of that plan is still unknown to me because I choose to continue to swing back and forth from God’s playground to the enemies. God says He’ll use me when I’m willing and when I’m fully His. I just keep playing paddy cake with the enemy…
My 40th birthday was also a time when I had lost ALMOST all my extra weight. I looked better than I had ever as an adult. I also quit smoking when I was 40. Sadly… over the past 5 years I’ve gained almost all that weight back, but I will NEVER smoke again! I keep thinking I’ll eventually lose this extra weight, but even if I don’t I’m ALMOST at a place where it doesn’t completely debilitate me anymore.
The other BIGGEE for me during the first half of this 4th decade has been the church-shopping experience. Since 2003 we’ve been to:
The Edge – I fell clean off that edge.
Church on the Rock – Gun-toting members…so NOT kidding.
Bridgeway – Not one person spoke to us and we went twice!
People’s Church – Really great church but not where we belong.
Real Church – average age 17-21, we would DEFINITELY be the oldest!
Northwest Christian Center – Sweet, sweet people, but the pastor put me to sleep…seriously!
NorthView – Not allowed to wear jeans and I just can’t do that. God doesn’t care what I wear!
Passion Church – Scared me and my HUSBAND…not easy to do!
New Church – Good solid church, but a bit too liberal (can you believe I’m saying that?)
Journey Fellowship – Great church, GREAT Pastor, I just couldn’t agree with the bylaws and constitution. Still the saddest church departure for both my husband and me! We LOVE these people and this church! This is where I went through some great spiritual healing.
Passion Church – Scared my HUSBAND!
NorthChurch – I’m just not ready for a MEGA-CHURCH yet.
The Gathering – where we landed for …such a time as this!
Suffice to say I feel like a serial ‘church-dater’ and frankly if I could find even a semi-great home church that’s where I would STILL go!
I think that is probably enough for this chapter and I leave this age with sweet & bittersweet memories. I truly have loved being in my 40’s because it has been a time when I didn’t have to focus on the outward as much and a time when God helped me focus on the inward and such sweet, sweet healing.