suddenly 30

University gave me the much-needed opportunity to break free from the teen years of sadness and insecurity.  I’m not sure if there was a person in the world happier to leave high school than I was. When I think about those years in university, I remember healing friendships, high-quality mentoring and work I loved, and those three things worked together to take me to a place of peace and stability. I spent my early 20s in a bubble of optimism about the future. There were dreams, plans, visions, goals, desires. Everything seemed within my reach, the world was open, I could go anywhere, do anything, be anyone.

I was going to spend my 20s in international journalism. Yes, I was going straight to the top, bypassing the toil of the police and city beats for the chaos and pain of Kandahar and Darfur. I was going to meet the man of my dreams. We would be married when I was 30, start a family, and I would leave my dangerous, adventure-filled life for him, boys, soccer balls and a minivan. I would cook and bake and sew and parent and teach for 20 years, and at 50 when the children were out of our home, I would turn my eyes toward the next thing, a life of outreach, service, ministry.

After re-reading that last paragraph, I wonder if I am better suited for writing novels than writing about real life.

So what happened? I moved to Australia at 23, and no matter how hard I tried, was unable to even get the most basic of journalism jobs. I did work eventually, some things I liked, other things I hated. There was a year-long trip around the world to the blue seas of Cape Town, the streets of Texas, the villages of Ethiopia and a little town called Geneva. I did meet the man of my dreams, at 27 not 30, we were married and had a son. We do have a stuffed soccer ball from Ikea. Small One loves it. There is no minivan. Yet.

The danger and adventure I searched for did not come from work and places as I thought it would. I found my thrills with God, learning to walk blindly, trust deeper and love stronger.

Is there any greater adventure in life than being loved and learning how to love?

I started my 20s in Arkansas as a freshman in university, dancing to Cher on a bridge in a small town and a meticulously-planned surprise party by friends from my dorm hall. I ended my 20s with Small One, Husband and his family as we planned my father-in-law’s funeral. I cannot help but see the stepping stones from one February 13, 10 years ago to this last one, and they are the stepping stones of a crazy love that held, healed, bound up, and released.

I do not start my 30s with the optimism of my 20s; my dreams are firmly focused on getting a full-night’s sleep. It wouldn’t change the world, but it would change my world. But if I could finish my 30s receiving more love and giving more love, and yes, if I could dream again about what is to come, if I could taste more of the goodness that can only come from the hand of God, I would consider that a decade well spent.

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6 thoughts on “suddenly 30”

  1. Ah…. Dancing to Cher on the bridge 🙂 how I remember that night! Life has it’s own way of working itself out, doesn’t it? I never truly thought I’d be sitting here, with my little girl snoozing soundly next to me, reminiscing about Cher, JBU, and my 20s (which disappear this September). I hope you’ve been enjoying the 30s for the handful of days so far. Love you!

    • Oh Liz!!! Such a wonder memory of you and with you. It still warms my heart to think about it. And now I’m thinking about your Explorer Sport.. special car, special friend, special memories.. Hope you and the little babe are doing well.

  2. This is fantastic-such a good description of the deepening of dreams, rather than the giving away of them. The most adventurous part of my current life is trusting God whole-heartedly. Thanks for the post!

  3. This was beautiful, Devi. It made me happy and kind of sad at the same time…and that’s a magical feeling (for lack of a better word.) I’m glad God took you where He did, and I’m so glad that included a stop-over in my life. 🙂


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