I think that the older you get, the more you look at yourself and ask: WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE YOU DOING IN THE WORLD? It’s like puberty in your late twenties with only half the acne problems.

And by “looking at yourself” I mean looking at everything you’re doing wrong and how So-and-So could do it so much better. It’s an introspective that depresses me. I’m 28 and I did everything wrong: did not finish college by 22, did not read 100 books by 25, barely finished reading the bible once, I didn’t sleep enough, I didn’t eat healthily enough, I drank too much pop (and some other unnecessary and worse things), I hated too much, I broke down WAY too often and I didn’t give enough. I became a mom too early, and then I question my abilities as one. All in all, I can name at least ten people who are better at adulting than I am.

I question what my role in the world is; I question whether I can be replaced. Do you?

If you Google search ‘what’s the point of my life’ you will get everything from suicidal lifeline and depression forums to how to discover your life purpose in 3 steps, 12.5 minutes or 5 seconds. I wonder if I am the only one who thinks we live in a time when there’s so much information about life (from all perspectives) that we get overwhelmed with life. Was it really this way fifty years ago, 75 years ago, five hundred years ago? Really, this time-space continuum seems to be speeding up. But I digress….

My life has been full of paradoxes, change of opinions, change of habits and change of beliefs. I would dare to say all has improved. So far, a lot has changed and a lot has stayed the same. Speaking of paradoxes…is that my role in life?

And since a picture speaks a thousand words, let’s see if I can explain it this way. This is how I envisioned my life at 28:   

Aaaaaand here is the non-cropped version that could describe quite accurately the big picture:

I’m sure the difference does not escape you: I’m fondly looking at the bride who had just walked down the aisle; I keep thinking of all the craziness (for lack of a better PG word) her marriage will bring, while my then-1.8yo fidgets in my lap, drooling from too much sugar, asking for more cake pops, while my sister’s face pretty much sums up everyone else in my family/life. And now I ask – is this my role in life?

Birthdays are usually full of surprises; good ones and not so good ones. One of the biggest surprises I had on my birthday was to find out I was having a baby girl. But I digress once again.

This is not a memoir so much as it is another lesson to be learned at another birthday. I’ve turned it into a habit to write on this day. It’s therapeutic. And I’m sharing this as a reminder that life is full of surprises. Speaking of which, is being surprised every other birthday my purpose in life?

What is my role on this planet; in this world? There’s so much that needs improvement all around me, yet I can barely seem able to change my own heart. I have to go back to the Word because that’s where I draw my ability for it-Philippians 1:6 says ‘For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.’

Oh, perfection, how I long for you! How I long to make a difference, to stop the doubting (self and otherwise), to be…. irreplaceable. The work in me is not over and now, a retrospective introspective:

About 25 years ago, I was not following my grandmother’s footsteps to the garden, I was following an angel on the path to growth. Fourteen years ago, I was not following my sister to the same high-school; I was seeking refuge in the wrong places. Thirteen years ago, I was not following the hearse to my brother’s grave; I was seeking healing and forgiveness. Ten years ago, I did not follow my sister to the United States, I followed a little sad instinct that God wants me on a road less traveled. Five years ago, I did not follow freedom from bad choices; I followed God back on the road he wanted me on. When I married my husband, I did not follow him to ministry; I followed a blind date with my Savior on a rocky serpentine. When I finally graduated college, I did not follow the right path to a worldly career; but I followed a feeling I became irreplaceable to Him. Why was my graduation the moment of epiphany? I don’t know. But I know this: This birthday caught me by surprise once more: I was irreplaceable to Him all along.

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