So I turn 33 this month. Some of you reading this may think, "Oh to be 33 again, time flies..." or some of you may be thinking, "33, I didn't know she was that old, man, I hope I never turn 33..." Perspective is an amazing thing.
I have to say I loved my twenties. I was confident and sassy. (Probably too sassy.) Everything was black and white, I was a crusader, I had a whole big world to change (not to mention all the people in it). I learned my spiritual gifts are discernment and prophecy, and I was ready to use them. (If you were ever on the other end of one of those gifts, I'm sorry, I could be brutal.) In some ways it was exciting to learn how to put my gifting to use with the power of the Holy Spirit. God taught me a lot about boldness and truth. I experienced some amazing times of intimacy with God, my faith was stretched, fires were gone through, mountains climbed, it was exhilarating. I also grew relationally in amazing ways. I got married, had my first child, experienced transformation in my family of origin. Good stuff.
As much as I loved my twenties I have, so far, loved my thirties more. Not to knock what I experienced a decade ago but as I look back I shake my head. I knew so little. God has peeled off layers to my soul I didn't know I had. He has taken me deep within and confronted the junk I didn't even know was in there, or at least wasn't willing to acknowledge. The change may be imperceptible to some but to me it's huge.
I think the biggest thing He's done in me is to open my eyes to the real Beck. This year I've been confronted with my own neediness. I've come to realize my acute poverty without him. He's shown me to be the miserable wretch I am. I realize now that my vanity has driven decisions I've made, my anger bullies those I love, selfishness poisons my heart, betrayal is something I'm capable of, yuck. You know what though, that has no effect on how much he loves me, who knew! It may however, have an effect on how much you love me, I have no control over that though. I will say this, the revelation of my true self, broken and needy, has had a profound effect on how I love you. I find the intolerance, judgment, criticism I used to feel at the failure of others is evaporating. I have less to say about the hurts and habits, wounds and mistakes of others, because I don't really care to have mine pointed out. I know I'm a mess, happy for prayer and support, but not really a finger in my face and that's the least I can do for you.
Maybe this is something the rest of you learned a long time ago or maybe you just struggle in different areas, but for someone whose primary spiritual gifting is identifying, making known and calling for the repentance of sin it's huge for me. So, as God is ripping off my mask, has it had a huge impact on my weaknesses? Sadly it seems to have made the struggle even worse. But I think that's because now I see what my behavior should be, holy, and what it actually is and it grieves me. Another thing I've found is when I struggle with my attitude, selfish desires, anger, etc. I can identify a direct correlation to how much time I've spent in His word to me. The Bible has such amazing ability to come alive in our hearts, transforming our minds, draw us closer to Jesus. I knew the Bible did that, I've probably known it for twenty years, but somehow now I really get it.
Another thing I've learned about me, and if you know me well this comes as no surprise, I have an addictive personality. I guess some people just do, part of how the fallenness of this old world comes out in us. I used to be embarrassed by that and it's certainly not something that's easy to say or that I'm proud of. But as I've found such sweet acceptance and love from Jesus as he's pulled that old Beck mask off, not too much actually embarrasses me now. I used to think that Jesus would take away or help me to overcome that addictiveness. But now I realize that he redeems all things and can use even that. He is becoming my supreme addiction, I can't get enough. And I think that's the way it should be, only he satisfies anyway.
I'm sure in another decade as I leave my thirties and enter my forties (gulp) I'll look back and shake my head and say I knew so little. Which is okay because everything comes in it's time and builds on each other. I know that I'm where I'm supposed to be, learning what I'm supposed to learn, growing and changing the way I'm supposed to for right now. Now if only I can remember that tomorrow...