Recently, I turned forty.
I've never been one to feel old, fear getting old, or freak out on my birthdays. Just the opposite. I love birthdays. My birthday, your birthday, Jesus' birthday. I love them all. And I love to celebrate my birthday with God and loved ones. I've spent birthdays camping, visiting different countries, with big parties, and always, with special time with the Lord. With every passing year, I have loved the feeling of growing wiser, more confident, and more love for myself and the life God has given me.
So this year, it was a bit of a surprise when I woke up on my birthday morning feeling indifferent. There was no excitement. No joy. No curiosity. No plans. I felt like I was staring at a blank page, waiting to be written, but I had no desire to grab a pen. I sat in bed asking God what was going on in my heart and mind but felt and heard nothing. I almost let those feelings sit there with nowhere to place them, but then my sister called.
"Happy birthday sister! I'm so proud of you," she said to my surprise. She said it a few times and must have heard my confusion because she began to recount to me all of the things I have done in my 40-year life. "You're a bad___, don't you know that? You have your masters degree, you have a magazine, don't you realize that you're a rockstar?" She told me how she encourages younger girls in her life to go to college because "her sister did it, so they can too". She reminded me that even if my family never says it, they are all proud of me for making something of my life, despite the challenges we grew up with.
After her call, my best friend from high school text me (as her beautiful gift was being delivered to my door) and she also began to remind me of all God has done in my life and that she is proud of me. God heard my heart that morning and brought people who would go beyond a happy birthday wish, but would truly speak life to me.
Feeling encouraged by these conversations, I began to realize why I was feeling so disconnected and indifferent about my birthday. See, it was exactly 10 years ago that I uprooted my life from Phoenix and moved to San Diego to pursue God and go to ministry school. I made that decision not because I felt God calling me to a career or life in ministry, but because I saw the brokenness in my life and knew I needed to run to the arms of the Father. I knew I needed to know who God was and who He created me to be. I had dreams and desires in my heart and made a bold declaration that I would not only follow Jesus, but I would truly give up everything to live like Jesus. As I sat with the Lord on my birthday this year, I realized that over the last 10 years, I have accomplished every goal, dream, and desire that was in my heart. I wanted inner healing, check. To know my identity in Christ, check. To go on awesome adventures with God, check. To walk in my purpose of writing, check. I wanted to have my heart right with the Lord before I married, check. Over the last 10 years, God has fulfilled every promise and I was living in it.
As I thanked the Lord for all He has done, I posed the question "Then why aren't I happy?" The Lord began to show me, that I was walking in my dreams and desires but it was time to create new dreams, it was time for a new vision. I could no longer operate from the 30-year-old Rosie vision board I created 10 years ago, it was time to dream again. Proverbs 29:18 says:
Where there is no vision, the people perish (NKJV)
Without prophetic vision, the people shall perish (JUB)
I spent the morning of my birthday thanking the Lord for the last 10 years of my life, for all He has done, for the growth, healing, miracles, encounters, relationships, victories, battles, and everything in between. I thanked God, that on my 40th birthday, I was able to look back and see that I had become the woman I prayed to be when I was 30. I was so overwhelmed with love and gratitude that I decided to devote my life to the Lord again by getting baptized...again! I brought my plan to my husband, who was a little confused but went with it. We jumped in the car for the 50-minute drive and he baptized me into a new season of dreams and living for God.
I'm still dreaming up my new vision board, but I feel the sense that this year is more about learning who I am today (verses 10 years ago) and letting the new me have her chance to rise. It's a year to leave behind the old version of myself and be confident in the woman I am today. I'm going to let myself live this experience for a bit as I explore what kinds of prophetic vision and dreams God has for me. This year, I'm going to get comfortable in my new wineskin and enjoy being the woman I prayed to be 10 years ago. This year, I'm going to enjoy living in the promises God has fulfilled as I let this new woman in Christ dream again.
I ended my 40th birthday this year at Disney, it felt fitting to begin a new chapter of dreaming in a land where dreams come true.
Ending my 40th birthday at Disney!
(My baptisms through the years)
2013 Catalina, CA
2014 Jordan River, Jordan
2017 San Diego, CA
2023 New Smyrna, FL
2013 Identity Board, based on Ephesians 1.