Photo Cred: Behance Online
For a few months before my birthday this year, I had this dreaded feeling that I was getting older and what did I really have to show for the 29 years I’d walked this earth? I mean, living in this social-media-crazed-world, I’ve found myself comparing my life with others – not to mention having people remind me (consciously or subconsciously) about the “shortcomings” in my life: I’ve been at the same company for 7 years now. I am still unmarried and unattached. I have no kids. I still haven’t bought a home. I don’t have money growing in some fund.
You get the picture.
However, towards the last few weeks just before my birthday I began to seriously reflect on my coming age – 30. It felt so strange to me to think that I had gone through 3 decades – I certainly don’t feel like it (and apparently don’t look like it either). Usually women go on about how old they are as they approach 30 (and I’ve been one of these women), and begin to ask themselves what they have to show for their age. But it’s like I woke up to the absurdity of this thought the other day. Why must it be about what I haven’t acquired or done? Truth be told, I have done so much; gone through a lot; grown so much in these short years of life and I ought to be proud of that.
And so as I celebrate the 30 years God has blessed me with, instead of focusing on what I have not accomplished I want to reflect on that which He has helped me to achieve/execute in that time:
- Giving My Heart to the Man of My Dreams
I may not be someone’s “bae” (lol) and I may not be married yet but I am very much in a committed relationship with the only Man who will meet all my expectations and then some! To a Man who has changed my life radically since the day I said yes to his proposal. To a Man who sees me and all of my flaws but still calls me beautiful and lovely, and calls me His. To a Man whose sole purpose is to make me better. That man is Jesus Christ. This has got to be the greatest achievement of my life because everything else I have done has flowed from this. More than that, my freedom and joy has come from being saved and from being in relationship with Jesus.
- Moving to Foreign Cities Alone
I’ve been described as a pretty independent woman – since I was a child actually. Apparently I started walking at 9 months and refused to breastfeed from 6 months of age. I have seen my independence in how I have been able to just pack my bags up and go start afresh in 2 different cities in my 30 years of living (I know, not a lot but hey it was much to me!). The first time was when I moved to Cape Town for university and then in 2009 when I moved to Johannesburg for work. Like some of you, I had to figure life out alone and I had little help doing so. It wasn’t easy but I did it. I found places to stay. I made friends from scratch. I navigated the transport systems. I learnt how to protect myself and survive. I found a church family. I don’t know about you but I think that’s pretty amazing!
- Becoming Debt-Free
I maintain that slavery has not ended especially for the black man. It just keeps changing faces over time. One of the ways in which we are enslaved today is through debt. There was a time when I was shackled but thank God I saw the light and have made inroads to become free. At 30 years of age, I can confidently say that I am 98% debt-free! Besides a phone contract that I intend on paying off before this year ends, I owe no-one anything. What I eat, what I drive, what I wear and what is in my home is paid for. I am grateful to God for that peace of mind.
- Overcoming Life
Each of us are born into situations that are not 100% perfect. There is something that we each need to work through and overcome whether it be family issues; inherited traits and behaviours that are not good for us; external circumstances that put us down; and not to mention sin. I’ve written a bit about my own story and journey here, and the things I’ve had to fight through. As has been the case for some of you, life has not always been fair and I’ve had moments where I didn’t think I’d make it. But God’s grace has been sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9). He’s helped me through. I’ve grown stronger, wiser, kinder, more patient, understanding, and confident with each day. It’s been a journey but at 30 I can stand taller and say that with Jesus on my side there is nothing I cannot overcome!
As a Zimbabwean, education is something that I’ve taken for granted because education has always been important amongst my people. Getting a degree is normal there. However, when I sit and reflect on it and when I realize how many people have not been blessed with this opportunity I can celebrate the fact that I have gone through this system. I am eternally grateful to my parents who ensured that my siblings and I received only the best education. I cannot thank them enough. But I have not stopped there. I have always pushed myself to learn more. I made sacrifices to further my studies once I started working so that I could fulfil God’s purpose for me. I make sure that I constantly read and educate myself in my free time about topics and issues of interest. This is something I can smile at as I enter a new decade of life.
- Enjoying Life!
As I’ve said before, life is far from perfect and it can really bring you down. I can testify to that after the year I just went through. For the majority of my life, I have tended to focus on the negative and I’ve missed out on really living. However, through my twenties and especially as I approached 30, I learnt that life is there to be enjoyed. Christ said that He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). And so, I have chosen to believe Him. I have travelled and explored different places and cultures. I have met and connected with so many people! I have tried out different restaurants and foods. I have engaged in different activities – both indoor and outdoor. I have volunteered my time, money and energies to be there for others in different ways. I have explored life and it has been good J
There are other achievements and milestones I’ve reached in my short life but I won’t bore you with the details. Some are small and some are big in my eyes but the point of the matter is that I have continued to grow in that time. And I must emphasize here that I have not done any of this in isolation. It has been through my God that I’ve managed to get to where I am and also through the people He has brought into my life and surrounded me with. From my family and friends, to mentors and even acquaintances and strangers. No man is an island and we all influence one another.
And so, I look forward to this year. This is just the beginning of my journey and considering what I’ve experienced thus far, I have no doubt there’s so much more greatness in store! My dear bAw, turning 30 is not a burden or a curse. Instead, it is testament to your resilience and strength!
What has been or what was your experience with turning 30? Maybe you haven’t reached 30 yet. What are your hopes for your life then?
This year, my lovely sister (www.rumbidzayiishe.com) and my amazing friends went above and beyond to celebrate my life! Thank you friends for taking the time to show your love for me 🙂