Becoming real

So I turned 29 last week. In case you’ve forgotten basic math in these first weeks of summer, it’s only one year until 30. At least that’s what everyone keeps reminding me. No more cool 20s — no more saying I’m a “twenty-something” — but I’m not crying in my anti-aging moisturizer. At least not until next year, lol.

Something strange happened during my 20s: everything became real. Real in the sense that I’m not just playing house, or playing grown-up like my daughter does with her dolls. This is real life, with real responsibilities, where people around me will have long-term consequences if I can’t keep myself together. Sounds like a downer, but stay with me. It isn’t just about responsibility. Love became real to me. In my husband’s eyes, in my daughter’s smile, in my son’s laughter — yes, definitely. But also in God’s willingness to hold me when I’m broken, God became so very real to me.

In his book Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller writes that “the magical proposition of the gospel, once free from the clasps of fairy tale, was very adult to me, very gritty like something from Hemingway or Steinbeck… Christian spirituality was not a children’s story. It wasn’t cute or neat. It was mystical and odd and clean, and it was reaching into dirty. There was wonder in it and enchantment. Perhaps, I thought, Christian spirituality really was the difference between illusion and magic.”

We all need to learn for ourselves this true-ness of God. No one can rush it for you. But if you ever doubted God’s relevance to your real, adult life — please take it from me that He’s there, He’s real, and He loves you in every moment of your existence.

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