Reflections on 40


Tomorrow’s my birthday. I’m turning 40. I wish I could say I’m super excited about it but I don’t like to lie.

I’m not where I’d thought I’d be at 40. My goal was to be working as a screenwriter, making 80K a year all while married to a man who loved me and the Jesus in me.

And yet on the eve of my birthday, I find myself (once again) unemployed and single, and living with a cat that barely tolerates me.

What the hell?

I know, you were expecting some beautiful, Jesus-filled insight about being exactly where I should be and loving it. Uh, no.

I’m where I am partially by my own hand and partially because things like unemployment just happen.  But I still hate being here. I desire more for my life. And so does Jesus.

I want to be living as He wants me to; doing life the way He intends me too and I am questioning if I am pleasing Him. Is my unemployment and “singleness” due to disobedience? Is this a lesson I need to learn? Am I being punished?

I’ve been praying (whining and fretting) to Jesus and He is clearly listening and responding to me.  In fact, He is very clear He has a plan (I wished He’d tell me what it is but then I’m pretty sure I’d screw it up) and He intends to move with power in this season. His intent is to refine me, not punish me.

So, 40 cometh. And I am thankful that He is in it. The other stuff? Not so much. But I doubt the gold enjoys the fire either or the clay, the wheel but I will trust in the hands of my Maker. I will meditate on Psalm 118 and remember:

This the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. (v.24).

So this is my prayer for my birthday: May this next trip around the sun be filled with the Son.


5 responses »

  1. Yeah, my 40’s are turning out not at all the way I’d antitcipated and I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up. But know this Wiseman, you are loved not only by your dude Jesus, but others in your life. And if some people and things make life suck for awhile, then just punch them in the face and walk away.. well, thats what I do (in my mind….)

  2. It really hit me when you used the word “punished” to describe not having a job. I used the exact same word today (I am not making that up) to describe having 4 part time jobs. Is that what they call ironic or are we just a couple of malcontents?

    • Alanis would say ironic, but she doesn’t have a good grasp of the meaning of the word;) And the Pollyanna in me says to you, “Think of the variety you get to experience!” and to me she says, “Think of all the time you have to write!” But the Malcontent in me, she pokes Polly in the eye and says, “suck it.” Thankfully our God is not this kind of Trinity.

  3. I take issue with the word “punished”. It is possible, and I have no insight from God on this, that you are being disciplined, but you are not being punished. When I was just about turning 40, I was asking (maybe complaining) to God about some things in my life that I didn’t like and he told me that he was disciplining me. Truly. This made me stomp around a bit telling him that discipline was something I did to my kids and that I was too old for that sort of thing. That wasn’t true though; unfortunately 40 isn’t too old for God to be teaching us things we need to learn and to be refining us and turning us into the people he wants us to be. Moses was in the wilderness for forty years before God used him to lead the people out of Egypt – and that was after he was grown up.

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