🎋Twenty Years🎋… by JoAnn

A red seal with the words 2 0 years experience.

I heard someone complain the other day that they were turning 40. I laughed inside my head at what a silly statement that was. I thought how nice it would be to be 40 again! That got me thinking back to when I was 40, twenty years ago.

Twenty years can hold an enormous amount of experiences and memories. I had many experiences that were incredibly challenging in my early 40s. The first being a painful divorce. Which then led to being a single mother to my youngest daughter. Moving out of our home, a house I had dreamed of my whole life. Downsizing into a rental that was literally one-eighth the size of the home we left behind. I had a tough time dealing with this change. Then followed the loss of my only remaining parent, my Daddy. I became lost in the grieving of both my parents and had no choice but to leave behind the life I once had with them. Depression set in, and there were many days I did not believe I could continue on. And my early 40s were only the tip of the iceberg of heartache! But from ashes comes beauty, and all of the sorrows were not what God had planned for me.

I began counting some of the blessings that I have received in the past 20 years. All of the joyous occasions I would have missed had I not been around. I saw with great pride all three of my grandchildren being born, and I have gotten to know and love each one as their own unique individual. I have watched their mother, my oldest daughter, become the mother and wife I had always dreamed of being. I have watched her marriage with my son-in-law become a relationship my heart had always hoped for. They continue to amaze me with their love 20 years after their marriage. A marriage everyone thought they were too young for. I saw my youngest daughter graduate high school and become one of the most beautiful young women I have ever known, both inside and out. I saw her marry the love of her life, and the two of them make a stable home they are proud of. I’ve watched them go from teenagers to adults and am amazed at how much they have grown into amazing people. I watched my middle daughter graduate from college with honors. Only to keep going in her education till she reached doctorate status. The things that girl has accomplished in her life truly boggles my mind. All with marrying the love of her life, a young man I considered family long before their ring exchange. I could not be more pleased. My heart has become swollen with pride for all of my children.

In 20 years, I have done a lot of growing myself. After my children were grown and had their lives going strong, I moved around from place to place. But with each move came an opportunity that I could only grow from. God used each and every success and failure to make me a much stronger woman than I ever thought I could be. And because of this, I was left with a broader understanding of myself and life. Not to mention the new friends and family I picked up along the way.

I am happy to say that over the past 20 years, every relationship that is important to me has grown by leaps and bounds. I feel closer to those I hold dear to my heart than I ever thought possible. All in all, the past 20 have been a success. The good vastly outweighs the bad, and I consider myself blessed! Now the question is, will there be another 20 years to experience? Well, I have almost one year down and 19 to go. I’ll let you know in another 20 years how it all turned out.