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  • Writer's pictureAshley Thomas

Shattered Illusions

Baby Belle

The rest of this is not about my puppy.

I’m relatively organized when it comes to my thoughts and conversations with other people. If I’m sharing it with you, it’s because I’ve thought about it A LOT.

I don’t like to waste time, and I want to be able to have an answer for why I am saying what I am saying.

I’ve been distant lately. Not completely intentional but a natural reaction to the fears running through my mind.

My greatest fear: turning 30.

Some people may stop there, you may roll your eyes, think “oh, that’s nothing to worry about” or turning 30 was my favorite! While those are all valid and may be appropriate responses for you to have, it’s not at all helpful for a bunch of single people my age right now.

It’s terrifying. The whole, “people are meeting people later in life” is not comforting when you are woman and aware of the time clock in your body.

Furthermore, the whole you’re young you will figure it out doesn’t really apply anymore. What have I figured out? What am I supposed to do next? Wait..I still haven’t completely figured who I am yet?

Time doesn’t stop, even when we want to.

Warning, there is no real conclusion to this piece. I’m still stuck trying to gain peace in my current reality. Clinging to the moments that bring joy to those around me. Channeling my passion for people into a ministry I believe in. Open to the possibility that I don’t know what’s next, but He does.

So 30 is inevitable.

I haven’t done everything I have wanted to do.

I have done some things I never thought I would have the opportunity to do.

None of that makes the situation any less consuming at the moment.

I say all this to say, be kind and be gentle with people.

You never know what they are currently wrestling with. What they are trying to push aside just to get out of bed in the morning.

Those you think have it all together and seemingly “have” it all...most likely don’t.

I shared a few week’s ago that my reaction to life lately has been I explained this to my therapist (yes, I have one - everyone would benefit from one)... we discussed the illusions that have been created in my life. Ones like:

- Success brings you happiness.

- Being in Ministry is always rewarding.

- Timelines for marriage, raising kids, buying a home etc.

- Being vulnerable always produces positive outcomes.

- I am never going to let someone down.

- Death happens later in life, when we are ready for it.

One by one those have been shattered. The good news? They have to be. The bad news, the natural reaction is anger. The hope? We come out on the other side more patient, more aware and more at peace.

Friday, October 25th I turn 30.

The last 6-9 months many of the illusions I’ve spent my life creating have “popped”.

I’m just hoping the last one will be soon (but that’s probably an illusion too).

I’m not unique or special in this. I know everyone has their own shattered illusions and they are learning how to cope with them. I could list them, but you already know them...

So my prayer is this, Father you see and feel that knot in our stomach that makes us want to be sick. You hear our thoughts that torment us and at times derail us. You know our desires and weep with us as we long to receive them. You also know what is best. May your best be the thing we find peace in. Not our own conclusion on “best” but yours. Lastly, as we do life with friends and family would you prompt us on when to speak, when to be silent, when to ask questions and when to just be present.

As we experience our shattered illusions, let’s help one another bring the needle that pops the balloon, and then laughs at the fright that comes from the unexpected noise. Then we can celebrate the good news; it only happens once and then we get to move on.

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