Faith, Hope and 41

I look smug about this birthday, don’t I?

Last October 7th, when I turned 40, I spent the day tending to my youngest, who was recovering from a, not-so-minor, out-patient procedure he had done that morning. While I would not recommend celebrating your own birthday in that way, I have to admit, it absolutely kept me from focusing on myself, and the fact that I had entered my FORTIES.

I’ve never been afraid of forty. But admittedly, it still stuns me, at times, that I am in this decade of my life.

At that time, I considered writing something about turning 40, but I stopped myself, because, let’s admit it, I was no expert on 40. All I knew was based on hearsay, and emotion, not, necessarily, reality. I was a mere baby in terms of what I knew and felt about it.  I suppose I still am, but I feel a bit more qualified to speak on it now that I’m ‘older and wiser’… *cough*. Or something.

The last several years have all been magical for many reasons, but this year, the year from 40 to 41, has helped me solidify my belief that I am stronger than I ever realized. It’s been a long, hard, winding road getting to this point, but I love going along it. Sometimes, I want to run ahead and know what’s around the next bend, other times, I want to straggle behind and linger in the moment. But I’m always – always – thankful for every moment of it.

Because, I know where I’ve been.

The week I turned 30, my baby girl turned one and we closed on our first home. While there were many cracks already showing, my 30s appeared, from the outside, to be off to a picture-perfect start.

Nearly everything changed from 30 to 40. So much was given and so much was taken away. Sometimes, I feel as though I lived 20 lifetimes in that decade. It was a difficult one, on many levels. I wrote about it a lot on this blog, before the bottom fell out (again), but if you were to go back and look for them, you might not know it. I white-washed much of it. I wanted to find meaning in all of the difficulties, and the suffering. I wanted, desperately, for it to have been for a reason. I needed to find that reason and know it. But, it’s not always easy to see or understand. Sometimes, it just takes faith.

My 30s were built on faith. That was all I had. My 40s are being built on hope.

I am realizing what is meant by older and wiser. I wish it came with a few less wrinkles and sags, but I am trying to embrace those as well.

There are countless variables in life, and I know that anything can happen, at any moment. I see it every day. And that is where the lessons of my 30s, those built on faith, become invaluable. If I didn’t have those, I would be living in fear, because I’ve seen too much happen, and I know what can happen.

But I also know the beauty that can come from those very things; when the wounds become scars.

A wound is messy and always susceptible to being reopened or infected. A scar is where it has healed; a reminder of what was and what is. It does not have to be a shameful reminder.

And that is what gives me hope.

Here’s to my forties.

(linked up with JustWrite)


  1. Beautiful post, Karla! I hope that this decade is the best in your life!

    Happy Birthday!

  2. You are a baby Karla. And happy belated birthday. Last Sunday, my husband celebrated a birthday as well. His fiftieth. (I had rely on spell check to spell it — much less can I believe it.) I’m right there myself so I can honestly tell you my forties were great. A big growing time for me.

  3. Happy birthday! I remember being so relieved to leave my twenties behind. My mother and her family have this fantastic attitude about aging that I just love. They embrace each year and are so excited to see it come. My mom has NEVER tried to hide her age and I follow those footsteps. So many changes have come to me in my thirties and I love them even though they’re difficult…and I am REALLY looking forward to my forties :)

    • http://Karla says

      I do wish that I had less vanity about aging. I never did before (or at least never had it challenged) but the aging process seems to have accelerated so much over the last 3 yrs and my mind hasn’t caught up with processing that yet… that’s what I’m struggling with the most right now.

  4. First of all, Happy 41st Birthday! And the 40s are the new 30s, right? Second of all, that was a beautifully written post and gave me much to think about! Thanks for stopping by my blog, I’m glad I followed you back. I look forward to reading more! And I am HOPEFUL for the future too!

    • http://Karla says

      Thank you, Alexa! :) I appreciate the b’day wishes and the compliments on my post!

      *here’s to the future!!*

  5. Happy Birthday! I turn 40 next year. I don’t really mind, but it’s bizarre.

    • http://Karla says

      I didn’t mind either, Susan. Didn’t think twice about it. But turning 41 did give me pause, which seems goofy…

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