Shannon Dittemore



Today is my 33rd birthday. I’m as old as God.

Well… not technically.

But, Jesus was 33 when the whole crucifixion/resurrection thing happened.

So, it kinda counts, right?

I knew it was coming. I did. I just… well… 30 is no big deal. It’s so close to to 29 that it’s like you’re an honorary member of the twenty-somethings. And 31, well, that’s not too different. You just get another gold star on your honorary twenty-something pin.

And then there’s 32.


32 was my denial year. And denial is a feat easily accomplished. When you’re crazy busy, it’s easy to ignore just how very in your thirties you are.

But, now that I’m 33, there’s just no denying it. There’s no ignoring it. And really, what’s the point? Everyone else knows. God (who is infinitely older than 33) knows. It’s best if I just say it.

*deep breath*

I’m a thirty-something.

So weird.

I think it would be easier to swallow if I didn’t feel like I was stranded on the island of in-betweens. Being in my thirties is like puberty all over again except this time, I’m fighting both zits and wrinkles. (Why God, why?!!)

But, seriously, all of a sudden I’m on this precipice–one that looks an awful lot like the playground at Sylvan Jr. High–and all around me is possibility. New friends and new lessons. My extra-curricular activities have changed. My skill-set is different. My interests are evolving and I’m not nearly so scatterbrained as I was in my twenties. I’m focused. And I understand–really understand–that God has a plan.

See what I mean? Possibility.

But there’s also that awkwardness. The same awkwardness I felt when I donned a peacock costume and ended up being the only kid dressed up for the 7th grade Halloween party. For the record, once you’ve sprayed your hair blue and green, a wardrobe change makes little difference. You still look like a peacock.

But, I’m feeling my way into new territory, putting my hopes and dreams out there, praying, praying I don’t embarrass myself (hello peacock). PRAYING my new friends like me, knowing all the while that if everyone loves me, I’m probably doing something wrong. If I don’t ruffle a few feathers, I probably haven’t made a strong enough statement.

Still, this precipice is a strange place to be.

In a way it’s like the calm before the storm. Or before what might be, could be, a little turbulence up ahead. It’s like things are about to happen…. or not. And in a way, it’s tempting to stay here, on this precipice. It’s tempting to hold onto this moment. It’s tempting to sit down, cross my legs, and refuse to go one step further.

But even as I type this, I know it’s not possible. I imagine myself there, on my pretend cliff, staring into the next decade of my life and I know that I didn’t make it here alone. In denial, in frustration, in love and joy, in pain and loss–surrounded by friends and family–I was carried to this place.

To 33.

Gosh, that’s a big number. And though I’m not guaranteed another breath,  whether it’s in this life or the next, I know it’ll be my Creator who carries me off this mountain and onto the next one.

And so I find myself grateful.

Grateful for the 33 years I’ve had to spend with my parents and my sisters. With my huge, wonderful, crazy family. I’m grateful for the decade I’ve had with my husband and the beautiful children we’ve made. I’m grateful for jobs and opportunity and I’m even grateful for the awkward moments I stumble into.

Because they’re proof that I’m moving forward. That I’m hoping to make a difference in the future that sprawls before me.

It’s shrouded and uncertain, but it’s out there–this future.

And I’ll never, ever reach it standing here.



  • Comment by Wilma Luke — February 18, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    Keep moving forward,lot of new things to experience.Much life to yet live.Loved reading your thoughts about being 33,. Have a great day

  • Comment by Susan Basham — February 18, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    Well said, Shannon! The journey really Is the fun part!

  • Comment by Krista McGee — February 18, 2012 @ 7:14 pm

    A big high five from Florida! Happy birthday, my friend. And remember — we are eternal beings, so 30-something is nothing. Someday we’ll be thirty million something. Then thirty billion something. And look even better than we do now 🙂

  • Comment by Karen — February 18, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

    Wow… one of my babies is 33… hmmm…wow…oh wow your Dad is getting old…no denial here…lol

  • Comment by Serenity Bohon — February 20, 2012 @ 2:19 pm

    This kills me, because I’m two years older, and the other day I turned to my husband and said, “Oh my gosh, I’m older than Jesus.” Then I went on a little tirade about how he was supposed to have experienced everything we will, he’s gone before us and showed us the way, etc., BUT NOW I AM OLDER THAN HIM. Once I quit freaking out, it kind of made the possibilities seem wide open actually. 🙂

  • Comment by Stephanie Luke — February 22, 2012 @ 10:24 am

    Love you! 🙂 I feel famous getting my ‘sister’ shout-out! 😉

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