It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog and I’m so excited to share what’s been on my heart with you! I recently celebrated my 24th birthday and it caused me to do a lot of thinking and reflecting. My very first thought was, “When in the world did this happen?” I can’t believe that I’m 24 and officially living an adult-ish life!!
My next few thoughts are where the reflecting came in. There have been so many lessons that I’ve learned in this past year. Every day I’m learning something new, discovering a small part of life I’ve never noticed before, or simply making a mistake and taking note of how I could make a better choice in the future. It’s an exciting and intense time in life! It would be nearly impossible to share every lesson learned, however, I wanted to share a few that have forever changed my perspective about this crazy thing we call life.
So, here we go…
Lesson number one: “Skip the drama, stay with mama!”
While I don’t mean this literally (please move out of your mama’s house eventually) the statement is so true and makes me chuckle to myself every time this quote comes to mind. As a teenager I often thought I had this whole thing figured out and when I hit twenty my stupidity only worsened!! I was without a doubt a victim of the “I’m grown” syndrome and secretly thought I was such a boss. Then finally, at the great age of 23, I moved out of mama’s house and let me tell you, my parents are now some of the smartest people I know! It’s amazing how the things they taught me throughout my life are now a reliable road map to help guide me through the difficult moments in my life. So many times I wish I would’ve just simply trusted and obeyed their loving advice, but of course I had to figure it out on my own. The hard work and love they put into being my parents has never been more obvious than it is to me right now.
Lesson number two: Create goals, not expectations.
Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a dreamer and a planner. I have a huge imagination, because of this imagination I’m so quick to set extremely high expectations for my life and how I think everything should happen. For example, I’ve always had high expectations for my husband, when I would be married to him, when I should have kids, how many kids I should have, where I would live, what my house would look like … you get the point. Unfortunately, I’ve quickly learned that when it comes to life it just doesn’t work that way. Things don’t ever happen the way you expect them to. I never would have guessed that as a 23 year old I would be moving out to Tulsa, Oklahoma, single, and going back to school. Based on my expectations, my life was way off track and nothing close to how I imagined it would be at this point. After throwing an extraordinary pity party for myself one day I went to class and one of my professors said something that would forever change my point of view. “You can’t control the events that happen in your life, but you can determine the outcome based on your response to them.” I may not ever fully understand why things happen when they do or why I plan to go one direction and life seems to take me the opposite way. But instead of sitting around and wishing things were different I must learn to respond positively and with the determination that no matter what road it takes to get there, I will arrive to my goals and dreams. I’ve learned to make goals in life not create expectations. When I have a goal that I am focused on it doesn’t matter what circumstances are thrown my way or how long it takes, I’m determined to reach that goal. When I create an expectation I only put pressure on myself to make things happen just perfectly, and in the end will be disappointed when it doesn’t look how I imagined it would or happen when I expected it should happen.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Once I’ve determined what God has called me to do my only job is to trust Him and pursue that calling with everything I have. His plans for me are good, His timing is perfect, and it’s not my job to create superficial expectations for my life based on what I think it should look like!
Last but not least…Lesson number three: Embrace vulnerability
In Genesis 2:18 God says, “It is not good for man to be alone…” I can already see all the singles pulling out their white hankies like, “Yessss GOD!” Today, I want to present a slightly different perspective then what we typically understand from this Scripture. More than speaking solely of marriage I think God was also saying that we as human beings were not created to be alone. He created Eve to be a helper for Adam and in the same way He places people in our lives to be a support and a help to us.
Many times this year I learned this lesson the hard way. My natural tendency when I’m going through something is to push it down and not let anyone know. I immediately resort to isolation and don’t feel I should “bother” anyone with the struggles I’m facing. This is so wrong! Life is all about community and being there to hold each other in the difficult moments of our lives. By keeping things to myself I was only making the feelings and emotions worse. There is so much freedom in vulnerability and openness. We never know how someone else can help or encourage us if we would be willing to lay down pride and embarrassment and simply ask for help. Vulnerability isn’t easy, it shows others that we are actually human and sometimes exposes our weaknesses. It’s never easy to admit to someone an area where we are flawed, or an area that’s open and sensitive like a bleeding wound in our hearts. However, it never ceases to amaze me that when I choose to be open and honest I get the perfect encouragement and boost I need to keep going. Simply sending a text that says, “ I need a friend…” has been such a lifeline for me. We live in a generation that tends to be staged to perfection. We look on social media and compare our inner insecurities to someone else’s highlight reel. I don’t know about you, but sometimes this causes me to try and pull myself together, pretending I’m ok, instead of admitting that something is wrong and I need help. Embrace vulnerability and embrace the people that God has placed in your life, you are never alone!
As I said before I could go on and on. What a year it has been! I’m so thankful for the good things, the amazing new relationships, the tests, and the character building moments that have come my way. I know they are only preparing me and shaping into to the person God has called and purposed for me to be. I hope that these lessons I’ve shared can encourage you in some way and maybe show you that you’re not alone. We all struggle and walk through things, but the important part is being able to look back and learn from each and every moment, the good and the bad.
I’m excited for all that 24 has to offer me and I’m looking forward to continuing in this journey God has me on. Let the adventures continue!
Peace out 23!!
Until next time,