Ten things my 21st year taught me:
10) Adulting, living on your own, & paying all of your own bills is not as scary as you think it will be. To those who are coming upon this season: YOU CAN DO IT.. & when you do, your parents will become your best friends. This is the only time in your life where you will feel like you’re 3 years old again in the sense that your parents have the answer to everything.
9) In all honesty, alcohol isn’t anything all that great. Neither is “going out”. There’s way more fun things I’d rather do & rather spend my money on. Yes, I love my IPA or a glass of red wine. But going out all the time or getting drunk is a waste of life and money. Let’s spend the weekend skydiving, or at the zoo, or traveling to a new place where we can make memories.
8) God uses the unqualified & the broken. In fact, he specializes in doing this. He took me with all of my bumps & bruises & placed me where I was needed. It’s funny how I really didn’t even realize it until after the fact, but he sorta just had his hand over my life & walked me through open doors. All through out this year as I shepherded my group of college aged girls, He took every bit of broken in me &, somehow, in the most beautiful way, used it to help others tremendously and ultimately used it for HIS GLORY!!! The Holy Spirit is always faithful to show up.. And when He shows up, you leave amazed to the point of tears. Every. Single. Time.
7) There are a million and one lessons you learn very quickly as a leader. The two biggest things God taught me of this year as I was in a place of leadership (& these are things He will probably continue to teach me the rest of my life) are HUMILITY and GRACE. These are big lessons to learn, my friends.
6) Being used by God is the best feeling in the world. I do not mean this strictly related to leadership. I’m talking about being used by God regularly on a daily basis. There is a certain energy that comes when your passions are aligned with what the world needs. In the moment that you are ministering & you know that what you are dong is pleasing to Him.. There’s absolutely no better feeling. Nothing tops it & that’s all there is to it. The best part is that all you have to do is SUBMIT and SERVE. These were keywords for me this year. Submit & serve.. And then God does the rest. (“We make it our goal to please the Lord” 2 Cor. 5:9)
5) I will ALWAYS tithe the first 10% of my money! I started doing so this year & the testimonies of Gods provision over my life have been unreal & leave me amazed by his faithfulness. Plus, each month when I give that big chunk of money (well, to me it’s big), it creates the coolest dynamic in my relationship with the Lord where I depend on Him completely! He is always faithful, my friends.. Every single time. This doesn’t only go for money, but for my time as well!! “Id rather live on 90% with Gods blessings than 100% without”. (Malachi 3)
4) At some point this year I learned to find the extraordinary in ordinary things. Clouds, an apple, a sunset. Of course water will always be a big one for me.. There’s just something about water.. Lakes, rivers, oceans. Recently the thing that has been tugging on my heart big time is when I drive by a field. It’s absolutely mesmerizing. Or grass blowing in the wind. These things SCREAM to me of a love that is relentlessly pursuing me. Could it be that God created these things with YOU in mind? That He loves YOU so much that He couldn’t help himself but to express that love? Is it possible that in the creation of the world He found great joy in creating things for the sole purpose of leaving you in awe & wonder.. Or just to make you smile? These moments are nothing but divine to me. I’m thankful that in my 21st year I met Gods love in yet a deeper way. Finding the extraordinary in ordinary things & meeting the relentless love of the creator of it all.. this brings you joy unthinkable.
3) In my 21st year I learned that, just as I give others grace to be imperfect, I need to offer that same grace to myself. This is the same grace that Jesus himself has already give me. I used to over analyze my actions and my motives for everything. But the thing is.. I’m human, I will never be perfect. This year I learned how to extend myself grace to be human. I owe my daddy a thank you for this lesson. In this time, Jesus also taught me of His high honor for me. He taught me that He holds me in high regards even in the midst of my greatest mistakes. This may have been the lesson that changed me in the most elaborate way. I remember sitting with him in my bedroom for literally over an hour, silent. This lesson was built into the crevices of my heart and continues to flow out of me in every area of my life. It taught me how to walk and live in a culture of honor.. Holding those around me in the highest regards.
2) You can hear Gods voice. What do you mean, Katy, you can have actual dialogue with God?? It’s not just one way?? And anyone can talk with God?? Yes. That is exactly what I mean. He speaks to you. He’s speaking to you right now, in fact. And when you hear from Him, it’s the most normal thing ever, at the same time that you can actually feel heaven on earth. A single moment with Him never leaves you the same. I’m thankful that in this year I began learning to hear His voice. Maybe this is no news to you, but it’s something I was never aware of. I’m left amazed. He is so big and there is so much mystery to Him, but I’ve learned to embrace the mystery. And during this process He became my very best friend. In this year He took me through a season of discipline & refinement, but the outcome was more than worth every single pain & frustration.. & At the end of it all, I can honestly say that He is all I need – more than enough for me. He’s the peanut butter to my jelly. My BFF. & He’s ALWAYS good to me. My heart beats for Him.
1) Perhaps the biggest thing my 21st year taught me is the importance of church and community. I could literally write a book on this. In fact, maybe I will someday. I can’t even begin to explain in this little blog post the degree to which getting plugged into Radiant Church has changed everything for me. I forever will believe in the church. I will forever believe in small groups. Blessing, on blessing, on blessing, on blessing. There are no words. But I will say that without my community group – without my church – I have no clue where I’d be right now.
[I pray that I never forget these lessons.]
I turn 22 this coming week. 21 was amazing. It is the year that kalamzoo really became my home. It was a year filled with hardship and blessing simultaneously. It was the year that I grew in the Lord 1,000 miles per hour faster than ever before. It was the year that changed everything. A year of redemption, growth, and testing. It was the year that joy found me again. 22 will come with a lot of change and a lot of unknowns. But when you’re with God through it all, the fears seem so little and even silly compared to the excitement. I’m thankful that I serve a God who created me with potential and purpose – who is more than worthy of my complete trust and entire life. He has an adventure planned for me, I can feel it in my bones. The best is yet to come! Here is to my 22nd year.. ✌🏼️✌🏼❤️