If I could use one word to describe 22, it would be “full”. Full of obstacles to overcome, lessons to be learned, & love to be given and received. My 22nd year taught me many things but here’s a quick journal of the top three ❤️
1. Life is full of adventure & whimsy. But only if you let it be.
I’ve come to the conclusion that too many people let life be mundane and boring. Through a sunrise, God invites us into whimsy every morning & through a sunset He readies us for more adventure to come tomorrow. He’s constantly inviting us to an extraordinary life.. through the birds singing, through the ocean roaring, through the seasons changing. But its a choice. We can wake up every morning and see the sunrise as just anther day, or we can allow ourselves to see the extraordinary in ordinary things.. & respond to God’s invitations to an exciting life.
My challenge to you (& to myself).. always, always say yes.
Whatever invitation comes your way, or whatever idea pops into your head, say yes. Random idea to spontaneously go on a trip that day? Say yes. Huge cliff before you that you want to jump off of into a body of water? Don’t pass that by. Simple invitation to hang out with friends on a Tuesday night? Say yes to that too. From the simple to the extraordinary – just go. Life is to be lived.
2. God’s favor, blessing, & promises on our lives don’t always look the way we thought they would.
Sometimes His favor over your career means working at a daycare for a time.. so that you can learn to walk in your calling no matter what position you have.
Sometimes His blessing over our finances means He allows us to suffer & barely make it through each month for a time.. to learn compassion for those who are poor, to fully understand that every penny is His in the first place, to create a trust for Him in us that has deep, unshakable roots, to learn the indescribable beauty of receiving, & so that generosity may increase in our heart.
Sometimes His promises come only through and after the trials. For me, this meant getting terribly sick for a long period of time and all of my inward ugliness being exposed. I used to think my greatest strength was my greatest weakness. But now I know that all I am is weakness. Yet somehow God looks, perceives beauty, & calls forth strengths. It is through the trials and testing that we become ready for our promised land.
3. God is romantic. And we should be too.
Romance always flows from a place of passion, is directly connected to love, and has an inevitable destiny of pain.
Romance is scary because it puts our hearts in a vulnerable place. But God is constantly romancing us, every single second of every single day. & He says we are worth the vulnerable place it puts His heart in.
Maybe I should call it something else because the connotation for romance in our culture means getting a girl flowers on Valentine’s Day (& that’s not romance). Im guna call it, “leaning in”. In all of our relationships (friendships and family too) we have a choice every second to “lean in” or “lean out”.
I’ve learned the beauty in “leaning in” no matter what. When someone you love has hurt you, lean in. Continue to love them with your entire heart. Continue to pursue them. When you’re scared of the potential of getting hurt, lean in then too. When you love someone more than then love you, lean in even more.
Let yourself be passionate about people. Don’t hold yourself back from loving a person fully.. and don’t keep from expressing how passionate you are for them.. no fear or pain is worth holding yourself back from love. No matter what kind of pain or sacrifice may come from romancing.. from leaning in.. from loving fully.. the person is always, always worth it.
Love is by far the greatest human experience. How sad it is when people stifle it.. they rob themselves & others of so much.
So lean in when you’re hurt, buy people extravagant presents, celebrate them fully for all that they are, do spontaneous things for people, go to great lengths to pursue those you love. My 22nd year taught me to always love as wildly and extravagantly as possible. Its not always easy, but it makes life worth living & it makes you come alive.
//22 you were good to me. Here’s to 23 and all of the obstacles, lessons, romance & adventure coming my way✌🏼