Here I am, arriving at another birthday. Twenty-five turned out to be the best year yet, and I am sad to say goodbye to it. But in the spirit of optimism, I’m out to make 26 even better.
Here is what I said (summarized) on my last birthday:
Being a twenty-something sucks is really hard sometimes.
After this year, I would add to that: “…but also really wonderful.” Look, I won’t disagree that the twenties are rough. I have experienced the challenges of being poor, single, jobless, lonely, and miserable (for those of you who somehow have forgotten, refer to “22” by Taylor Swift). But I have also experienced community, friendship, and JOY like never before. Vulnerability, grace, and growth happen in these years. And it is beautiful.
Here is the deal – we have to learn that none of those things define us. Your paycheck, relationship status, job, and feelings don’t dictate who you are. (You can be single and happy?! *gasp*) In this time of transition, where it feels like the floor is shifting below us on almost a daily basis, we have to know our foundation. We have to be rooted in Jesus. If you are stable there, all the things crashing around you won’t shake you like they used to.
People are all that matter.
Yes, this is still completely true. I believe more than ever that we are here on this earth for the sole purpose of loving one another and leading each other towards Jesus. If I were a tattoo person (which I’m not, Dad), I would get one of an arrow – because that is all I want to be. I want to point people towards Jesus, the real true GOOD Jesus. And when we really know Him, that is when we really get to know ourselves. We see ourselves through the love of Christ and suddenly we can believe that we are worthy, good, and lovable.
This is an area where I feel completely spoiled by God. In every area of my life I am surrounded by incredible people. I don’t know how to explain it. My home, job, small group, family, and everywhere else is filled to the brim with quality people. I’m so grateful.
Trust is really hard, but really good.
To which I say to myself: amen, sista friend.
Trusting God is really hard, but really good. Trusting ourselves is just hard. No good. I sit here a year later in a different house, with a J.O.B. and a degree, and I can tell you with every fiber of my being that HIS PLANS ARE BETTER. I’m not yelling at you, it is just true.
I never thought I would be where I am today, and I am so grateful. My family never thought we would be where we are today, and for so many things we are grateful. My best friend never thought she would be where she is today…you get where this is going. Life is unexpected, plan to be surprised, because Jesus is the King of Surprises and they are just always for an extraordinary purpose.
Other random thoughts:
Worrying? Pointless. (But I do a lot of it.)
Yeah, that is still a thing. But I am motivated to not be owned by my fear – because Brené Brown says “The opposite of JOY is not sadness, it is fear” and all this is why I gave it up for Lent.
Fear is small, ugly, and mean. Personified it would be that girl in middle school who invited everyone to the party except you, and then made sure you knew about it.
JOY is…well, Pixar did it best: Blue-haired free spirit inspired by Audrey Hepburn and voiced by Amy Poehler. So.incredibly.accurate.
Planning? Also somewhat pointless. God’s plans are better. (But I still do a lot of that too.)
*See point number 2. Also, one of my best friends left me a voicemail the other day that said, “I just pulled out my planner…I think of you everytime.” She can tell you a great story about the year I said I wanted office supplies for my birthday.
Online dating? Haven’t tried that one yet.
I mean…I may be dipping my toes in that murky water. I’m still dreaming I’ll meet Chris Evans in the ice cream aisle at Safeway –
Chris: Having trouble deciding?
Chris: Why don’t I make it up to you with a box of donuts and a wedding ring?
Kallie: That works for me.
A GIRL CAN DREAM, OK?
Friends, gosh – more than anything in this world, my birthday wish is that you would seek Jesus and know Him more. Or meet Him for the first time. He has transformed me and made me more of who I was intended to be, and that is the greatest gift anyone can give. He is real, He loves you, and He is good.
All is well, dear one. Seek JOY, laugh, dance, live fully. That is my birthday wish for us all. For your viewing pleasure, here is me twenty years ago at 6 years old (apparently this was a princess year…but let’s be real, they all are):