30 never looked so good…

 

Well, if you’re reading this then turning 30 did not kill me. So that’s something to celebrate.

You’re either thinking two things right now:

  1. OMG SHE IS 30 – I DON’T WANT TO BE THIRTY
  2. What? The thirties were the best time of my life!

**If you hated your 30’s – no need to share!**

I have been saying for months I was #basically30 when asked my age. I’ve taken this birthday as a journey…. a transition, if you will, out of one decade and into the unknown of another. Leaving behind a decade means you really can’t go back to it. It’s over. You either sucked all the life out of it, piled up those regrets mile high, did a few cool things and made a few messes, crawled the crawl of death to the finish line, or ran right to the end. It really doesn’t matter which of those options we fall into (or if you opted for a different route) because we will say goodbye and hello in the same amount of days, hours, minutes, and seconds as the person next to us.

No decade last forever. It just has to end.

This has definitely been my most reflective birthday to date. My twenties felt like they would never be over. They were going to last forever. I packed a lot of life, college degrees, jobs, vacations, and relationships into those 3,650-ish days. Honestly, we had a killer run.

So, how does one sum up a decade? I’m not fully sure. A few weeks ago, I have a few good cry sessions. I called it my “mourning the loss of my 20’s” moments. The safety net that I have “So Much Time” left to build a family and toss a few kids in the back row of my car seemed like it was deteriorating really quickly and for a few minutes I may have thought I was going to die.

In retrospect this is a bit funny because I don’t have some wild desire to get married right now and even if I was I wouldn’t want to have a kid right now – but for some reason a new decade meant I might not get those things. I think since I’ve learned we always feel young on the inside that when the outside reminds you you’re on a countdown it can feel like waves crashing over you.

I cried it out. I prayed it out. And, I’m over it. {Thank you to developing semi-healthy ways to processing life in my 20’s. Be a healthy person, people. Go to counseling}

I didn’t plan to write a birthday blog, but then last week happened. Trusting Jesus is an adventure. While I have watched him fill my life with so many of my heart desires, I’ve stopped chasing crossing the heart desire list off. It’s way more fun to just chase him. In the wake of a weird moment in our community – a very baffling time –  that such young people who should sense wonder and hope – are so filled with fear and loss they cannot go on. I did think of a few things this decade has carved into my soul.

LIFE IS WORTH IT

  1. Your spirituality matters. It drives us from the inside out. From the depths of us, it’s what pushes people to overcome their feelings, social pressures, and to be ok standing out. BECAUSE BEING A PART OF SOMETHING GREATER THAN ONESELF MATTERS. We were designed to wake up to the beauty around us, to be reminded of the goodness in this world, to connect to our creator. It’s why going outside and seeing the world and creation changes us in a moment, God designed his creation and our hearts to commune with him. Get busy communing. No matter your view on God, don’t let your experience with people (his creation) determine who God is to you. He is faithful. He is constant. The craving in your soul will never die down and go away for Him. The sooner you lean into it, the sooner you will experience the ride of your life discovering life with him is the greatest experience on this Earth. Because nothing changes a person like perfect love – LITERALLY NOTHING ELSE.
  2. Your people matter. Seek them out and protect the hell out of them. I cannot stress this enough. Your 20’s means you will drift away from people as you discover yourself and guess what….you’re gonna drift right on back. There is the strangest sense of comfort you will get from forever friends. So end things well with your relationships when seasons pull you apart and if you haven’t ended things well then don’t be too prideful to say you’re sorry. Your 20’s means your line of friends will go through the wildest ride of transitions and transitions are hard on people – throw on top of that the pressure of family and friends and finances and the world and everyone is fighting for the establishment of their adult life. It’s a battlefield, people. If they are not focused on you, it’s not because you don’t have value or worth or they wouldn’t want too if they could. It’s likely they are just drowning a little bit, too. Cut each other loads of slack. Being gracious will win – being right will not.
  3. Say you’re sorry. I repeat, LEARN TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY. This means you’re going to need to be a listener. People will often slip in their hidden feelings into random conversations. Listen well and address them. Don’t let people misunderstand you or misinterpret something – be accountable for your own actions and words. I hate confrontation. I really do. It gives me anxiety in my gut. But, I want healthy relationships more than I want to be passive. Pretty sure I sucked so bad at this for most of my 20’s. LIKE SO BAD. Yay for new decades to do better.
  4. Failure is in these days. Try and try again. Discover what you’re good at. Take personality test. Get to know yourself and seek a mentor to help identify things in you! Those are God-given traits and have a direct link to you living a life that has a sense of purpose. But just know – you’re gonna fail so many times. Maybe in college you thought wanted to be a “insert dream here” but you can’t make the right grades. Maybe you got a degree and can’t land a good job? Maybe you’re drowning in debt? You hate your marriage? You have no friends? You’re home with kids and want to be elsewhere? You left a church on bad terms and can’t face them again but long for community? Welcome to the club of humans! Failing in a moment does not make us a failure, so don’t let your moment name you. Keep going. Own up to your consequences. If you’re seeking Jesus #1 then you can trust that as the redeemer OF ALL THINGS, he can even help you out of the darkest place you may find yourself in. It’s in our worst he scoops us up – you just might be positioned for a miracle.
  5. Your job doesn’t have to be your dream, but it very well may connect you to it. So for the love of all the bosses in the land – be a freaking good employee. No one owes you anything. Owning and growing a business is a tremendous amount of work and pressure that you are likely not carrying, so own your job like it is your own company. Share the weight and trust the journey that even if it doesn’t unlock what you want where you are, it is preparing you to walk into what is next.
  6. Obedience trumps everything. This is my life meter to everything I do. Did God plant me here? If so, then I better not complain and I better dig in. I have said for years, when people start complaining and bad mouthing things – Did God call you here? Then you either are a part of the solution, need to pray for the authority making these decisions, or need to just shut up. Being obedient to where God has planted us has nothing to do with if those are circumstances we like or favor. The bible is not full of people who had great circumstances….btw. It’s full of people who learned to access heaven in spite of them. If you’re not called to be somewhere, get the heck out. You’re prob annoying everyone!
  7. Go on adventures. Lots of them. Eat chicken and corn so you can take a yearly vacation. I’m not talking spring break, I’m talking take a friend or two and discover a new city or mountains and give yourself space and opportunity to create depth in your relationships. Shallow things do not survive. Remember #2? Your people matter, so take time to go deep with a few. If they hurt you and if you’re being vulnerable then they 100% will, that’s ok. Getting hurt isn’t a reason to walk away, it’s a exercise to stretch your heart way past where it wants to go and to learn that forgiveness and vulnerability hurt so good. I truly believe as we let God’s love reign in our life and make him our first love that is releases us to love people and to be ok when we are hurt or disappointed. His love wins in our life and empowers us to let it be the driver in the lives around us.
  8. Shame is FOR REAL and everyone has it. Every person on this planet is a carrier of shame, who they are and how they have experienced God and healing is what determines how shame controls them or has lost control of them. It’s ok to not be ok. It’s ok to be in counseling ALL THROUGHOUT YOUR 20’S. It’s ok to not have it figured out. There is no shame in the pursuit of being a healthy person. Counseling is the greatest thing this girl has ever committed to. Value your insides more than your outsides. It’s the insides that kill us.
  9. I guess I can’t skip this one? I did consider it though. Here you go –  It’s ok to be single and also please don’t sleep with the entire world. I know you were just dying to know if I’m on tinder swiping my days away….and I’m not (whomp,whomp). But, I have no public thoughts about online dating I care to discuss. If you’re single, it’s ok! I wholeheartedly believe if your heart is submitted to the Lord and you are faithful with where he has you planted then if he wanted you married that you would be. I’m not saying don’t go on the dates – GO ON THEM. Dates are way fun. But, don’t feel like the expression of attention is a trigger to surrender your heart and be swept away. Guys and girls alike – who you marry is crazy important and the more you know yourself the easier it is to lock arms with someone else. No relationship is going to be easy or problem free, but it definitely doesn’t have to be a train wreck. And I meant what I said about please don’t sleep with the entire world. Seriously, get some self control. Also, being in a bad marriage is way worse than being single. Just get some married friends….you’ll figure that our real fast 😉
  10. People are watching. Like you watching me…it’s weird if I’m being honest. People love telling me about how great my life is as if I’m not the one living it! You guys are right – my life is really great. I’ve paid a lot of big price tags you probably don’t know about to be here. I’ve walked away from good and great opportunities out of obedience to God’s voice. I’ve surrendered well and surrendered horribly at times. Imagining how someone’s life feels is a lose-lose battle because it’s impossible. Don’t waist your time on it. Instead imagine how your life would feel empowered by the supernatural power and presence of Jesus – his joy and peace and comfort and wisdom a part of your every day regardless of your circumstance. Then you can win! Watch Him and celebrate others along the way – then we can all win!

This list is not all inclusive. I have 10 more points I could make, but no one wants to read a book on a Monday night.

Thanks for the most fabulous 3 decades a girl could ask for! This life is the dream my heart wanted but didn’t know how to dream up and that has built my faith tremendously to expect only the out – of – this – world, Heaven coming to Earth, kind of adventures aheads. It’s all worth it. Don’t give in. It’s worth it. It’s worth it. It’s worth it.

PS: My friends threw me a totally rad DANCE PARTY for my 30th which I post pics of as soon as I get the real ones back. We literally danced all night. It was the perfect reminder why #2 is so important because good friends don’t need to be schwasted to enjoy life and celebrations. Being real with people gives them the freedom to just have fun and enjoy life without feeling all freaking bound up. For the love, people. GO DANCE AND HAVE SOME FUN. DON”T BE A BORING PERSON.

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