I turned 29 last week, and the gift of getting older has never been more real to me. The days seemed to go by slowly but the years have gone by fast and one day I woke up and realized that I have lived an entire life full of joy, pain, unique stories, love, and heartache and the grace of God is woven through my life like a thread connecting every piece and creating something amazing. I’m excited for the season of life I’m in. The Lord has been faithful, and I’m starting to see things line up and create a way for me to move into different dreams in the future.
It’s funny because just a few years ago I never would have thought that I could be so content at this age without having achieved the stereotypical grand milestones of adulthood and life and the supposed signs of God’s blessings and rewards. I have gone through the majority of my twenties as a single girl and there’s no end in sight, yet I am absolutely thankful that this has been my journey and would not trade it for anything in the world. My twenties have felt like a bit of a battleground at times, and because of different situations and places I found myself in, I was forced to re-assess everything that I believed about God because my belief system up to that point just wasn’t working anymore. So I have spent the last few years fighting for my truth, going on my own journey of re-discovering who God is and what I believe about Him. I am incredibly grateful to have had so many years of just me and Jesus because without them, I don’t think I would be at the place where I am today spiritually and emotionally.
While my twenties haven’t given me my husband, children, or even a dream job or a whole other host of material things, they have given me me. I know who I am. I know what I believe and who I believe in. I look in the mirror and don’t always recognize the girl with the tired eyes and fluctuating weight and random gray hairs, but I do know that I walk a little taller, hold my head a little higher, love life deeper, and genuinely like the person that I have become. I found my truth.
So I want to share that truth with you, the 29 most valuable things I have discovered about God, faith, and life in general that have helped me grow deeper in my relationship with the Lord and with myself. And hopefully somewhere in here you can find something sturdy to hang onto yourself when times are hard and you are unsure and you need the hope that only truth can bring.
1. I believe that Jesus loves me. I know this seems so simple, but I had trouble believing in His love and being confident in His love for a very long time. Everything changed when I grasped that I am loved always, no matter what. That He doesn’t get angry and disappointed. Learning to live my life from a place of being loved rather than a place of trying to earn love has changed everything.
2. I believe that no one who puts their hope in Him will be put to shame.
3. I believe that loving God and loving people is the only way to have a truly successful life.
4. I believe that true freedom is born out of a place of thinking that you have lost everything only to realize that all you really need can never be lost.
5. I believe that you should never shrink yourself down in order to please others. Some people can’t handle who you are meant to be. They like the idea of you but don’t truly know who you are. It’s okay to move forward without them. You have the right to change and grow without apology.
6. I believe that it is impossible to focus on what matters when we spend all of our time and money on things that don’t.
7. I believe that we do not serve an American God. Unless the good news that we are preaching is good news for everyone, it isn’t good news for anyone.
8. I believe that the pursuit of signs and wonders has become one of the most dangerous idols of the Church. We don’t have to chase after grand experiences and movements of God. Jesus Christ is THE great sign and wonder, and we can live in fellowship and intimacy with Him every single day. Every day of our lives is a miracle.
9. I believe that even one quick side glance at someone else’s life takes your focus off of Jesus. Keep your eyes forward and look to Him always.
10. I believe that marriage is not the ultimate goal nor is it a pre-requisite to living out your calling.
11. I believe that the greatest way for the enemy to stop us is to silence us.
12. I believe that the prosperity message of the Gospel is simply this – to live is Christ, to die is gain.
13. I believe that another term for “radical faith” is simply obedience. And you can always trust that God will not waste your obedience and faithfulness to Him.
14. I believe that the greatest prophetic voice in your life is you speaking the word of God over yourself.
15. I believe that if we truly want to see revival, we have to start caring about the things God cares about in the way He cares about them.
16. I believe that grace can take you places that hard work can’t.
17. I believe that having a microphone, pulpit, or title does not make you a leader. A true leader is someone who lives a life that can be followed because it always points people to Christ.
18. I believe that it’s okay to fall in love with your life even when it doesn’t make sense to other people. You never owe someone an explanation for what God is doing in your life.
19. I believe that leaders/disciples/Christ followers were never given authority over people. We have been given authority over the things that enslave people. Spiritual abuse happens when people confuse the two.
20. I believe that conversations about justice have to start at the cross of Jesus. When we find ourselves with stones in our hands rather than the ones who are drawing lines in the sand, we have missed our purpose.
21. I believe that there are some things you should only tell a loving God and a loving dog. It’s okay to let pieces of yourself be sacred.
22. I believe that feminism simply means that women are people too.
23. I believe that there is a difference between compassion and pity. Always be compassionate.
24. I believe that unhealed childhood pain is at the root of all destructive adult behaviors. Be gentle with people. There isn’t a person on earth you wouldn’t love if you knew their whole story.
25. I believe that you can’t rest in the love of Christ when you are busy entertaining lies from the enemy all day long.
26. I believe that one of the greatest signs of spiritual maturity is being able to genuinely rejoice with others when they get the very things you are praying for.
27. I believe that self-care is not selfish. You can’t pour from an empty well. Take time to be refreshed and refilled with life in His presence so that you can be life-giving to others.
28. I believe that you are not your gift. Too many people allow their identity to become entangled in their talent, and their giftings eventually destroy them. Jesus Christ is the only solid foundation.
29. I believe that all you have to do is get to Jesus. For any situation in life, you will always find self-help books or lists and strategies for how to make things better. But the truth is that it isn’t always your responsibility to fix things. Sometimes all you need to do is get to Jesus. Whatever that looks like for you and whatever it takes. Just get to Jesus.
I’m thankful for a faithful Father who has given me exactly what He knew I needed – time. I have been given the rare gift of having time to wrestle and struggle and fight and rest and learn and grow. To come into my own and truly discover who I am in Him and what He has called me to do. I had the opportunity to throw out everything I had been taught and start all over, letting the Holy Spirit be my teacher and my guide. It wasn’t all pretty, but it was all worth it. I wouldn’t trade the truth I know and the way it has set me free for anything else in this life. And because He has been so gracious to me, I am committed to living my life in such a way that God is so pleased that He gave me life. Not because of anything I’m doing for the Kingdom but simply because I live every single day in complete gratitude that He chose to create me and love me and heal me and set me free.
I only have one more year left in my twenties, and I plan to enjoy every single moment. So here’s to you 29 – it’s going to be a good one :)