the epicacity of my 20s

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Throwback Thursday to my 5th birthday
Today, I had the crazy realization that it is the last day of my 20s.

And this realization made my brain and heart burst.

Did this happen to anyone?

Please don’t misconstrue this as me being anxious about getting older. Though there are days that adult-ing can be frustrating and hard, I love everything about it.

I think I’m in this space of grief. Not in a sad way. But in a necessary way.

Y’all. My 20s were epic. I mean, epic. So epic, epic doesn’t even describe it. (hence epicacity) And I think that’s why I’m feeling this way. This feeling of overwhelming gratitude that is just blowing my mind.

In my 20s…

1. I found out about all different kinds of love.
When my niece Lilly was born, it shaped my cold and hard heart. Every time she grabbed my finger. Every time she giggled. Even every time she cried. When she put my cell phone in her mouth and killed it with her drool. When she threw up all over me on my 20th birthday. When she walked her first steps. When we took her to the hospital after a minor car accident. I had no idea my heart had a capacity to love someone else’s child, like that.

lillywalks

lilllywalks2

The way Lilly taught me to love is epic. But it does not compare to the way Jesus has taught me to love. Jesus has taught me to love beyond my comfort zone. Jesus has taught me that my entire purpose in this life is to love others. And that doesn’t necessarily mean love others in a convenient way, but even in the most inopportune, uncomfortable ways. I am still working on it. Some days are better than others. I am surrounded by love because he has taught me to love.

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. – 1 Peter 4:8

2. I became courageous.

The past three years have been a lot of pruning and growing. I have stood face to face with the chains that have kept me broken and wounded; with Christ I have been freed. And the fruit of this freedom has been so sweet. There is still a lot of pruning to be had, that will be never ending. But I have surrendered my heart and can’t wait to see how he prunes in the next seasons. I have faced those who have hurt me physically and emotionally and not only have I forgiven them, but I also asked for their forgiveness. I have taken a stand for myself. I have asked questions no girl should ever have to ask. When you face your worst fears, there is nothing that can hold you back. Especially when you are standing side by side with your victorious Warrior.

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3. I have learned to love myself.

I had no idea that this was something I did not do. Until I finally learned how. And this is an ongoing process. In my 20s, I learned that I didn’t love myself. Due to so many reasons. I thought I deserved the hurt I was getting. I thought I deserved the abuse. It wasn’t until the past three years that I realized, that I did not have to endure how I was treated. Because I learned how loved I am by our Creator.

isaiah

I remember reading this for the first time, and him calling out to me. You. Are. Mine. And when I learned how much He loves me, it easily translated to how much I should love myself. I tell you should because it’s an ongoing process. Today, a patient complimented me on how nice I looked and I kept negating it, instead of accepting his blessing and being gracious. It’s an every day battle

4. I learned to live life to the fullest.

When I initially told my best friend, Priscilla, about this blog, she gave me a long list of things I have accomplished before this new decade. It was sweet because there were so many things that I have done and accomplished, that I did not think about. This is not to boast of my achievements, but this is such a beautiful illustration of God’s grace and mercy. If you look at my story and put on the goggles of perspective of a sociologist or a psychologist, statistically, I should have gone down a different path. The path that lacks education. The path of promiscuity. The path of addiction. But I didn’t. He protected me from that. Starting in my early 20s, I learned how to be present. I learned to take opportunities given to me and be adventurous. And because of this, I have done so many things, I never thought I would have done.

I have lived in Mexico. I have watched multiple surgeries, including heart surgeries. I have helped deliver a baby. I have set foot on 5/7 continents. With the help of collaborations, a story of mine has been published and so have three of my photographs. I have danced the Irish jig in an Irish wedding. I have been a bridesmaid and maid of honor multiple times. I am an aunt to some pretty special kids, even a kitty cat named, Lucy. I have gone on a safari and seen all five animals from the Big 5 game. I have gotten stuck in the middle of a riot in Spain. I have met authors I have admired. I have met singers/bands I have admired. I have even kissed a giraffe (didn’t like it and it wasn’t on purpose.)

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These are just a few of the things I have experienced.

5. I have fallen in love with Christ.

Falling in love with Jesus has been the greatest adventure I have been on. His pursuit of my heart has been intentional and planned. Though I cursed Him. Though I turned my back on him the majority of my life. Though I denounced Him. He kept pursuing. He was patient. And when I took a step towards Him, he enthralled me with His presence.

This is the most important thing that has happened in my twenties. I have met so many people because of Him. I have loved so many people because of Him. I have been loved by so many people because of Him. He rescued me from pits of depression. He rescued me from wounds of abuse. He will now and always be the love of my life who anchors me in the storms of life. My hope lies in His name and His alone. I will follow Him anywhere.

My twenties were epic. But I can’t wait for my thirties. A new chapter. A new decade. And a whole new slew of adventures written just for me. The coolest thing is, Jesus started his ministry when he was 30. 🙂

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