On Growing Up
My 17th birthday is the last time I remember having my two closest friends at the time, together with me. We’d been growing steadily apart in the months leading up to that summer. They chased boys and attended parties I wasn’t supposed to know about, while I chased Jesus and found sanctuary in an actual sanctuary.
By the time I left for college, we’d speak in shallow tones, like strangers. It was weird. And sad.
For my 19th birthday I found myself living back at home, having left college with grades too low to transfer, with an engagement ring on my finger and a fiance living three states away. That was a long summer.
I spent my 25th birthday swollen and growing increasingly uncomfortable, pregnant with my first child, and losing my best friend due to the toxic mixture of envy, jealousy and misunderstandings, piled high with an unhealthy dose of immaturity, and likely a touch of spiritual warfare too.
That was a hard year.
Today’s another birthday, I suppose it’s not terribly unusual to feel the wanderings of nostalgia, to watch the past in retrospect.
I’m reading two books right now about what it means to make Jesus your Everything, and how discipleship is Hazardous. In the time I’ve known Jesus He’s surely cost me what has at times felt like everything–friends, dreams, status. I’ve watched it all tumble. Thank God.
This summer, I find myself homeschooling four children, preparing to kick off another year as a ministry leader, overwhelmed by the enormity of all the gifts heaped on me by a God who’s teaching me to live with my hands and heart open–
My word this year is trust– the lessons roll in steady, but so many friends are here, cheering me on, holding my hands, sharing the burden through fellowship and prayer.
You’re part of this journey.
Thanks for joining me. Thanks for sharing your heart, your time, your encouragement–you’ll never know what it means to me.
Here’s to another year, ripe with opportunity to experience the grace of God, the love of friends, the joy of salvation.
Ya’ll bless me.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:12-15
“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.” C.S. Lewis
How do you feel as you reflect on where you’ve been? Where’s God leading you these days?