It's my birthday today! Surprise! I am officially twenty-six years young. Last year I was slightly overreacting about turning twenty-five. Everyone was telling me that twenty-five was a great year and I didn't believe them, but you know what?..it wasn't half bad. There were highs and lows and laughter and tears. I learned a lot about when to hold on and when to let go, about loving others well, and about being myself.
The phrase I chose for myself this year was "be brave". It was a reminder and a challenge to myself to be braver with my life, and I wasn't exactly sure what that meant at the beginning of the year. I wasn't sure if that meant making huge life decisions and taking great leaps of faith or if it meant being brave in the little things. As the year has progressed, I realize that being brave this year has meant learning to be myself. My true self. The version Jesus has always meant for me to be. Not the version of myself the world tells me I have to be in order for people to like me...because that is exhausting, and in the end, not worth it. It's scary to be yourself sometimes, to be that vulnerable and to let others see you as you really are. I have learned this year not to be embarrassed of my life, the direction it is or is not headed, my current circumstances, the things I like to do, and even the things I'm not very good at. Being brave has meant making some really difficult decisions regarding some friendships. Being brave has meant admitting when I was wrong. Being brave has meant trusting the Lord even when he tells me "no" or "wait". Being brave has meant celebrating others even when my heart was breaking. Being brave has meant rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep. Being brave has meant being unapologetically myself. I want my life to be one of authenticity, and I pray that comes across to the dear hearts I come in contact with on this journey.
I joked with my best friend a few months ago about getting older and that I hoped I was also getting wiser. As I turn another year older, I do hope that I am becoming wiser, that I am cultivating a kind and gentle heart, and that I am learning to love well and more like Jesus. I sincerely pray that I will remember and practice the things Jesus has taught me as I continue on this grand adventure of life. Thanks for walking this road with me, brave hearts.
Here's to another year of learning, growing, loving, and being brave.