Presence. That was the word for 25. And for 26. It turns out I still wasn’t very good at living that out this past year either. Eh, you win some you lose some.
Though I may not have lived in the present as much as I would’ve liked to, I had a pretty epic year - full of travel, belly laughs and lots of life lessons. Here are just some of the things I’ve learned before officially pilgrimaging into my late twenties.
Even if…He’s still Good
Jesus and I definitely rumbled and tumbled with this one for a while this summer. I just couldn't seem to get on board with the notion that when seemingly good things didn't come my way that he was still faithful and trustworthy and good. I kept thinking, "I'm doing all of these things, I'm praying about it this way, why is this formula not working or helping me get what I need(want)? Why aren't you being good (as I see it) to me now? I feel like you can quit taunting and teasing me." And not only that, I just couldn't seem to muster up the proof of his goodness, especially looking at the economic and political climate we saw ourselves in. It was all very heavy on my heart.
But like He always does, He shows up and swoops in, providing wisdom and comfort and real, tangible things to illustrate that He's working. That He sees me. But that at the end, it's not really about me anyways. Or any of us to be honest. It's all about His glory. Which in my own selfishness makes me think, "Wow, you know that feels kinda selfish God. Look who's calling the kettle black.” But, if He's the God who changes hearts and writes love stories and saves and redeems and heals, then it humbles me and redirects my thoughts. Because all of it - the seemingly good, the bad, the gray areas - they are all working together to give Him glory. So when those friendships fill me up, or that relationship doesn't work out or my career and business are or are not flourishing - He’s still good. Because His goodness isn’t dependent on what I want, but rather on His plans and how He loves better than I could ever fathom. Even if, He’s still Good.
Rich Friendship makes you Leak Joy
This year I feel like God poured rich friendships over my life like syrup drenching pancakes. It was the year of friendship for sure. Never in my life have I had more fulfilling and joy-soaked relationships. How I met these crazy people and how they infiltrated my life can only be explained because of some divine conspiracy to wreck me for a life of average. The women in my life continue to amaze me with their wisdom, beauty and authenticity. Their words give me courage and repeatedly show me my worth and value. They are encouragers, sassy as all get out and some of the most hilarious people I’ve ever the pleasure of knowing. I wish I would’ve savored the sweet cadence we had a little more - the endless wine nights, random sleepovers, ridiculous antics. But people move, get married and have other responsibilities that redirect the trajectory of friendships. It’s not bad, it’s just different.
And the men - well, I’d have to admit that they’ve completely demolished my “Boys have no feelings” flag I was flying for way too long. (Consider this my last, formal apology.) Truly, I’ve had the pleasure to befriend those who have treated me with respect, made me laugh and cared for me better than any other men I’ve met in my adult life. Some of them are fiercely protective and I’m grateful for that. My hope is that they see how much I value and respect them for the men God’s creating them to be. I’m honored to know them.
Adventure is waiting
So I like 5-step plans. I like to have a preview of what’s next. But I’ve got to admit, my most blissful memories from 26 are not those that I participated in planning out. A last minute booking to see a friend in Texas, finally getting a tattoo, agreeing to a hiking trip that largely shaped my community of friends this year - those were the experiences that were the most life-giving. So, the biggest thing I learned from this year was that adventure is waiting for me. I just have to engage in it. I live in one of the most adventurous cities in the world and how have I created space for God to move? To be honest, I really haven’t. And I’d really like to change that this year.
Which leads me to the Year of 27
I fully anticipate to ride the coattails of adventure and define my year with the word Spontaneity. I’ve never been a particularly spontaneous person. I live my life by 30 minute increments on my Google Calendar. (I wish I was joking.) But I’ve found that when I create margin and let go of fear, some pretty awesome things come my way. So, I’d like to plan a little less and be free a little more. I’d like to leave room for family and friends in need, for risk-taking and for God to move His own way. And I’d like to just have a lot of fun.
Lots and lots and lots of Fun.