Tonight, as I write this, it’s my last night of being twenty-four. Maybe that’s not such a big deal; after all, twenty-five may not be much different. It is, nevertheless, a milestone of sorts; it is quite probable that I’ve already lived over a quarter of my life. That’s a nice morbid view to take of the matter. I’m starting to feel old. Laugh if you like, but it is possible to feel old this young.
Truth is, this isn’t where I wanted to be at 25. It’s a good thing I didn’t know this ten years ago. At 15, I already had dreams. The other night I was driving home from my mentor’s house, and I had the radio turned on. “Eye of the Storm” came on, and these words impact me more in this stage of life than they ever have before:
“When my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I’m runnin’ out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache
Are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus’ name.”
I would venture to think that those of us who hope most fervently are also those who are crushed most easily. It’s akin to the theory that if you hurt deeply when someone dies, you have loved them much.
Yet, as my mentor pointed out to me the other night, rather than focusing so much on what I don’t have right now, I need to instead focus on what I do have. It is true that life hasn’t worked out the way I wanted it to. It’s true that I have dealt with disappointments and hurts. She told me it’s okay to be sad, but I need to not stay stuck.
So, as twenty-four leaves and twenty-five dances in, I am blessed. There is a little girl in my life who scribbled on her belly with a marker yesterday, but I love her so much- that wild hair included. My church family is incredible, how they walked my journey with me rather than leaving me to find my way alone. This little town has stolen my heart, and I hope we will have a chance to become even better acquainted in my second year of living here.
There’s a coffee shop eight minutes away, and I have shelves full of books. There’s the Bible Study on Habakkuk that was given to me as a Christmas gift (the timing is perfect for that), and I also just bought a copy of Little Dorrit several weeks ago, as well as that book on forgiveness I ordered from Amazon. While there are books and coffee, there is always the potential for a little burst of happiness.
I am blessed with friends. Don’t ever underestimate the value of friends. Through 2020, with not always getting to spend time with people, I think I came to realize how important other people actually are. I need people. Not because I’m an extrovert, because I’m not, but because we were created to need other people. Not just on a video call, either, but in person- face to face. And yes, sometimes I really need a hug.
God has blessed me, but even without the blessings I’ve listed, even without fuzzy blankets and warm pajamas and sourdough, I would still be blessed. My favorite part of Habakkuk is the following passage:
“Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls-
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.”
-Habakkuk 3:17-18 NK
This is the challenge. Have I lived like this? No, but I should. This is trust unlike anything I’ve ever known. Yet this is the kind of trust that we as Christians should embrace. Is it hard? Incredibly hard. Do I even know how to trust like this? No, I don’t.
Happy Birthday, me. God is holding me, twenty-five and clueless. My job this year is to trust Him.