As of now, I am no longer a teenager.
I have been on the planet for two full decades. Weird!
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Hello again, friends! I hope your first two-ish weeks of this year have been treating you well. I’ve got lots of good content planned for the coming weeks, and I hope you are as excited as I am for 2019! But, on an unrelated note, I just wanted to pop in today to announce to the world that I have made it to 20 years old!
Now, I’m not making this announcement in hopes that I’ll get a bunch of “Happy Birthday” comments on this post (besides, my birthday was a week ago already), but because I want to take a moment or two to reflect on who I have been up until this point and who I would like to be going forward. After all, 20 is a big number! Honestly, I really like the sound of it.
So here’s where I’m at in my life right now: I am in my second year of college, studying at an amazing university in a beautiful location where, by the grace of God, I have made some of the most amazing friends I’ve ever had.
I spent my last semester studying abroad in the city of my dreams (Paris), and I just moved into an enormous, fancy sorority house where my best friend (who is now my roommate) and I are having the time of our lives living together. (Just last night, we had a Bachelor-viewing party in our room, complete with snacks and pink lemonade.)
I’ve got a light schedule of three classes, all with great professors, and a ton of fun extracurriculars lined up. I’m following Jesus with all my heart, which includes starting a Bible Study in my sorority house in the coming weeks. I even live right down the street from my favorite coffee shop.
So basically, life is good at the moment.
God has blessed me so abundantly, especially in the past few years of my life. Since I really began doing the Jesus thing (just before I turned 18), my life has done a complete 180. I started my walk with God as a recently dumped and very heartbroken 17-year-old, full of insecurity and wallowing in my sadness, grasping for anything to make me feel as steady and fulfilled as my previous relationship had. I showed up at my friends’ youth group, met their awesome youth pastor, and felt welcome, so I decided to keep showing up.
Flash forward six months, and I’d now been to two conferences, a camp, and a whole lot of Tuesday night youth groups. I had dedicated my life to following Jesus, committed to a mission trip to Mexico for the summer, and found a whole lot of healing in God’s love for me. Before I moved down to SoCal for college, I decided to get baptized, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
So in my 20 years of life, I’ve gotten to see and do a lot of amazing things for and because of Jesus. And here’s what God is doing now: He’s giving me the courage to be the love and the light of Jesus in a place that really needs it; He’s making me braver and bolder and a total go-getter; He is constantly surrounding me with love and laughter; He is walking with me in a season of growth; He is using people in my life to encourage and inspire me; He is even showing up in divine appointments to make some crazy things happen.
God is moving in this year already.
So I just couldn’t start 20 without sitting down and writing this all out. Because in a year, two years, five years, I’ll come back here and read this and remember all that God has done in my first 20 years and all the crazy things He did from then on.
20 is going to be good. I already feel it.