Coming up to my 30th birthday, I’ve been doing SO much reflecting. Like really- it’s almost unhealthy (LOL) but in all seriousness birthdays for me are like my own personal new year. It’s when I reflect on the last year and plan for the next year. My hopes, desires and ideas all come out like a flood and it’s a wonderful time for me personally.
This year has been a little extra because I’m changing decades! And that’s a pretty big deal. Leaving one and stepping into another I can only think to myself- My 20’s have been amazing!! What could possibly beat them? I got saved and married, began working in ministry, I bought my first house (and car), I became a mother for the 1st and 2nd time, I became an ordained Pastor, changed career paths (twice) and then graduated with tons of other mini victories in between. Literally so much- how could any decade compare to the last??
I literally want to know, how? How could my thirties possibly be better than my twenties? I’m not sure but I can say this- I believe that in my 30’s I will experience some aspects of my same life in a different way and from a different place. I believe that I will walk into and through my thirties from a place of full and total freedom.
Let me elaborate… The one thing I can say is through my 20’s is that although many great and wonderful things happened to me on the outside, we all have a battle and I am not except of that. My husband and I struggled early on in our marriage with employment and housing but truthfully, most of my battles weren’t external, they were internal. And for me, while things have always appeared well on the outside, I have had a waging war on the inside for quite some time now.
I cannot even begin to tell you the struggle I’ve dealt with. The anxiety, stress, fears, bouts of depression and straight up mental torment! If it wasn’t one thing, it was another but I can honestly say I have come through by the grace of God stronger on the other side. But this year, I believe will be different. This year I’m believing for grace not just to get through but to overcome.
This year, as I’m really coming into my own, I’ve realized that these attacks have been less about me and the frivolous things that flare them up, and more about the place it takes me and the way it debilitates me. The place of isolation, weariness and withdraw that keeps me from being the woman God created me to be and pursuing the destiny that he has mapped out for me. The place of frustration and fear where the enemy whispers ‘I told you so’. The place of feelings of failure that convince me quitting would be no worse than sucking this bad. The place where if I could just hide, forever, I would.
But over the course of time, I’m coming to the divine realization and internal revelation that it was never about ‘those things’. It was never about the broken relationship; it was about instilling a deep rooted fear of rejection and validating that through offenses. It wasn’t about me actually being ‘ugly’; it was about the way I would withdraw from people in order to hide that insecurity. It was never about having poor reading comprehension or being ‘stupid’, it was about silencing the voice God had put within me. It was never about the things that caused so much guilt and shame but rather the way my shame separated me from God the Father. It was never about ‘not being good enough’ for my then boyfriend (now husband) it was about creating a divide that would attempt to stop heaven’s plan for our life together.
My 20’s has taught me that it’s not about those things, it’s about stealing the thing that Christ died for- my freedom. My 20’s have showed me that I don’t want to be free, I need to be free! It’s a matter of life and eternity, destiny and calling, influence and expression. I need to be free because if I’m not, who will be who I’m called to be? Who will do the things I am gifted to do? Who will walk in the anointing assigned to me? The answer is no one. And the last thing I want to do is leave a void on earth that heaven wanted to fill through me. I will not allow my frivolous feelings and fears do that, not to me, not to humanity because yes, I do believe I have something to offer humanity.
I have learned that God’s word is truth and all else is merely opinion. I refuse to live my life based on opinions of man over the truth of God. I have for a while, but I won’t anymore.
And can I tell you something? You don’t have to either! I’m not special, I’m not the only one chosen or the only one that God has a plan for, YOU DO TOO! And if you would realize this sobering truth, I believe you too can influence Earth for Heaven’s sake.
Over the next week or so, I will be sharing little bits and pieces of my story and what I’ve learned along the way. I encourage you to join the journey and share your own thoughts and reflections! I would love to hear from you.