Friday, May 2, 2014

giving thanks: 25th birthday reflections

I'm typing this up on a plane to Nashville right now, after reflecting on the past few months: all of the sweet details and revelations of how much I've grown and how much I've been blessed (and very undeservingly so). This past Monday, I turned 25, an age that I had always looked forward to. When I was in high school, I thought that turning 25 should feel so momentous and climactic. I imagined that I would be an incredibly confident, sophisticated, and unstoppable glamazon-- that's how a quarter of a century is supposed to feel, right? 

It's funny how as I grow older, all of my should's and supposed-to's have been fading away. My timelines and check lists are smoothing over, like bubbles dissolving into water, and all that's left is calm and deep, deep, peace, and something bigger than me and my expectations. It's God, and His wonderful plans. 

Celebrating turning 25 is not just celebrating me-- it's celebrating a milestone of His great works. I spent all of age 24 for the first time truly, vulnerably surrendering my entire life to Him and asking Him to be my Lord over everything: my relationships, my work, and my future. After several stressful years of being my own master, I was done with it. I needed Him to lead. I needed Him to make me the woman He wanted me to be: heart, mind, body, and soul. This daily practice of submission for 365 days made me feel vulnerable, but bold and secure at the same time, because I knew that God was trustworthy and had my best intensions in mind.

Daily submission has turned into openly receiving daily grace, which turned into recognizing His daily works. He's changed my heart and taught me so many lessons along the way. He's blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. It's a miracle that I have such a loving community of friends, from high school to NYU to Redeemer to L'Oreal and Quidsi. It's a miracle that I have my God-loving family. It's a miracle that I have the strongest, most caring boyfriend, Ben, who pushes me back to God and says things like, "I want Jesus to be your #1 dude, not me." (I know: heart-melting.)

Birthdays are fun, but this one was the most gratifying and humbling birthday I've ever experienced. And you know what? I think my high school self would be pleased: in Christ, I am confident, sophisticated, and unstoppable in ways that I could never have imagined. In an emotional blog post from October, I shared how I was reminded that His love is better than life. When I look to Him instead of focusing inwardly, His love is more tangible than ever, and I am so very grateful. 

(Photo via here)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Helen! I somehow randomly stumbled upon your blog while browsing LinkedIn. I thank you for this post. It is so beautifully written. God's timing is so perfect. I know He was calling me to find it, so that I myself would surrender my anxiety and uncertainty to Him. This was inspiring. May will be my 30 day challenge to let Him take charge of my life.

    Wishing you a happy 25th birthday! God bless.

    - a random 24 year old facing the same struggles you did.


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